I still fail to hear the most obvious answer to the claims of the Tea Party right; we tried their ideas before, it was called the 19th century. Really the 20th until FDR but it is shorter to just call it a century. The fact is that the Tea Party, which claims to treat our Constitution as received scriptures, is in fact much more in line with the Articles of Confederation and more to the point, we tried pretty pure laissez faire in the 19th century. We had child labor, industrialists who claimed a 12 hour day would destroy their profits, actual slavery for half the century and more soldiers dying from tainted rations than enemy bullets during the Spanish American war. Americans, who do like to see ourselves as rugged individualists, elected Progressive legislatures and the T Roosevelt and Wilson administration incorporated Progressive policies, such as trust busting and the Pure Food and Drug act. People saw this as necessary. In fact their was a saying you never hear anymore 'there oughta be a law'. Imagine someone saying that today. It has been ingrained due both to real mismanagement and relentless Rightist propaganda that nothing can be solved with laws.
Re-reading Article one of our Constitution, it is startling how many concepts that the extreme Right is opposed to are included such as considering treaties with foreign powers as law. Right wing populists have railed against this concept recently, apparently not having read the document they pretend to worship. I do realize this use of a historic analogy may be perilous. We are re-arguing the minimum wage debates which I thought were settled by the experience of the 1990's where I saw the recovery from the 1991 recession began with the minimum wage hike. I was working in factories, holding jobs for guys in the National Guard, working for a temp agency that paid minimum wage. So much for the Republican idea that minimum wage workers are all teens at McDonald and such. I was 28. I got a real increase in my buying power out of the extra $25 each week. We had an economy that was good enough for long enough that wages actually rose for people at the bottom. When Clinton raised the minimum later again in the 90's it was recognizing what had become a defacto $5 minimum. People like David Brooks, who is my age, have never worked in a factory for minimum wage. I think that is how they can say things like raising the minimum will not help much. The idea that it will eliminate jobs is laughable. Every company in this country is operating at bare bones levels, except Apple stores. Most have eliminated or outsourced everything they can and understand we cannot get Indonesians ( for instance) to cook lunch in the USA. The processes have already been automated a great deal, no huge jumps there and Horn and Hardart already tried to eliminate humans from the purchasing meals equation. People, at first fascinated by this 'modern' innovation, grew tired of it an d I do believe it is out of business. ( I may be wrong) The idea did not take off. Striking fast food workers understand this