Friday, July 19, 2013

Spread the Poverty: Increase Minimum Wage

In February during President Obama's State of the Union address he advocated raising minimum wage to $9.00 an hour.  In March, during a Senate hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asked why minimum wage is not $22.00 an hour--adding that it would be if it kept pace with inflation.

Ever increasing minimum wage is a long-standing sacred cow of liberalism.  Under the guise of "helping the little guy" they consistently promote requiring higher and higher salaries for entry level unskilled jobs.  I wrote about some of the perils of this mindset in March in my post: Minimum Wage and Maximum Earnings: Opposite Sides of the Same Coin.  I found Warren's position particularly interesting because though she touts excessively high minimum wage for unskilled workers, she also advocated for setting price caps for trained professionals during her tenure with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Hopefully, we will not see an increased federal minimum wage any time in the near future, but the Progressive Hell we fondly call Washington D.C. is experimenting with its own increase to minimum wage.  The "Large Retailer Accountability" bill passed city council and now just needs the D.C. mayor's signature.

Called the anti-Wal-Mart bill, the law mandates a "living wage" of $12.50 an hour to be paid by businesses with more than $1 billion in annual revenue and more than 75,000 square feet of space.  D.C.'s current minimum wage is $8.25 an hour--the living wage is a 50% premium over the current minimum.  The law is supposed to apply immediately only to future Wal-Marts, but existing stores would have to comply within four years.

D.C. is a very expensive town where the elites live like royalty and the number of homeless people on the streets is always alarming to me.  But even in the upside-down, backwards world of socialist progressives, this law makes no sense. estimates that if the mayor of D.C. refuses to veto this ordinance, the new law will cost D.C. as many as 4000 jobs--3000 full time and 1000 in the construction sector.  That is four thousand local residents who would have been earning at least $8.25 an hour and would have been working for corporations where they at least have an opportunity for training, promotion and advancement, who will be denied that opportunity because the great minds on city council believe that entry level pay should be $12.50 rather than $8.25 an hour.  (And this is a false comparison anyway, because the choice is not between $12.50 and $8.25 an hour--it is between $8.25 an hour and unemployment.  Wal-Mart has already announced that if the law is passed they will scrap plans to open  additional stores in D.C.)

When I wrote on the minimum wage issue in March, I made the point that wages have to be graduated to give people incentive to work, to improve their situations, to take advantage of training and to get the skills they need to be able to improve their lives.  If an entry level person can start at $22.00 an hour, they have no incentive to do anything to try to move up.  A free market system works only if there are rewards for hard work and initiative--take those away and no one has any incentive to do anything.
But in the case of the D.C. city council, they are killing a major opportunity for people to get hired and start improving their lives.  Unfortunately, this mindset is inherent to progressive socialism, which despises and punishes effort, hard work and initiative and encourages everyone to sit idly by, dependent on government for everything.  While liberals nationwide are cheering the D.C. city council and hoping that other cities will adopt their model for running off Wal-Mart the rest of us should be shaking our heads in disgust at a mindset that prefers unemployment to gainful work.

Find out what Agenda 21 is, how it is being implemented, and what you can do about it:  Agenda 21: Bankrupting America into Utopia--One City at a Time.

Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at

1 comment:

  1. Your blog post with contrast is done quite well to show both sides of coin.