Opposing an Increase in the Minimum Wage

minimum wageRecently, Swiss voters rejected a proposal that would have increased their minimum wage to the highest on earth.  Good. Maybe these countries are starting to see the insanity of throwing money at problems that are never solved by the throwing of money.  Now while I’m fine with having a minimum wage, you will never increase wealth or decrease poverty by simply raising the wages that employers have to pay low-wage earners.

Again, these wages are not intended to represent a living wage.  They are meant to be a basement level wage, the lowest that anyone can offer to anyone else for an hour’s wage.  If you want to make more than this, you need to be worth paying more to.  That means you have to have a decent education.  You have to have job skills.  You have to have work history.  You have to have a work ethic.  You need to get off your ass and make yourself more valuable to your employer than the bargain basement wage and if you can’t, then you don’t deserve a living wage.

That’s really the thing, these jobs have never been intended to raise a family on or to live on at all.  They have always been meant for the young and inexperienced worker as jobs with training wheels.  You’re not supposed to be holding these jobs long-term.  You’re supposed to get your experience, learn your lessons, get your education and move on to bigger and better things.  Heck, in my case, the only minimum wage job I ever held lasted less than a year, until I got my first scheduled raise and I’ve never looked back.  Neither should anyone else.

It’s unfortunate that lots of liberals are too emotional to realize that raising the minimum wage doesn’t actually make low-wage worker’s lives easier.  As you raise the minimum wage, producers of most basic products find that their costs go up.  Not only do they have to pay their own workers more, but all of their raw materials go up as well because their suppliers now have higher costs as well.  Therefore, as wages go up, so do costs.  It isn’t long until everything levels out again, wages are too low to buy things that low-wage workers need or want and thus we do it again and again.

What a lot of these people just don’t understand is that wages and costs are inexorably interrelated.  One always affects the other.  You cannot raise one without raising the other, but liberals don’t tend to understand the economy, or much of anything else, they think that money grows on trees, or comes from the pockets of the wealthy, and is a resource for them to steal at their whim.  No.  The people who have earned the money are the wealthy.  The poor simply haven’t.  If the poor had earned the money, they wouldn’t have their hands out.   They ought to earn money of their own rather than expecting the people who work hard to hand it over to them.

In fact, the reality is that Switzerland doesn’t have a minimum wage at all!  They let the market dictate wages and their wages are still higher than in the U.S.  Their unemployment is just over 3%, which is, at least as of this writing, half of ours.

This is what liberalized and socialized economics looks like.  It’s a mess.  It’s people wanting everyone to get the same no matter how hard they work when the only rational position is that people earn what they get based on how hard they work.  Switzerland is smart enough to see that, why aren’t we?

3 thoughts on “Opposing an Increase in the Minimum Wage”

  1. "They have always been meant for the young and inexperienced worker as jobs with training wheels."

    This is simply false. The minimum wage was not adopted to provide a place for teens nor inexperienced workers. I suggest you research the history of the minimum wage. When first enacted the during the depression years, its targeted audience most certainly was not "the young and inexperienced workers." Each time the minimum wage was increased, its target audience was not the "young and inexperienced worker." I know this view fits your narrative on the topic of the minimum wage, but your narrative is as wrong as is your statement above.

  2. "In fact, the reality is that Switzerland doesn’t have a minimum wage at all! "

    "This is what liberalized and socialized economics looks like."

    Are you not aware that Switzerland is a social democracy in that it has a much more extensive social safety net than does the United States? Switzerland spends twice what the United States does on social insurance programs <a href="http://(http://siteresources.worldbank.org/SAFETYNETSANDTRANSFERS/Resources/281945-1124119303499/SSNPrimerNote25.pdf)” target=”_blank”>(http://siteresources.worldbank.org/SAFETYNETSANDTRANSFERS/Resources/281945-1124119303499/SSNPrimerNote25.pdf). Switzerland also has a significantly lower level of both wealth and income inequality.

    Perhaps if the United States had greater social insurance programs like Switzerland, the minimum wage would not be an issue.

  3. "The purpose of the minimum wage was to stabilize the post-depression economy and protect the workers in the labor force. The minimum wage was designed to create a minimum standard of living to protect the health and well-being of employees." — http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/minimum_wage

    It should be apparent from the above excerpt that the minimum wage law was not designed and implemented to aid teens entering the workforce nor to serve as a support mechanism for inexperienced workers. It is obvious that when you were a teenager you used and viewed the law this way, so invented the assumption that this was and is its purpose. You are wrong. I challenge you to find anywhere in the literature on the history of the minimum wage or the debates held in Congress at any time in the past any discussion of the notion that the target audience of the minimum wage was teenagers and inexperienced workers.

    Here are a few other excerpts about the purpose of the Minimum Wage Law, and by implication whom the minimum wage was meant to serve:

    "The FLSA introduced sweeping regulations to protect American workers from being exploited, and created a mandatory federal minimum wage of 25 cents an hour in order to maintain a "minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency and general well-being, without substantially curtailing employment". — http://www.minimum-wage.org/history.asp

    "In modern times, minimum wage law serves the purpose of establishing a "living wage"–mostly for lower-class families that depend on the manual labor jobs which often pay the least. The federal minimum wage usually equates to a yearly salary that falls below the poverty line, according to Dollars and Sense." — http://smallbusiness.chron.com/purpose-minimum-wa

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