Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

THE MINIMUM WAGE

 


Once again, there is a lot of noise being made across the country to raise the minimum wage in a make-believe effort to help the poor workers at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. And once again, if any of this crap should ever become law, it will have the exact, opposite effect its promoters are touting.

What are our so-called “leaders” thinking? What is going through the minds of these people? Do they honestly believe they are helping anybody? Is it going to help workers pull themselves up to higher levels?

The notorious Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 20th century's most dishonorable American “President” is the culprit we can blame for initiating an artificial wage in our country. He first tried it in 1933, during his first year in office. Fortunately, the Supreme Court soon struck it down. But in 1938, he and Congress finally managed to push it through. Since then, it has mushroomed from a modest twenty five cents an hour to the current $7.15.

Over the years, teenagers, unskilled, and inexperienced people have found that gaining initial employment and learning experience has become more and more difficult. There was once a time when any teenager who wanted work could find it readily. They earned money by bagging groceries, shining shoes, delivering papers, mowing lawns, becoming helpers at various companies, and even driving school buses. This “menial” employment provided a valuable work ethic that is lacking in many people today. The minimum wage, along with various licensure and insurance mandates, has now put an end to much of it.

How does a minimum wage help America's economy? Who could possibly benefit from depriving employers and employees of their right to decide among themselves what wages they should earn? The answer is absolutely nobody. There are no benefits whatsoever. A person’s wage has to be earned—not coerced.

But artificial wages have costs—heavy costs:

1. They force the prices of practically everything upward, usually more than the mandated increases the workers get.

2. The higher labor costs and prices make American products less competitive on world markets, thus increasing our trade deficit.

3. These same costs accelerate the movement of American manufacturers to other countries where labor is cheaper.

4. Although a few might benefit from the forced increase, many others will lose their jobs. Many employers will replace workers with robots and other automation.

5. Some companies that are operating on the edge of solvency will be unable to absorb the extra costs and will be forced to close. All of their employees will lose their jobs.

6. Unemployment will rise. As a result, people who have been earning their own livings will be forced to accept government handouts to survive.

7. We will be forced into higher income tax brackets with no increase in buying power.

8. And yes, the hassles of government enforcement agents sticking their noses into private businesses have their costs—both in money and harassment.

As soon as an increase takes place, unemployment rises, productivity diminishes, and dependency on government rises. Fewer people can support themselves, and more are enslaved by the government. Some of the unemployed will be forced into criminal activities and black markets—just to survive and feed their families. What kind of “do-gooder” does it take to support a policy like that?

Minimum wage laws can even be racist. As an example from the very beginning in 1933, according to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, FDR's little scheme caused 500,000 low-skilled black people to lose their jobs. Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman said the minimum wage was an adverse “anti-negro law.” In apartheid South Africa, unions pushed for minimum wages so low-skilled black workers could not compete for jobs with their only trump card—their willingness to work for lower wages.

Right now unemployment is fairly low. This is largely due to the time span that has passed since the minimum wage was last jacked up. Nevertheless, a sizable number of people at the bottom are suffering from chronic unemployment.

There is no such thing as an "unfair" wage. When a worker accepts a job, he accepts the salary that it pays. If he feels that the salary is too low, he can refuse to accept the job, or quit it. No worker has a right to force someone to pay a higher wage than he is willing to pay. Likewise, no employer has a right to force anyone to work for a wage that is unacceptable. And finally, no government or other third party has a right to interfere.

America is supposed to be a free country—one where everybody can buy and sell goods and services in a free market.

Everybody who prefers freedom over slavery should demand a REPEAL of the minimum wage, not an increase.

 

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