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You Didn’t Earn That: Minimum Wage

You Didn’t Earn That: Minimum Wage

 The Misses and I have used “Dish Network” for several years.  We have always been happy with their service.  A week or so ago we were watching a recorded show when the screen froze.  LOOOONG story short we needed a new receiver.  Because I called after hours on a Friday night, the replacement wouldn’t ship until Monday and we wouldn’t receive it until Wednesday.  That’s right, almost a whole week without TV.  BLUH!! It was HORRIBLE.  We actually had to resort to talking to each other like cavemen…er…cavepeople (sorry).  I don’t recommend it to AN-KNEE-ONE.

Because we didn’t have the means, I was unable to watch the President’s State of the Union Address.  This simultaneously both irritated and thrilled me.  I had all kinds of intentions of watching the speech the next day, but didn’t, and I haven’t yet.  All I know is he talked about minimum wage, education and immigration (shocker).  These three things are the trifecta of Democrat dumbassery.   Hold on.  That’s not entirely fair.  They are the trifecta of Republican dumbassery as well, but for completely different reasons.

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Democrats only have a few really good cards in their deck.  “Caring” and “For the Children” are their favorites.  The other most used is “Warmongering, racist jerk.”

Republicans, on the other hand, have the challenge to explain complex issues into a sound bite, which they know will never be played on Network Television.  And you can’t explain a complex issue on a bumper-sticker.  So Republicans are pretty much outta luck.

So even though it will bore me to tears, I’m going to TRY to get my thoughts down about these three issues.  I’ll start with Minimum wage.

If you don’t know, the President wants to raise the national minimum wage to $9.00 an hour.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I can see the President wanting to do it is for only two reasons.  The first is that it appeals to his base.  He gets to look like a knight in shining armor, swooping in to help the poor (for those who think it all the way through he looks more like an idiot in tinfoil).  The second reason is, it demonizes the Republicans.  They would look like a bunch of heartless meanies for not wanting to help.  If they don’t cave, like they normally do on this issue, the President can sob, saying the Republicans just oppose raising the wage because HE suggested it (see racism).

It’s a win/win for him.

2009 State of the Union

The fact of the matter is most Americans make well above $9.00 an hour.  So the issue is about other people.  It is super easy to get behind it.  “It doesn’t affect ME at all.”  So, as a country, we tune it out, go back to watching “Dancing with the Stars” and don’t think about the logic behind the regulation.  It is easier to bow to the social pressure.  After all, we don’t want to come across as uncaring.  Right?

So if it is a small, small percentage of Americans who make minimum wage, and everyone knows if you work hard you can demand more than minimum wage, is the extra $1.75/hr going to help the country as a whole?

I guess that’s my question.  Why just nine bucks?  It seems almost silly. Sure it’s a 24% increase, but in the real world it’s a buck 75.

Quick hypnotical: what would happen if Republicans demanded a substantial minimum wage?  Why $9.00/hr – which will help a very few – when you could raise it to $50.00/hr which will help a whole ton of people?  Sure, in a few weeks a loaf of bread would go from $3.50 (for a decent loaf) to $25.00, but at least we’ll be spreading the wealth around.  Right?

My guess is the Democrats would backpedal.  They know it would kill the economy quickly.  They prefer to kill it slowly, so they won’t get the blame.

Most employers (all of them) go into business to make money.  The more profit they make, the more goods or services they provide, the more people they hire, etc, etc.  When faced with a payroll hike they have one of four options: 1) Raise the rates to the new minimum, 2) Let employees go, 3) Downsize their jobs (employing them for fewer hours),  or 4) Raise the prices on their goods or services and hope people will still use them.  If you think about it, the forth option is really a hidden tax.

Most employers will do one of the four and then invest in goods to make labor more productive, so they can hire fewer people down the road, or shift their production overseas.  The effect on employment is still there, it just isn’t “in your face.”

It will never happen, but imagine if Republicans grew a pair and ‘upped the ante’- if they demanded a substantial raise.  At least it would force the country to have a grown-up conversation about it.

At the risk of sounding heartless, the sad truth is if an employee is worth more than $7.25 an hour and they are not being paid more, it is up to them to find work somewhere else.  If they can’t find it, they are probably only worth $7.25.  Having the government dictate that the employer pay $9.00 for $7.25 worth of work not only creates high unemployment for teens and unskilled workers, it is also intellectually dishonest.  If someone is having a hard time understanding this, have them explain why we shouldn’t raise the minimum wage to $50 an hour.


LIFEZILLA:  Not entirely sure what a “Propriate” is, but apparently I’m sometimes in it.

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U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk through a gate in the Columbia Parc Development to visit newly built homes in New Orleans