Noted black commentator, Thomas Sowell said, “The real minimum wage is zero.”
He is right and the argument for raising it should instead be about its abolition.
Wages are paid by business owners not government. There is no constitutional basis for government arbitrarily setting wage levels. This right was concocted because liberals detest capitalism, reject market forces determining equilibrium and believe government control is always the best option. Experience shows us government interference is the worst solution, unless you believe the DMV, NSA or the IRS are good examples.
A minimum wage higher than market forces would naturally sustain is really a tax using other people’s monies. Paid directly to the constituency that will vote for those socialist politicians who promise something for nothing, it buys incumbency. The corresponding jump in income tax revenue provides the funding for more wealth redistribution. Unions support such legislation because many of their agreements tie member wages to a percentage of the minimum wage, resulting in automatic increases to their contracts.
Minimum wages are not sufficient to raise and support a family. Responsible conduct delays starting a family until supporting one independently is possible via self-improvement. Arbitrarily increasing the minimum wage gives tacit approval to acting foolishly and saps incentives to become better. Raising wages without any increase in performance or expertise is the definition of something for nothing.
Improving value to an employer will improve wages as experience is gained. Once one becomes more valuable, they can rightfully negotiate for higher wages. If the current employer doesn’t see that value, then labor goes elsewhere. That is how it works in a world that values hard work, self reliance and fairness. The real issue is not the topic showcasing the agenda as advertised. The minimum wage is most importantly about buying votes and almost as importantly, about attacking capitalism, business and success. Wages are a cost of doing business. As any expense, it gets passed on to the consumer creating inflation. Only 1.2% of workers make minimum wage.
This topic has gained traction because many American’s have lost their way. The absence of civics training in our schools have left generations clueless as to how a representative republic functions under our constitution. The rugged individualism of our founders has yielded to an entitlement mentality formed gradually and easily through an education system controlled by the liberal elite. Add to this the ever expansive government machine creating a system of welfare so easily attainable that the choices between work and idleness become competing options with little difference in a modest lifestyle, usually augmented in the underground or criminal economies.
Ironically, raising the minimum wage will contribute to our demise while we are being told how it will make us all better. Saddled with a poor education and undeserved high self-esteem, rid of the concept of self-reliance, many will continue to climb aboard the government wagon while fewer and fewer are equipped and willing to pull it.