Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Maybe it's time to stop helping

Dave has this interesting post about the differences between Wal Mart and Costco and their net effect on the poor. His post brings to mind one of the main complaints I have about liberals, that is, that they are very interested in doing something, even if it hurts more than it helps.
My wife (the good Democrat) is railing after me because she is going to support the increase in the minimum wage, and I am not. She learned from Oprah that there are 30 million people who are subsisting off of minimum wage, and she wants them to get a raise. I pointed out that the numbers mean that 90% are living above the minimum wage right now, but that is superflous to her, because she is a kind and caring person. Now, you have to remember that we are comfortably middle class, and the least that our three kids are earning right now is $13 per hour, so we have no immediate stake in the outcome of the referendum.
However, when I point out to her that an increase in the minimum wage will probably result in about 10% or 3 million people losing their jobs, she just snarls, "Whatever!" and is happy that 27 million are getting a raise. I know that she is a compassionate woman, and she is not happy to see 3 million people lose their jobs, but this way she can feel good abour herself, much like the general principals/principles of the Democratic Party. Too bad if you are one of those 3 million though.
But to examine this problem to the fullest extent, are people really getting a raise? If you consider that someone was making 6$ an hour before the increase in the minimum wage, will they get an increase as well? If not, do their experience and longevity go unrewarded? You can continue the increases all along the line. But no one asks the question "Where does the money come from?"
The answer is from the employer, who passes the costs along to the consumer, resulting in higher inflation, because the increase in wages is legislatively driven, not productivity driven. So, with more minimum pay, that means the increase is eroded proportinately, so that there is no real increase in wages, but 3 million people are out of work.
Some help. Maybe we shouldn't always be so quick to help.
Of course, I always complain about carpers who do nothing but point out a problem, and offer nothing to solve it, so I am obligated to offer a solution to the 30 million people that are living on minimum wage. How about this, government funded education that will enhance an employee's assets to the business? Send someone to school to learn how to do spread sheets, or word processing, or whatever it is that the employer requires to maximize output and productivity. This will result in better skilled employees who can command higher wages based on their abilities and contributions to the bottom line.
Hmmm, nah, makes too much sense.

1 comment:

Loki said...

Good thoughts.

Reminds me of an article by John Stossel.

The liberals railed against off-shore sweat shops making clothing for sale in the US.

Their only plan was to shut them down. Not caring that it put the locals out of work. That the locals were making much more than the local wage for the area. The companies just relocated to another country.

The libearls were happy and patted themselves on the back congratulating each other on how kind and wonderful they were and nothing was accomplished. And the locals had no jobs,... again.