Hate Low Wages? Blame Government

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.

Your kids are not entitled to my money, job or quality of life

Let’s be frank: your kids are not entitled to a good job.  They are not entitled to a college education, a big house, a steady income or a stress-free life.  They also are not entitled to my money (or anyone else’s) or supposedly “free” healthcare, a free lunch or free car.  Your kids are not entitled to anything.

Well, except to one thing: the opportunity to work hard, stay motivated and build themselves a quality of life that they can be proud of.  This means tearing their faces away from their cell phones, computers and video game consoles long enough for them to observe and embrace reality as we know it.  For good or for bad, this is the world that we live in, and the sooner our children come to grips with that, the sooner they will become productive members of society.

According to a continuous yearly survey among our nation’s young people, our kids feel more entitled, more superior, more “great” than ever.  Why?  Perhaps because social media outlets provide kids with an area in which to build themselves up into something they aren’t.  The number of Facebook friends or Twitter followers is worn like a badge of honor, and the term “follow” alone makes it appear as if people are worth following.  What a wonderful sense of greatness that must create for our nation’s youngsters.  Heck, adults too.  People want to follow me!

Or, maybe it is due to the dumbing down of our nation’s education curriculum or teaching directly to statewide standardized tests.  Are our kids really learning, or is our nation simply pushing our youngsters through the educational process as fast as it can?

Although test scores are below what they once were, students feel they are superior to their classmates of yesteryear in subjects like math and writing.  Why?  What makes our kids feel they are superior to anyone?  The answer is simple: our entitlement culture.  Give a trophy to a little league team that came in last place, and there’s no wonder our nation’s kids feel they can do no wrong.  Rewards come in all shapes and sizes, and very rarely do those who receive those rewards actually pay for them.

“Producers must outnumber consumers or societies collapse. Eventually, the money runs out.”

Worse, we have an elite political class that spends their entire career convincing our population that they are entitled to something.  Lost a job?  No, problem, you’re entitled to taxpayer money until you find another one.  Living in “poverty”?  No problem, the taxpayers are here to help you through monthly welfare checks.  Retired?  Again, no problem, taxpayers will fund your Social Security payments long after you’ve already exhausted your lifelong contributions.  No problem, the taxpayers are here.

The truth of the matter is our society cannot function unless it maintains a large population of productive contributors to the economy, those who build businesses and employ people, those who research new medications to cure our ails and those who plan, build and maintain our city infrastructures so when you flush your toilet at home, it’s no longer your “business”.  Producers must outnumber consumers or societies collapse.  Eventually, the money runs out.

As our government continues to ask our country’s entrepreneurs to shoulder the majority of the burden of funding these entitlements, the incentive to do business shrinks.  Business creates wealth, not government.  If Washington D.C. creates a culture where businesses no longer flourish in this country, wealth creation slows, companies stop hiring and – yes – government revenue sinks.  The effect is felt everywhere.  California, for example, is experiencing an exodus of the state’s more wealthy residents because of excessive taxation.  As a Wall Street Journal article so aptly put it, if you soak the rich, you lose the rich.  And who creates jobs in this country?

Parents need to teach their children that our society only works when people make it work.  Societies fail when too many people believe they are entitled to the fruits of someone else’s labor.  Ask virtually any 3rd grader what they want to be when they grow up, and I bet none of them say a “deadbeat”.

Unfortunately, that desire is learned.