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Wed Nov 11, 2015, 12:27 PM

Reality takes a beating in latest Republican debate

By Steve Benen

Early on in last night’s debate, Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson was asked whether he’d support an increase in the minimum wage. The retired right-wing neurosurgeon began his answer by saying, “People need to be educated on the minimum wage,” which quickly became one of the more ironic comments of the evening.

“Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases. It’s particularly a problem in the black community. Only 19.8 percent of black teenagers have a job, who are looking for one. You know, and that’s because of those high wages. If you lower those wages, that comes down.

“You know, I can remember, as a youngster – you know, my first job working in a laboratory as a lab assistant, and multiple other jobs. But I would not have gotten those jobs if someone had to pay me a large amount of money.”

The assertion that minimum wage increases are always followed by an increase in unemployment is wrong. Carson’s claim about unemployment among black teens is even further from the truth. And as for the minimum wage when Carson was younger, in 1975, when he was 24 years old, the minimum wage was $2.10 an hour – which is $9.29 when adjusted for inflation, more than two dollars above today’s wage floor.

It was, alas, that kind of event. There’s always considerable chatter about who “wins” or “loses” these debates – most pundits seem to think Marco Rubio excelled, though I’m starting to think some of them are just using a computer macro to save time – but there was one clear loser last night: reality.

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http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/reality-takes-beating-latest-republican-debate

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