Larry Elder

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is worried.

In a recent speech at Boise State, O'Connor said: "Less than one-third of eighth-graders can identify the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence, and it's right there in the name. ... The more I read and the more I listen, the more apparent it is that our society suffers from an alarming degree of public ignorance."

This is good news for the left.

The ill-informed are more susceptible to emotional arguments. They are more likely to see life as a zero-sum game. They are more likely to believe that the prosperous become so only at someone else's expense.

Take my Twitterverse "discourse" on the proposal to increase the minimum wage:

Elder: Obama said a higher minimum wage is vital to "a rising, thriving middle class." Switzerland has no national minimum wage. Its unemployment is 3 percent.... U.S. had no minimum wage 'til 1938. How did it become so powerful?

Twitter respondent: America wasn't close to the super power it is until after World War 2 -- in 1939. And you're supposed to be a journalist?

Elder: The U.S. became a "superpower" because of minimum wage? Adjusted for inflation the first minimum wage would be $4. And I'm not a journalist -- I'm a commentator.

Twitter respondent: You asked how we're a super power. We don't recover from the Great Depression without military production in World War II and paying workers.

Elder: I repeat, prior to the 1938 introduction of minimum wage -- which today would be $4 -- how do you account for America's growth?

Twitter respondent: I guess you didn't go to high school like the rest of us to know there was no "growth" in the '30s due to the unemployment rate.

Elder: So far, I've politely asked questions. Before the '30s, we had a decade known as the "Roaring '20s" -- no minimum wage. Explain.

Titter respondent: We were "roaring" with a slave class. I don't accept that as good policy.

Once people resort to terms like "slave class" in a discussion on minimum wage, it's time to call the waiter and get the check.

Check out the "discourse" following my tweets on Aaron Alexis, the black man responsible for the Navy Yard killing spree. Did Alexis, as with killers Major Nidal Hassan of the Fort Hood massacre and former Los Angeles Police Department cop Christopher Dorner, receive (SET ITAL) less (END ITAL) scrutiny from authorities out of fear of being called anti-Islamic or racist?


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.