Buried in this Salon article provocatively entitled ‘Southern Poverty Pimps’ is an interesting indirect observation that promoting tax credits as opposed to a higher minimum wage amounts to an effective subsidy of employers who pay their staff badly by employers who pay their staff well. This raises wider questions – would the UK be better off in subsidising what is apparently the most expensive childcare system in the world rather than just paying tax credits? The Nordic experience suggests it may well be better to do that.
As for the rest of the article, it basically argues that Southern politicians’ economic strategy is to create a low-wage, low-social benefits, low-workers’ rights economy which keeps low paid workers docile and helps capture jobs from higher wage parts of the US and other countries. As those politicians have been campaigning for election openly on that platform for a generation now, it’s hardly a staggering insight.