This all makes sense. However, I think it’s important not to just imply that people who oppose one or more of these things don’t want people to have a better life.
They just have fundamentally different beliefs about the effects these policy changes would have. Sometimes they may be factually wrong, but at times they also may have perspectives that you have not considered.
For example, I have noticed that nowadays, most of the people who most strongly support raising the minimum wage, live in urban areas with a high cost of living, whereas most of the people who most strongly oppose it, live in rural areas with low costs of living.
Raising the minimum wage is most likely to help people in areas where the cost of living is high, where living on minimum wage is virtually impossible and the presence of minimum wage jobs is associated with the existence of an “underclass” of people who are made to live in harsh conditions.
On the other hand, raising the minimum wage is most likely to harm people in areas with low costs of living, as these are the areas where people are more able to live on minimum wage.
People sometimes don’t realize just how crazy the disparity in cost of living can be in urban and rural areas. For example when I graduated college back in 2002, some of the most expensive metro areas in the U.S., if you wanted to live in the urban center, you could easily pay $2000 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment. But at the same time, some people I knew had rented an old farmhouse in rural Ohio, in a county with a high unemployment rate, for $600 and it was huge and had 4 bedrooms and enough room in the yard to not just garden, but practically farm and produce food for far more than one household. On the other hand, in this area, merely finding any job, minimum wage or not, was a huge challenge.
So what effect would minimum wage have on these people? Here’s a report from the CBO that examines the effect of minimum wage on poverty. It found that, if raising the minimum wage to $15, although it would lift many people out of poverty, at least in the short term, it would also cause a lot of people to lose their jobs. And this would probably cause some businesses to close too.
If you look at, and even just think about, who is going to benefit most vs. who is going to be harmed most, the biggest harm is probably going to come to those rural areas with a low cost of living. The people there, making minimum wage, were more likely to be making ends meet, unlike the people in the expensive cities. And with a depressed economy, many of the businesses are marginal and close to closing anyway, so they might be more likely to be driven out of business by the increase, especially if they aren’t able to increase prices because their customers can’t afford higher prices. In a marginal business, the owner might not even be making any profit; they could even be losing money or using other income sources to subsidize the business. And in rural areas, the loss of even a single business can be a huge hit to the community because there are few opportunities.
Look at who tends to oppose minimum wage these days: they’re mostly rural voters in areas that have experienced a lot of job loss and are struggling economically.
The opposition makes a lot of sense rationally, and has nothing to do with not caring about people’s well being. Rather, it’s coming from the same place of people wanting to improve their lives.
Do you want to know why conservatives complain about liberals being “smug”? It’s because of attitudes like those in this tweet. Attitudes that can be summed up as: “If you disagree with me, it must be because you don’t care about people.”
I would not support someone like the person above, because his attitude strikes me as smug. Whether or not you support minimum wage is beside the point. Whether or not minimum wage is a good policy is beside the point.
The point is that people in different circumstances and settings have different experiences and these experiences influence their viewpoints on political issues, and that people often have good reasons for holding the views that they do. Not in all cases, but in many cases, and I think opposition to minimum wage is one of those cases. I’m not saying the opponents’ views are always correct, just that there is a reasonable logic behind it and some evidence to support it.
If you can’t acknowledge that, maybe it would be better to stay out of politics.
And for people voting or considering lending their support to a candidate or not, maybe you would do well to learn to recognize the ability (or lack thereof) to recognize people who show a lack of compassion or understanding for people with opposing viewpoints. People complain about Trump to no end because he does the exact same thing. If you really want change, why not start supporting politicians who actually want to represent everyone, which means, taking some time to listen to and understand the people who hold differing views from your own. You don’t need to agree with them, just don’t go around wrongly implying that they don’t care about people.