Ben Carson on Jobs

Tea Party challenger in Republican primary


Raising the minimum wage increases unemployment

Q: You suggested one minimum wage does not fit all, and that perhaps we should offer a lower or starter wage for young people.

CARSON: People need to be educated on the minimum wage. Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases. It's particularly a problem in the black community. Only 19% of black teenagers have a job, who are looking for one. And that's because of those high wages. If you lower those wages, that comes down. You know, as a youngster, my first job working in a laboratory as a lab assistant, I would not have gotten those jobs if someone had to pay me a large amount of money. That's what we need to be thinking about. How do we allow people to ascend the ladder of opportunity, rather than how do we give them everything and keep them dependent?

Q: So, you would not raise it?

CARSON: I would not raise it, specifically because I'm interested in making sure that people are able to enter the job market and take advantage of opportunities.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ First Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Minimum wage should probably be raised; then index it

Q: You have said that you want to raise the federal minimum wage?

CARSON: Let me say what I actually said about raising the minimum wage. I was asked should it be raised, I said, probably, or possibly. But, what I added--which I think is the most important thing--I said we need to get both sides of this issue to sit down, and talk about it. Negotiate a reasonable minimum wage, and index that so that we never have to have this conversation again in the history of America. I think we also have to have two minimum wages, a "starter," and a "sustaining" because how are young people ever going to get a job if you have such a high minimum wage that it makes it impractical to hire them?

Q [to Walker]: You have called raising the minimum wage a "lame idea"?

WALKER: I don't want to argue about how low things are going to be, I want to talk about how do we lift everyone up in America. That's what we've done in Wisconsin, that's exactly what we'd do federally.

Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

College job: supervised highway cleanup crews

When I was in college, one of my summer jobs was supervisor for highway cleanup crews. It was quite a difficult job because the weather was so hot and there was very little shade along the expressway. I began to think of ways to give them incentives. I said, "Why don't we start when it's cool out? How about 6 in the morning?"

"6 in the morning?" they shot back. "You must be crazy. What are they teaching you at that fancy school?"

I then went on to explain that they could work much more efficiently during the cool weather, and that I would pay them for 8 hours of work if they could fill 100 bags with garbage in 7 or even 6 hours. Well, you have never seen people work like these young men worked from that point on. By 8:00 in the morning they would have filled more than 200 bags with garbage and cleaned whole stretches of highway.

Those in charge of the program were flabbergasted. They were always saying, "Carson's crews are amazing, but we never see them."

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 71-72 , Jan 24, 2012

Unions bad when they focus on power & not future generations

In the early days of the Industrial Age, the advent of unions brought about the kind of collective bargaining that resulted in fair wages and reasonable working conditions. Unfortunately, with time, many of the union bosses began to concern themselves with power and influence. By threatening strikes to further their causes, they were able to exact excessive wages and benefits from companies such as General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler, in the long run crippling these companies and rendering them noncompetitive. Essentially they were strangling the goose that laid the golden egg.

One of the themes you may have begun to notice is that those entities that are bad for our nation tend to want what they want now, without thought to how it will affect future generations. If you use that principle as a measuring stick, in most cases you can easily determine which unions and other entities are good and which are deleterious to the prosperity of our nation.

Source: America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p. 92-93 , Jan 24, 2012

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Page last updated: Oct 01, 2016