Prairie State Wire

Prairie State Wire

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Leef: The minimum wage - another "feels good" lie

By Jeffrey Leef | Oct 11, 2019


 “Minimum wage law is a monument to the power of superficial thinking.” – Milton Friedman

The best way for me to describe, not only minimum wage, but most Democratic/Liberal/Leftist policies is through fairy tale:

One late fall day, in the far-off land of Oak Park, Illinois, a white middle-aged couple were walking home from a local vegan restaurant. They were quite chilly as the crisp night air seemed to almost frost their toes; a phenomenon to which they were quite accustomed when wearing hemp sandals in fall.

But this discomfort did not dissuade them from stopping when a man, so thin that the weight of the iPhone in his pocket was pulling down his pants, walked up to them and pleaded,

“Can you spare some change? I am out of work and hungry.”

Ignoring their own extreme discomfort, (produced by their noble efforts to lower their carbon footprint), the couple not only gave the man $10 dollars but, with self-righteous glee, handed the poor soul their leftover kale with quinoa salad and beet burger.

The couple walked home that night, and after setting the home security alarm, they laid their heads down on their pillows feeling good that in one day, they decreased the carbon footprint, contributed to staving off the ravages of climate change, and improved the financial well-being of whom they can only hope was an illegal immigrant.

Now those of us who, with the help of our parents, developed the areas in the brain responsible for critical thinking and logic, know that, the current Democratic party platform is, at best, nonsense, and, at worst, the intentional evil design of leftist ideology.

Why then is it necessary for me to explain the malignant results of minimum wage; the same message that Milton Friedman much more eloquently expressed starting about 1965?

Why? Because the Left is both patient and relentless; with rigidly principled immorality, they unflaggingly preach their falsehoods until a new wave of simpletons wantonly consume them.

Ok. Enough of my hateful rhetoric. Let’s talk facts.

I will start with the holy grail of all Democratic presidential candidates – The Congressional Budget Office (CBO). 

As is their penchant, the Democrats sing the praises of the CBO when the its conclusions even come close to sniffing the stench wafting from policies such as the glorious wonders of Obamacare.

And yet, when this very office produced the recent report not in keeping with Democratic mystical thinking, (for every person pulled out of poverty by the minimum wage, 3 people will lose their jobs), the sounds of crickets are but rarely interrupted by the muffled sobs of democrats from atop their moral high ground.

This comprehensive report based on dozens of empirical studies also revealed that the so-called Raise the Wage Act of 2019 is as nearly great a misnomer as the Affordable Care Act.

This newest ode to governmental legislative incompetence will reduce real family income by $9 billion as the reduction in employment alone will far offset the increase in some workers pay.

There of course is more.

The city government of Seattle foolishly commissioned a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research to evaluate the effects of raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

 I am sure that Seattle progressives were curled at the feet of economist turned socialist journalist, Paul Krugman, awaiting the results from the study that would surely prove Krugman correct and logic wrong.

But lo and behold! 

The study revealed that low-wage workers earned LESS money for the year.

What caused the result which shocked no one with cortical function? 

First, when struggling small business owners are forced by the government to pay a wage higher than what the employee can produce, the owner responds with decreasing the workers’ hours. 

Second, the heavy hand of government can force you to pay unskilled workers more, but, at least for now, you can’t be forced to hire them in the first place.

Despite these reports, every current Democratic presidential candidate supports raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Another sad but true example of how this governmental policy produced exactly opposite the effect of which it was intended can be seen with actions of the corporation which is our country’s leader in providing entry-level jobs – McDonald’s.

In direct response to the rising minimum wage, McDonald’s marched out the robots.

 In 2016 McDonald’s placed self-order kiosks in 14,000 of its restaurants. Wendy’s and countless other companies and businesses responded in similar fashion.

The result of course was eliminating an invaluable and vital resource – jobs for the young. 

Gone are thousands of jobs which once enabled our youth to learn the basics of a business as well as the value of earning a salary. 

Societal losses are significant as well. 

When you combine poor schools and no jobs for unskilled labor, this provides the flashpoint for the raging violence in virtually every large (and Democrat-controlled) metropolitan city in the United States.

And even more devastating is that the group most hurt by the disaster of minimum wage is the African-American community; the very group for which Democrats claim to advocate (You know. The same way that Democratic Senators Al Gore Sr. and Robert Byrd supported the Civil Rights Act of 1965).

In 2011 (that would be during the latter part of President Obama’s first term), a study released by labor economists William Even of Miami University in Ohio and David Macpherson of Trinity University of Texas, showed the following:

  • Among white males ages 16-24, each 10% increase in federal or state minimum wage decreased employment by 2.5%.
  • For Hispanic males, 1.2%
  • For black males, 6.5%
Is it a mystery that the leading cause of death of males ages 16-24 on Chicago’s south and west sides is homicide?

And despite the complete absence of data demonstrating any benefit of minimum wage on society, prosperity and growth, Democrats continue to worship this false God. 

It therefore should come as no surprise that Democratic politicians support unions, and unions support raising minimum wage.

Well Golly! Those union leaders sure care about the poor!

Right. And soon O.J. will catch the real killer.

The largest union in the country, the AFL-CIO promotes minimum wage because in doing so, it protects its members from the competition of people of lower pay coming to take their coveted jobs.

Ok. Enough.

 This is like me watching JAWS for the 50th time. 

No matter how I hope and pray, Quint’s getting eaten.

The only way that minimum wage will work is when government takes over all businesses and pays its indentured servants what it feels they are worth.

While doing so, it may as well confiscate and redistribute individual wealth, just as the most famous bartender in the country demands.

Watch yourselves. 

The Democratic party is taking you on a trip on the Orca and you likely will not be one of the anointed happily paddling to shore. 

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Jeffrey Leef