Sunday, July 17, 2005

Minimum Wage - the Big Lie by Ichabod Crane

How about a person making minimum wage, (whether actual or legislated) getting a cost of living increase by Earning it? -IC

I was listening to my least favorite talk-show host, Michael Savage, the other night and heard him ranting about the stinginess of people who are resisting increasing the minimum wage. How short-sighted can a person be? Minimum wage is such an insidious lie that it boggles the mind how good people think it a good idea. Our schools should be totally scrapped for letting this illogic escape their halls. Let me, once again, attempt to illuminate some simple truth about minimum wage. Let us, this time, look at who it will impact directly, shall we?

Consider a man who, a year or so ago, took a ‘minimum wage’ job and through his effort and industry has earned a $0.50 or a $1.00 and hour increase. Think about him, for God’s sake, think about him. What will happen now if the minimum wage is increased by $0.50 or a dollar? He will be thrown back to making minimum wage, with all that implies! He will have to suffer, again, the struggle of being at the bottom with the prospect of staying there no matter how hard he works, no matter what efforts he makes, because the same do-gooders will do the same thing a year or two from now. He will know that he will always be at the bottom; that there is no place to go where the bottom can’t follow him. You will have removed all hope from the man’s breast.

Of course, he will be in a higher tax bracket, so he will, in reality, be less able to survive than he could when he first started on minimum wage. In fact, he will be doomed to get deeper and deeper into poverty because the cost of living will raise higher than whatever increase in the minimum wage can bring him. We will be condemning him to hopeless, abject poverty, ever sinking lower, and lower on the economic scale.

Some people think this is a good idea! What the fuck is wrong with those people? They are the stingy ones because they are the ones who will be lease affected by their folly!

Fuck it, let’s just raise minimum wage by $50 an hour and get 50 years of do-gooding done all at once. Yeah, that’s the ticket, let’s just make everybody rich! That way there’ll be no poverty at all, right? No, dummy, that means that everybody will be impoverished! Ah, but that’s it isn’t it? Socialism at its finest; bring everybody down to the lowest common denominator. That’ll just fix everything, will it? I - don’t - fucking - think - so!

Oh Lord, give me strength to suffer the fools of the world who would do good with other people’s money; I haven’t enough strength of my own for the task. It is too great to ask of any man.

Hi Aime,

Wow, it sounds like you're pretty worked up about this. I don't feel that strongly about it myself, but I was wondering if you support having a minimum wage at all? If increasing the minimum wage to keep pace with inflation is a bad thing, maybe we should push to decrease it instead? That way we can give your hypothetical man a real increase.

I wonder what the statistics are? How many people actually have to rely on minimum wage to get by? In the new global economy, most companies that need cheep labor are just moving the work overseas. I don't think changing the minimum wage here is going to have much of an effect on that.



Hi Scott,

Yes, I think that the minimum wage laws should be rescinded, completely. Part of inflation, a big part, is the minimum wage. A job should pay what it’s worth and a shopkeeper shouldn’t be forced to pay any more than that; what about his freedoms when the government tells him what he has to pay his employees, to the point where he can’t afford to be in business?

We provide people with a public education, why does said shopkeeper have to pay premium wage to some jerk who didn’t bother to get the education he was given? Not only does minimum wage hurt the very people they claim to help, but they hurt the small business owner who has to pay them for jobs that are not worth it. The only people who benefit from minimum wage laws are the politicians who blow that smoke up the public’s asses.

The best way to see through the illusion of minimum wage is to really consider raising it by a really large amount. Why not make it $25/hr? Why not $50/hr? That would eliminate poverty by the logic of the minimum wage laws, wouldn’t it? Of course not, because nobody can afford to pay it and stay in business. It is exactly the same, but quieter, when they raise it by $0.50 or a dollar. Do you pay your babysitter minimum wage? What should the owner of the local general store pay some kid to sweep-up and stock shelves after school? Is that worth $5.50/hr, soon to be $6.75 (or whatever)? Can the shopkeeper afford to pay that? Do you want to pay the increase in prices he’d have to impose; or, would you drive down to Wal-Mart and put that shopkeeper out of business?

Typically, a store like that is run by a man and his wife, both working 50-60 hours a week just to make ends meet. Isn’t it better to get a high-school kid to come in for a few buck an hour? The kid gets some pocket money (if he can hide it from the government) and the shopkeeper’s wife gets to spend a few extra hours with her kids. Who loses in that scenario? How?

Businesses wouldn’t have to move operations overseas if there was no minimum wage law; people who are not working now would have the opportunity to get a job, if those manufacturing jobs stayed here and paid just what the job was worth! With that low-end of the workforce employed inflation would be negative, giving everybody a raise! With those low-end jobs staying here, other, higher-end jobs would be here as well, that are now filled overseas. (There have to be foremen and supervisors, doesn’t there? Managers, low, middle and upper level, would be Americans, not Chinese as well. Yes, rescinding minimum wage laws would have a very positive impact on the economy, hell, we’d pick up work from Europe, Japan and other countries that still had their minimum wage laws, too.

People should make exactly as much as they are worth. Ambition and enterprise should be what salary increase is based upon, not legislation. In a society that practices ‘laissez faire’ policy, hard work and dedication pays off; sloth and laziness gets what it deserves. The country is losing its drive with all the government interference going on in the workforce. The only thing I see that should be tightly controlled are labor unions. They, like politicians, are in it for themselves beyond a certain point. Look at what they did for the steel and auto industries in the 70’s for an example of what I mean.

This is called, Free Enterprise; our country was founded and built on it. Now it has to go overseas to compete because the government can’t seem to mind their own business! Nothing thrives when the government takes part in it; it is purely parasitic. That is why our Constitution is about limiting government, not people, and why the governments powers are enumerated.

There will always be low-end jobs that pay shit; now they are taken by illegal immigrants (no American will take them because they can’t! They don’t pay minimum wage.) So here is another area that is made worse by the minimum wage laws; it encourages illegals and the people who pay them – two classes of criminals who are only criminals because of the minimum wage laws.

Minimum wage laws were originated during the depression with the goal of getting FDR reelected, period. Of course, at that time, nobody benefited from them because nobody could afford to pay them. It is one of the ideas that people think are good because they don’t really think about them, they just sound so good they must be true (or they hope they’re true).

Whoa, this is running long! Enough, here’s a pop-quiz for you (or anybody else that wants in):

Tell me, under which of their enumerated powers does the Congress derive authority to impose minimum wage laws? (Constitution attached) I suspect it is the same one that empowered them to pass Social Security; but I just can’t lay my finger on it. Can you help me find it, or does it take a Supreme Court Judge to extrapolate it from that very simple document?


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