Shock Report: Liberals Don’t Practice What They Preach!

It's all about the Benjamins ... (via Flickr user artist in doing nothing)

The thing that annoys conservatives the most about liberals when it comes to economics isn't so much that they disagree. People disagree all the time about all sorts of things, but disagreement alone doesn't tend to get the blood boiling. No, what annoys conservatives about liberals is the stunning and blatant hypocrisy in virtually every pronouncement that they make.

For instance, remember when the Obama administration announced it was going to crack down on unpaid internships? Here's a New York Times report from way way back in 2010 on the topic:

Many regulators say that violations are widespread, but that it is unusually hard to mount a major enforcement effort because interns are often afraid to file complaints. Many fear they will become known as troublemakers in their chosen field, endangering their chances with a potential future employer.

The Labor Department says it is cracking down on firms that fail to pay interns properly and expanding efforts to educate companies, colleges and students on the law regarding internships.

There are any number of problems with ending unpaid internships, of course—the largest one being that such opportunities for unskilled employees will simply vanish, thus closing off an avenue of entry into a preferred profession for those lacking experience—but liberals don't care about pesky little things like "unintended consequences." What's right is right! And what's right is increasing the minimum wage and paying interns! Except for interns that, um, work at the White House, apparently. They can still be paid zero dollars:

Maurice Pianko, a New York attorney who's led lawsuits on behalf of unpaid interns, said he believes the Obama administration has been strong on worker issues but should consider reevaluating its policy on internships. Having unpaid interns undermines the concept of a meritocracy when only certain applicants can afford to spend a few months without income in one of the most expensive cities in the country, Pianko said. The internships, he noted, already tend to go to the well-connected as it is. …

As for choosing to pay the interns, "It would cost them next to nothing and set a nice precedent," Pianko added, noting that interns could be paid minimum wage.

Then there's unionization. We've been told again and again that the cards are stacked against employees, most of whom are abused by their corporate overlords. If only they unionized, they could have a better life! But winning unionization elections via secret ballot is relatively difficult, so the left has pushed for "card check" campaigns that would unionize a business once a bare majority of individuals sign cards announcing they want to form a union. Media Matters, for instance, has been pretty insistent on the awesomeness of pro-card-check legislation. Here they are correcting George Will on the topic; here they are defending card check from the Washington Examiner; here they are slamming Megyn Kelly for daring to point out the problems with card check.

Of course, when Media Matters employees wanted to form a union, the company's big shots decided that card check is okay for manufacturers and grocery store workers but totes terrible for liberal watchdogs:

The apparent decision by executives at Media Matters for America to oppose the unionization of their staff has left employees at the progressive media watchdog feeling stunned and betrayed, according to a statement from pro-union workers.

Media Matters management recently declined to recognize the union through the "card check" process, instead exercising its right to force a union election under National Labor Relations Board oversight. If an employer wants to keep a workplace union-free, the latter route can give it time to delay the proceedings, bring in union-busting consultants and pressure workers to vote down the union.

Again: Most conservatives totally agree with David Brock and the other fat cats at Media Matters. They should have the right to demand a secret ballot election! Employees shouldn't be subjected to the intimidation and thuggish tactics that card check campaigns invite. What grates isn't Brock and Co's decision. What grates is the hypocrisy of it all. Nick Denton may have been exaggerating a bit when he said that hypocrisy is the only sin left. But it's certainly the most vexing sin.

Conservatives are tired of being preached to about money in politics by politicians and hacks and flacks that swim Scrooge McDuck-style in pools of money provided by environmentalist billionaires and union slush funds. We're sick of being lectured about inequality by explainers living in million-dollar condos and columnists who earn six figures a year lecturing about the dangers of wealth in their spare time. It's getting boring to hear the left whinge about the minimum wage and unpaid internships and the awesomeness of unionization even as it fights tooth and nail against the implementation of any of these things.

In other words: practice what you preach, bros. And until you do, kindly mind your business.