Recently, 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?