The Minimum Wage and Other Liberal Lunacy

Recently a person I have known since high school posted a liberal talking point type meme to her Facebook page.  As has become standard for me these days, I draw inspiration from what people post on Facebook and delve a bit deeper in to it here.  As we have become something of a bumper-sticker society, with people saying (or rather regurgitating) things they have given little or no practical thought to.  Facebook is for quick, attention gathering, snippets.  Blogs are for more lengthy, well reasoned, thoughts.

So let me start with some basics.

The intention, I think, of most liberals is an honest one.  They see people suffering and they want to help.  The problem is that their brains stop working as soon as their hearts take over, and they are unable to calculate actual answers to the problems they see.  They are in fact unable to apply the things they do in their own lives to the society as a whole.

My friend, for example, just posted pictures of her own child solving the problem of minimum wage not being a living wage.  They were pictures of her dropping her kid off at college.  You see, education is one of the solutions to low wages.  But when it comes to society as a whole, my friend would prefer to rally for raising the minimum wage, rather than accepting the fact that minimum wage is an entry level wage for uneducated kids, and not a living wage for adults.

So what actually happens when you raise the minimum wage?  That’s simple actually.  It produces upward pressure on the economy and drives prices up.  Let’s take a couple of simple examples to highlight what I am talking about.

The burger flipper gets their dream of a minimum wage set at $15/hr.  (This was pushed by unions btw).  So what happens next?  Well…the bricklayer’s apprentice who is making $14/hr says to his boss, “I’m not going to stand out here busting my ass all day when I can go down to McDonald’s and make a dollar an hour more to stand around in the AC asking people if they want fries with that!”  If the bricklayer wishes to keep his apprentice, he must offer him a higher wage.  This scenario plays out all over the trades.  Electricians, plumbers, masons, carpenters…all must raise their wages (which is what the unions want).  So now what?  A $150,000 house becomes a $225,000 house, and the McDonald’s worker still can’t afford it.

7-11 workers start making $15/hr, and cab drivers start thinking about how nice it would be to work in one location.  Cops start figuring, “Hell, I spend half my time standing around 7-11 anyway and I only make $18/hr.  Why not?”  So what happens next?  Cab companies and police departments must raise wages in order to keep good employees.  So your cab rides become more expensive and your taxes go up…and the McDonald’s worker still can’t afford shit.

In North Dakota in recent years there has been an oil boom.  It has recently tapered off due to a precipitous drop in oil prices.  Unfortunately, if you don’t understand wages there is little to no hope of me explaining commodities.  Nevertheless, in areas where good paying oil field jobs were available, Walmart was paying greeters $20/hr.  Yes, greeters.  The men and women whose sole job is to say “Welcome to Walmart”.  Why were they paying them $20/hr?  Because they had to pay that wage to keep people working at Walmart rather than the oil fields.

So the solution to increasing wages, as we can see from a real life example, is to generate wealth and thereby raise the wages of skilled labor.  This is what liberals derisively call “trickle down economics”.  They call it that in a snotty tone of voice, because in reality they have absolutely no idea how the economy works.  They believe the rich are hoarding money and intentionally keeping the poor down. But the actual fact is that there is not a single job anywhere in the United States that was created by a person on welfare.  It is the creation and pursuit of wealth that creates jobs.  An abundance of jobs creates upward pressure on wages.  A rising tide lifts all boats, as the saying goes.

The other factor that liberals seem completely oblivious to is the fact that if historically low-wage positions are forced by federal or state mandate to become middle-income jobs, employers will start hiring college graduates and experienced people.  Those “entry-level” people typically hired for those positions will find themselves unemployed rather than employed at a lower wage than they would like.  And so, as is often the case with liberal programs, the intended effect will never actually be realized, and the unintended consequences will be counter-productive.

Add in the liberal ideal that illegal aliens should be allowed to flow freely across our borders, be given amnesty and eventually citizenship, and allowed to flood our schools, hospitals, and social welfare programs.  These illegals you are rooting for are escaping countries that are circling the drain because of policies that are in many ways identical to the policies that democrats support.  By and large, these people vote democrat.  So guess what?  They are slowly transforming this nation in to the nations that they were trying to escape to begin with.

You see this same dynamic as people from the north flee high taxes and regulation by moving south.  Then they elect representatives that institute the same policies they were fleeing, and turn their new state or city in to the same environment they just left.  This makes sense to someone?

So now what?  A bunch of low-skill, low-wage workers flood the market.  Your special snowflake cannot find a job without a degree.  So college degrees become mandatory for anyone seeking something better than a minimum wage job.  The government guarantees loans, the entire populace is seeking a degree, and what happens…supply and demand baby.  College costs go up.  A LOT!  And then, everyone and their brother has a bachelor’s degree, so now your snowflake must seek a Master’s Degree or PhD. to stand out.

Now your kid graduates college with $100,000 in loans, awash in a sea of similarly inexperienced but recently graduated individuals, and struggles to find a job.  Why?  Because rather than push the economy forward with policies that expand wealth creation, and therefor expand the job market, we are pushing policies that make misery slightly more bearable.

We need to expand the manufacturing base, energy production, technology, etc.  Create more jobs at higher wages and you create a vacuum at the bottom end, thus raising wages organically rather than artificially.

At the core of all these issues where liberals and conservatives clash is a fairly simple concept that seems to escape liberals completely.  If we continue to tear down the top in an effort to raise the bottom, eventually we all reside in the middle.  In this regard, economics works much like physics.  We must exploit the difference in heat/energy in order to produce work.  This is exemplified in the concept of the heat death of the universe.  When everything is a uniform temperature you cannot exploit the difference (because there isn’t one) in heat between two objects to produce anything.  (Think of heating up a kettle to make tea.  You cannot do this if you cannot raise the temperature of the burner above the temperature of the water.)

So too the heat death of the economy.  If you try to reduce the gap between rich and poor by bringing down the rich instead of elevating the poor, you eventually wind up (in theory) at a place where there is no capital (outside of government) to exploit in creating new jobs, new technology, innovation, efficiencies, etc.

This is demonstrable in current circumstance.  Choose any communist/socialist nation on the face of the planet.  Then Google “medical advances in <insert communist nation here>”.  Or simply see if you can answer this question.  There are numerous space probes, satellites, and other high tech gadgets floating through space studying our universe.  How many of them were designed, built, launched and maintained by Paraguay?  How about Peru, Nicaragua, Argentina…Canada?

How has the socialism that democrats like Bernie Sanders promotes worked out over the years?  Anyone remember the USSR?  What’s the most prosperous place in China, with the highest standard of living?  Hong Kong, right?  Why is that?

The bottom line is simple.  Liberals intentionally suspend their perception of reality and understanding of history.  Socialism has never worked anywhere.  Government price and wage controls result in stagnation, a lack of innovation, massive inefficiency, waste, fraud and abuse.  This is a simple fact and clearly demonstrable by taking even a cursory glance at our own government as it exists.

There is not a single thing our government does which could not be done more quickly, more efficiently, cheaper, and at higher quality if it were done by private industry.  We have anti-trust laws to prevent monopolies because they stifle competition.  We recognize that competition drives wages, innovation, etc.  Yet the biggest monopoly in our country is the federal government, and our fellow citizens turn to this monopoly to solve their problems.  This makes no sense.

If you want your snowflake to have a better life at higher wages, let me offer you two tips.

  1. Teach them to be something other than a burger flipper
  2. Stop supporting the influx of millions of unskilled illegals that directly compete with your snowflake and keep wages suppressed.

And stop posting memes about shit you don’t understand…


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