Minimum wage. Every year this seems to come up, and every year there’s a never-ending cry from every unskilled, low-wage worker that they need more money because of corporate exploitation. Then come in others who are more well off, who want to buy their guilt using money from other people, to take up the banner and proclaim loudly they are in support of a “living wage” and are, in fact, moral and not exploiting their fellow man.
The only problem: they are the root cause of low wages and people being trapped in unskilled, low-wage jobs. But, how can this be? Isn’t the problem of low wages the companies not paying people what they’re worth? No! The issue is these jobs shouldn’t exist to begin with.
What? Someone against jobs? I can almost hear the cries of people proclaiming “how dare you suggest a job isn’t worth doing!” The cold, painful fact is that these jobs only exist because companies find them cheaper than automated alternatives right now. Why are they cheaper? Because the government subsidizes the living of the low-wage workers and therefore they can “live” off $7.25 an hour.
Consider this: you pay taxes to the government. The government then takes that money and uses it for the low income in various ways: SNAP, WIC, HUD, MedicAid, local food stamps, and net-income tax credits (getting money from the government without paying any income tax). All these add up to several thousand dollars a year. They get free/reduced cost doctors visits, free/reduced cost food, free/reduced cost housing, and checks in the mail.
Now, what does this have to do with Walmart or Target? Well if someone can be given $21,000 of services just by being alive, then they don’t need $15 an hour to earn a living, effective wage of $35,000 a year – they only need $7.25 or $8 an hour. Walmart and Target profit from the government subsidizing their labor and they get subsidized by the very people who complain how terrible Walmart and Target are!
Liberals, if you hate Walmart and want higher wages – stop voting for entitlements. Walmart, Coca-Cola, Kroger, and more lobby in support of SNAP because it makes their profits go up.
Here, right from the senate.gov itself: http://soprweb.senate.gov/index.cfm?event=getFilingDetails&filingID=0EC45790-9873-4B29-86FC-8671B7451F8A&filingTypeID=69
Or, if you prefer the distilled version, opensecrets.org does a great job summarizing it: http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2012/12/more-than-70-groups-in-play-over-sn.html
So you might finally ask: but, if these programs left, the jobs would vanish as machines would replace people in McDonalds, Walmart, and other places. What about them then? Well, people don’t starve and if given a choice between learning a skill and earning an income or starving in the street – people will do the former. A higher income that gives a better quality of life – we all aren’t tilling fields and picking cotton with our hands anymore, are we? No, we’re becoming doctors, engineers, carpenters, electricians, and more. All of these jobs create more wealth than unskilled labor jobs and raise the standard of living. People are not stupid, they are not incapable, and they are not victims like we’ve been led to believe by those who profit from their misery. People, however, will take the path of least resistance and as a species we have evolved to do the least effort for the most reward – that’s how we became the dominant species on the planet. It’s a successful strategy for survival.
We need to stop using these broad sweeping terms of political ideology and instead actually look at the root underlying causes. I could never blame someone who lives off welfare and food stamps – they’ve accepted a quality of life without having to lift a finger to do it. Same with those on unemployment – they COULD get a lower paying job than before, but they choose not to because a check comes in the mail for not doing anything each month. If it didn’t, I promise you’d see lot more temporarily employed people as they look for a better job.
We resist the temptation to spoil our children by providing them with everything that they want. Instead, good parents instill work ethic into their children that makes our nation’s youth earn those things. It is only strange that half the nation suddenly forgets those teachings when it comes to themselves.