Is "Conservative" An Ideology?

 

Or is it just a collection of lies, mistakes, and predjudice?

What would such an ideology look like?

On immigration: rule of law says no amnesty for law-breakers. 

On health care: it is not the role of government to make sure everyone has insurance. 

An ideology, if it is anything, is coherent and consistent. Enter the CBO report on minimum wage. 


 

I suppose that if you care a lot about making sure as many workers as possible have a job, however poorly paid, and don’t care very much about low-income workers earning higher wages, you could embrace this report as a case against a higher minimum wage. That’s the conclusion embraced by the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the National Review, and gleeful conservatives everywhere.

And yet if you did care so much about reducing unemployment that you were willing to suppress wages for millions of the most hard-pressed workers in order to squeeze every last bit of joblessness out of the market, what other elements of the Republican economic agenda make even the slightest bit of sense?

When (like with the minimum wage and Obamacare) the trade-off is higher unemployment, then higher unemployment is intolerable, even if Republicans are happy to accept it in other contexts (like stimulus). When the trade-off is higher deficits, then higher deficits are an unacceptable price to pay for lower unemployment, even if Republicans will pay it in other contexts (like making the Bush tax cuts permanent or rescinding pay-fors in Obamacare.) Some conservatives are suggesting a higher Earned Income Tax Credit as an alternative to a higher minimum wage, but the prospects of Republicans enacting that are laughable. And when you take all these positions together, the party's economic priorities are perfectly clear.