John McCain Really Doesn’t Get This Thing You Call The “Economy”

Atrios flags an important qualifier in McCain’s latest “fundamentals” pronouncement:

McCain has now defined the fundamentals of the economy as “workers and small businesses,” so if you suggest something is wrong with the economy you’re insulting workers. This follows the Bush strategy of saying that criticizing his Iraq policies is insulting the troops.

Of course, as Jed notes, that’s a bit of a change in McCain’s opinion of the American worker:

Now, obviously, this is just plain dumb. $50 an hour for a 40 hour work week runs out to roughly $100,000 a year. Does anyone really think large numbers of American workers will not do hard work if you pay the 6 figures to do it? Of course not, if you pay someone well enough, they’ll do more or less anything you need them to do. That’s a basic tenet of capitalism. But what’s probably even more egregious is that there’s very sound economic ideas to back up the point McCain is trying to drive at. If you pay unskilled agricultural workers more money, then the price of agricultural products, i.e. food, will also go up. And since we all have to eat, meaning we all have to buy a certain amount of food, that will have certain adverse effects on the economy as a whole. Indeed, a country’s relative economic propsperity can be directly related to the average amount of earnings spent on food. The less of a person’s income has to be devoted to buying food, the more money can be spent on other things, and the more prosperous an economy you have. But John McCain just doesn’t know enough about fundamental economic concepts to articulate this idea, even crudely, so instead he has to resort to abjectly absurd statements about people not doing hard work no matter how much money you pay them.

It might seem funny on the face of it, but deep down it’s really scary that someone without even a 101 level grasp of economics has actually managed to win the nomination of one of the 2 major political parties in the largest, most important, economy in the world.