The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh argued on a podcast that the minimum wage should be placed at zero dollars per hour and argued that some people do work that is not worth a living wage.
Walsh, who earlier this year argued that 12-year-old rape victims should be forced to have children, streamed a podcast with The Daily Wire on Friday in which he argued that because it is feasible not to work, the minimum wage should not exist in the United States. His commentary comes after news that the House passed legislation that would gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025.
“Zero should be the baseline for work because that’s the baseline amount of effort you can put in,” Walsh explained. “It’s possible for someone to do zero work, which means that they have earned zero dollars.”
Walsh went on to describe a negative experience he had with a cashier at a McDonald’s restaurant in which the cashier he ordered from made him feel unwelcome. That cashier, and all fast food industry workers who behave like that cashier, he argued, deserve wages as low as 25 cents or 50 cents per hour.
“How could [their work] possibly be worth $15? It’s not. It’s not worth $8 an hour. Somebody like that—I guess that the company, the restaurant, the store, has some need for them. That’s why they’re still there. So, what are they worth? 50 cents an hour at most? 25 cents? They’re worth very close to zero. Maybe not zero, but very close to it. And so, that’s what they should be paid,” Walsh said.
Fast food workers that make him feel good, Walsh said, could be worth $30 or $50 per hour.
“It should be a situation where there are people [behind a fast food counter] who are making $35 an hour and there are people who are making 35 cents an hour. That’s how wide the gap should be between wages, because that’s how wide the gap in effort is and the wages should reflect that,” Walsh said.
Minimum wages exist to create a minimum standard of living for people who work and to stabilize the economy. The United States’ federal minimum wage has not increased since 2009, despite significant inflation, and 29 states and Washington, D.C., have minimum wages above the federal floor.