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Raising the Minimum Wage for Working Men and Women in California and the Rest of America

Uber-Libertarian Peter Thiel Praises $12 an Hour Minimum Wage Hike

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Uber-libertarian billionaire Peter Thiel suggested he may support a spike in the minimum wage to $12 an hour because it could roll back the welfare state.

“I actually think that it’s a very out-of-the-box idea… It’s something one should consider seriously, given all the other distorted [government-created economic] incentives that exist,” Thiel said in a video interview conducted by the San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 21.

Thiel is so much of a libertarian, he’s try to create islands where people can work and live away from national laws. He’s used some of his $2 billion fortune to fund the libertarian Club for Growth PAC and spent almost $4 million to help Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul campaign for president in 2012.

Thiel’s welfare-and-tax argument echoes the push by another California libertarian entrepreneur, Ron Unz, who says the government is skewing the nation’s economy downwards towards low-tech work by supplementing low-wage workers’ wages with welfare payments. (RELATED: $12 an hour is conservative rocket fuel, says Ron Unz)

The welfare payments are reduced when workers’ raise their skills and their pay, create a disincentive for workers who might seek greater training, and for corporations who might invest in training and machinery, Unz argues.

“Given how low the minimum wage is, and how generous the welfare benefits are, you have a marginal tax rate that’s on the order of 100 percent, and people are actually trapped in this sort of welfare state,” Thiel told the San Francisco Chronicle.

• Category: Campaign, National, Notable • Tags: Neil Munro