Friday, July 12, 2013

The "Living Wage" Scam

     One of the core fundamentals of our constitutional republic is the adherence to equal protection under the law. The very sound of these words strung together to express one of the primary ideals of our founding, is a high pitched screech to those on the Left. Unless, of course, equal protection is applied to one of the Lefts victim groups that they use to increase the size of government, thereby increasing their power. The virtue of equal protection under the law does not seem to be an issue for the Left when it comes to their discriminatory policies and laws.
     To Witt: Recently the D.C. city council passed a "living wage" law that requires employers to pay employees $12.50 an hour, a fifty percent increase over the nation's minimum wage of $8.25 an hour. But here is the rub, the law does not apply to all businesses in the D.C. area, but only big box stores (read: Wal-Mart). Wal-Mart was in the process of building 3 new stores in the D.C. area with possibly three more to come. As a result of the new law, Wal-Mart has cancelled the three possible stores and may stop construction on the three already in progress. Thousands of jobs will be lost, many of them manager, assistant manager and other executive positions. So not only is the ordinance blatantly discriminatory, something the Left claims to despise, but it will have the effect of keeping unemployment high in an area predominantly inhabited by minorities.
     If you ask proponents of a "living wage" law why the living wage should not be $20 an hour or even $100 an hour, they will say that no business that employs unskilled labor could afford to pay that much. But it seems clear that they have no problem imposing a wage on businesses that is just as arbitrary. What the so-called "living wage" is really about is raising the nation's minimum wage as high as possible so that union contracts will trigger an automatic raise, since most of them use the minimum wage as a baseline for their pay. Higher union salaries means more dues to the unions and more money going right back into the Democrat party coffers. Is it not interesting to anyone else that the people who will benefit the most from "a living wage" are the very Democrat politicians and activists that are pushing it. The "working poor," who they claim to want to help, will be hurt the most because it will mean a loss of low-skilled jobs.
     Democrats have done a good job of promoting institutional ignorance in the area of how money is earned in the free market. The minimum wage is one of the worst deals for those it is suppose to help. Study after study have shown that when the minimum wage is raised, low-skilled jobs are reduced, hurting those who may depend on them for subsistence. For years, employers like Wal-Mart have paid higher wages than the minimum wage, not because government told them to do so, but because the market did. The myth about minimum wage is that there are millions of people trying to support families on the meager earnings. The truth is that according to the Department of Labor statistics, a vast majority of minimum wage earners are people who are not heads of households, e.g. students, second earners and part timers.
     The "Living Wage' is just one more ploy by the Left to fool people into thinking that they care about them, when all they really care about is consolidating power in the halls of government. The D.C. city council decision is illustrative of how Leftist policies actually hurt those they claim to want to help. With help like this, it is no wonder the chronically impoverished stay that way.

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