Thursday, December 21, 2006

$7.25 per hour

This week President Bush displayed his compassionate conservatism by agreeing to support the Democrat-controlled US Congress' (come January 2007) plan to increase the federal minimum wage by $2.10 to $7.25 per hour over the next two years.

As regular SpaceBeagle readers know I OPPOSE minimum wage laws for numerous reasons but here are some quick bullet points to get your thinking or angry depending on the welfare state of your mind:

  • My first job paid me $1.20 per hour washing dishes. I am only 41 years old so no this was not during the Great Depression which I note for readers given the sad state of our public school system which primarily teaches "social studies" versus "history" courses. This hourly rate and the nasty nature of the work inspired me to study well in school, read a lot of books, and go to university so I could avoid having a career in this field :)
  • Minimum wages are completely arbitrary since they are set by Congress and state legislatures based on political deal making NOT based on any economic models or excellent job performance by individuals.
  • Minimum wages are collectivist in nature -- why should Fred or Barb who work next to you in the assembly line be paid the same that you are when you are busting your ass to earn a promotion to line supervisor and on up the corporate ladder to provide a good life for your children?
  • Minimum wages come as a "gift" from the government not because of personal achievement thus it moves people further along the "Road to Serfdom" (a book by economist Friedrich Hayek which was probably banned from your public school library).

But enough of my speechifying :) Let me offer President Bush's quote that he provided to justify this unnecessary intrusion into the economy by the government:

"So I support pairing it (wage increase) with targeted tax and regulatory relief to help these small businesses stay competitive and to help keep our economy growing."

Targeted? That means government chooses the winners and losers in the economy not consumers. Regulatory relief? Telling a busy what it MUST pay its workers if NOT regulatory relief Mr. President.

The era of Big Government appears never to have died President Clinton,


1 comment:

jdsqrd said...

If the masses trully felt strongly about the "living" wage then there would be no complaining done when prices go up to cover the wage increase. Of course, the increased prices means those paid the least won't be able to afford the goods meaning the new minimum is too low and needs to be raised higher which forces even higher prices...