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The Minimum Wage is Bad. Bad I tell you! Bad.

People want to do well. It is understandable that they would want government to ensure they get a good wage. People, you and I, want others to do well. It makes sense, that those who don’t need the minimum wage, might still support it for the benefit of others. The idea breaks down quickly though if one ponders it honestly.

If $15 is good, why not $20 or even $50? Eventually people will tell you that the number is just too high.

Business are telling everyone that now. What they pay now is too high, let alone $15. Some will argue that it isn’t – they don’t actually know though do they? They don’t know the books of a local business or even a corporation. They think they understand, maybe because some politician has told them or they read it on the Internet, that CEO’s make a lot of money. These politically motivated points of view ignore so much and focus on optics.

Minimum wage laws reduce liberty for employees and business owners

The Supreme court twice ruled that setting a minimum was was unconstitutional and violated the rights of businesses and individuals to form their own contract with their own standards. It was by a narrow margin that the court finally ruled in favor of such a law in 1937 as FDR was busy ruining America. 

For me, that is my primary objection to minimum wage laws – they reduce liberty. I personally feel no other reason need exist than that to do away with such a law.

A man can go to an small business in his town and say he will work for $6 an hour. The owner of that business would love to hire him for that wage. He considers it fair for the work being done and the potential employee is willing. For both parties it is a desirable situation. Because of the minimum wage law the owner must tell the man “no”. Sorry, I can’t hire you for that wage and can’t afford to pay you more. I work harder, he explains, to do the job myself. I would love to have an employee to take some of that load, but I just can’t. 

Or, that same employer has his employee. He’s managed his business so he can pay his own bills and pay the employee. The federal government comes along and tells him that he must pay the employee more and not just more, but no less than the amount they demand. Without earning any more money himself he must now pay out more. He can’t. He can’t so he fires the employee. It is either fire him, break the law and get fined or worse, or close his doors. his business feeds him so he can’t close. He can’t afford to pay an employee more so he certainly can’t afford fines.

The only thing left for him to do is fire the employee. 

That is another reason I am against a mandated minimum wage. That this happens – that it would happen as a result of a $15 raise in the minimum wage – is something confirmed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in their report on the proposal. 

56975-Minimum-Wage

Democrats are focusing on one part of this report. The part that says it would lift some people out of poverty. How wonderful they say, see, they say, it works! 

“Today’s report makes clear what we’ve known all along: raising the minimum wage — which hasn’t increased since 2009 — to $15 an hour isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s good policy,” Senator Patty Murray, Democrat from Washington said. 

They ignore the part of the report that clearly states it would cause 1.4 million workers to be out of a job which is 56% more people out of work than those raised out of poverty. I am never quite sure why politicians lie like this. They have to know that more bad comes from this than good. If so, then why not just admit that, thank the CBO for their report, and move on? That’s only slightly a rhetorical question. 

Minimum wage laws were born of racism and bigotry

The history of minimum wage is not likely what you think it is. It is marketed by politicians and unions as a way to make sure people have “a living wage” because for some reason that is something everyone is entitled to (more on that later). 

If you have a person who is skilled and a person who is unskilled and you have to pay $15 an hour it is only logical to hire the skilled person. That is exactly what does happen. That means that the unskilled people don’t get jobs and never get the skill that might earn them a higher wage. Then they complain and the government steps in to “help” starting the cycle all over again. 

If you have a person who is skilled and a person who is unskilled and the skilled person is asking $15 an hour and the unskilled person is asking $10 an hour it then makes sense to hire the unskilled person and invest a little of your time making him skilled. Once he is skilled he can ask for a raise and as a business owner you will well know his skill level and if he is worth that raise or not. If you don’t give him a raise he can decide to stay or go. If he decides to stay you might give him a raise for his show of loyalty short of what he was asking but enough to show you appreciate him. If he decides to go he is now skilled and can ask a higher wage from another employer. All that is something both employee and employer are robbed of due to a minimum wage. 

Not having that option employees find themselves unable to get work of any real skill or value without going into massive amounts of debt paying someone to educate them for a job they could have taken at a lower wage and been educated on the job. 

Remember, if something costs more, you buy less of it. Government does this all the time with punitive taxes. They don’t want people to buy cigarettes, they raise the tax (and thus the price) on cigarettes.

A higher wage also increases the number of people competing for a job. It becomes worth it to more people. 

Who are the people with lower skill levels? 

According to national statistics this impacts minorities. Which, if you watched the above video, you know was something those favoring minimum wage laws knew and desired. Back in the day that also included people they deemed stupid (unable to learn complex things), handicapped people, and women. Women have gone into debt to gain the knowledge at a higher rate than men and so do better now than they did in the past. It was thought, back in the day, that it was better that the state just coddle and take care of such people rather than have them in the work force at all. They were, after all, incompetent. 

That left a lot of people out of work and a lot of people on the public dole. This created a higher tax burden on the employed and suddenly their money wasn’t going as far since the government was taking more of it to service the dole. Eventually, the purpose of the minimum wage switched from bigotry to bailing out the system of poverty it had promoted and extolled. Turns out, the public taking care of people rather than having those people work, isn’t’ a good idea after all. 

Now, people who had jobs couldn’t afford to pay their rent. Businesses couldn’t afford to pay them more because they were bogged down in taxes, insurance premiums, and mandated medical insurance as well as their ever growing overhead costs caused by inflation. Everyone was suddenly poor even though they had money and a guaranteed minimum wage. 

What is he solution? Why – more of the same! That is always government’s solution. Their reasoning was that everyone deserves a living wage. 

You aren’t entitled to a living wage. Why would you be? 

To be entitled to something – that means you are owed it or it is a right. 

Under no circumstance are you owed a living wage. What is a living wage? It’s enough money to what? That is the sticky question I seldom hear addressed. You see, the American standard of living is higher than anywhere else in the world. Some other nations come very close to be sure. Even our poor have cell phones, televisions, and a nice pair of Nike’s. 

A minimum wage, it would seem, should get you a minimum standard of living. Food, clothing, and shelter. But even that is complicated. What kind of food? What kind of clothing? What kind of shelter?

And here we run into the thing that always knocks socialism for a loop.

Oh – you didn’t know that the minimum wage was socialistic? Yes indeed it is. 

In real life people are all different. They have different needs and different wants. There is no single standard by which we can measure what is a minimum standard of living. One person can say that minimum for food is some eggs, a bag of flower, some fruits and some vegetables, and milk. From that a nutritious meal can be made. Others will step in and say that can’t be minimum as food also connects to a person mentally and emotionally. Eating the same thing over and over will harm them emotionally. We have to throw in some candy, or cakes, or ice cream, maybe some soda. No, not needed to stay alive physically but who can tell a child no candy? So our minimum standard for food just went up. And it is quite easy to see, using this formula, how that also applies to clothing (personal expression) and housing (but I have two kids and need an art studio). 

To be entitled means that someone must give it to you. With the right to free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to worship, etc. No one gives you anything. They just don’t prevent you from doing something. It puts no burden on them. Nothing says anyone has to give you a platform for your speech, build you a church, or buy you a gun. 

That is why you are not entitled to a living wage, because it puts a burden on someone else that by force removes their property from them and forces them to labor so that you can have a living wage. You should by rights think that is a horrible idea and those who espouse it horrible people.  Ignorance of this fact only goes so far to mitigate just what it is you wish vigorously to impose on others. 

To be entitled to the labor, money, or property of another is to make that other your slave. It doesn’t matter how poor and incompetent you are, you own them and their cash. 

Leftists think this is just fine because that’s the system they want. They want people beholden to other people and to be the ones who control the flow of that slavery from one person to another. 

There are yet more reasons minimum wage laws are bad.

I have hinted at but have not really touched on inflation. Part of the reason is that it is a very complex issue. Just trying to explain it would take as many words below as there are above this point in the article. Suffice it to say that a sudden influx of buying power from employees and forced spending by employers, will inevitably, change the marketplace and therefore the economy through changes in demand-pull and to a lesser degree cost-push inflationary factors. 

Thomas Sowell and others have said that minimum wage laws remove the first rung on the ladder to success. 

I think that’s true. I ponder on my own working experience. My first job was well below minimum wage and I was a child. Though you might be tempted to point out that both of those things are now and were then against the law, the law has a loophole which allows children to work and wages to be set when that job is for a parent or guardian. I worked hard, long hours, for $1.25 an hour. I had more money than any kid my age and it was mine. Not an allowance, not dependent on doing chores around the house or the kindness of others. I earned it and I spent it on action figures and Atari cartridges. If not for the circumstance of who ran the business I could not have gotten that job. That was my rung on the ladder of success and that opportunity helped me get my next job which helped me get the next one. Without that chance I would have missed out on so much experience. 

I think we need to let others make their own choices and deals.

The majority of businesses already pay higher than the minimum wage, though not as high as $15 an hour. So they pay more when they can but there is a limit to how high they can go. We risk breaking our economy by setting an artificially high wage for work that is not at all worth that to the people needing it. Businesses are owned by people. People who have the same need for food, clothing, and shelter, as the people who work for them. Minimum wage laws ignore the people providing that first rung and minimum wage laws treat them like they don’t matter, that their needs aren’t important, that success is a thing to be punished, while ignoring that this success might be precarious. 

As with so many things it boils down to liberty for me. Freedom to choose. Freedom to pursue your happiness, not demand it, is part of our system. I strongly hold that those who seek to take away the agency of man are doing a great evil. That they often do it in the disguise of a helpful face does not change the core of what they are doing. If you think a business should pay a higher wage, that’s a fine thing to think. If you want to force them to do to it using the power of the government and the government’s guns, you are just a bad person – no matter how good your hell-bound intentions are. 

 

What inspired this post: Minimum wage hike to $15 an hour by 2025 would result in 1.4 million unemployed, nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says – The Washington Post

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