President Obama’s plan that would increase the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour would not only reduce the availability of jobs (especially in the minority population, Obama’s biggest support group), but it would prevent the freedom of workers to work jobs for less than the minimum wage even if both parties agree to the lower wage, wrote the Cato Institute’s James Dorn in an article published in U.S. News and World Report.
“If the prevailing market wage for low-skilled workers is $7.25 per hour and Congress mandates a minimum of $9 per hour, then workers who produce less than that will not be retained or hired,” he wrote. In other words, basic economics. As the government increases the minimum wage, businesses are necessarily forced to make a decision: reduce their workforce or increase prices. Which would you prefer?
Both, of course, have negative consequences for our nation. If businesses reduce their workforce, workers who previously had jobs will probably seek unemployment benefits, costing the American taxpayer money. If companies increase prices, consumers will naturally spend less which, in turn, effects the cash flow of American businesses and may necessitate further layoffs and curtail innovation. The minimum wage death spiral gets strengthened.
“The best way to stimulate the economy and create jobs is to increase economic growth by expanding free markets, not by increasing government power through a higher minimum wage.”
Risking the chance of being insensitive to the victims of Sandy Hook’s tragedy last year, their involvement in gun control legislation around the country has me wondering why these parents are considered credible participants in the gun control debate.
The involvement of these parents bring nothing but emotion into the issue of gun control and personal protection – and emotion never makes for good politics. This week, Four parents from Sandy Hook had a meeting with Delaware Governor Jack Markell to “discuss” gun violence.
“We are trying to encourage lawmakers in other states and in Washington to embrace the concept of expanding background checks,” said one of the parents who lost a 6-year old child in the massacre. Even the sponsors of the failed Senate background check bill admitted that background checks would not have prevented Sandy Hook and, likewise, will not prevent the next attack.
“We would also like to see a limit to large capacity magazines, in many of these mass shootings that would have made a difference in the lethality of the firearm,” he continued, apparently unaware that the Columbine shooters obtained their firearms and equipment from the state of California where magazine limits were already in place. Again, another failed gun control “reform” that only takes freedoms and liberties away from the American people.
But this is not about true gun reform in any way. These meetings are not about ensuring the constitutional rights of the American people are protected and nurtured.
These meetings are about making it harder for law-abiding citizens to own firearms due to emotional politics, and Governors and other politicians around the nation are shamelessly using the victims of Sandy Hook to make it happen. Emotionally-driven politics with very little resemblance to anything even remotely close to true reform, these parents add nothing to the debate over gun control.
They lost their loved ones last year and are understandably devastated. Everybody wants to find ways to prevent the next attack, but removing guns from law-abiding citizens won’t do it. Running background checks ahead of gun purchases and assuming that will prevent a criminal from obtaining a firearm won’t do it. Limiting magazine capacities won’t do it. Demonstrably, these laws do not work. Criminals don’t follow the law.
That’s why they are criminals.
One certainly would not know it by watching 24-hour news cycles and listening to our political elite hammering gun control down our collective throats, but gun crime has dropped significantly in the past decade, down to nearly half of what it was back in the 1990s – according to research conducted by the Pew Research Center.
“National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime,” wrote the final Pew report. ”Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew.”
The important point in all this, however, is that the majority of Americans are unaware of the drop in gun crime due to our media cycle that thrives on large, well-publicized tragedies. ”Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence,” the report said, “most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago.” In fact, another Pew research poll found that 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher now than it was 20 years ago.
Certainly news of a drop in gun crime is devastating to the civilian disarmament push making its way through Congress and in several states around the Union. Many states, including Colorado, Connecticut and New York, have put in place new controls on guns that re-define “assault weapons” and limit magazine capacities, merely to establish a set of talking points politicians can use to make their constituents believe their election into Congress was in some way meaningful.
The facts be damned. When it comes to gun control, it’s not about facts. It’s about politics.
As if the American people aren’t taxed enough, the Senate has approved a proposal that would require online retailers to collect sales taxes if they claim revenues in excess of $1 million in states outside of their physical “brick-n-mortar” locations. Meaning, you’ll start paying taxes for virtually all of your purchases through large online retailers like Amazon.com, Overstock.com and others.
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 69 – 27, meaning several Republicans voted to further tax their own constituents contrary to their generally small government and fiscally responsible rhetoric. The “Marketplace Fairness Act”, as politicians have cleverly named it, is designed to level the playing field – they claim – for smaller retailers without major online stores. We all know what happens when government attempts to “level the playing field”, don’t we? It ends up costing the rest of us more money, and the government ultimately winds up as the entity benefiting.
If enacted, the government will collect an estimated $12 billion in additional revenue.
It seems the media, once again, is falling over themselves to push stories around the country of kids finding guns in the house and discharging them, injuring and sometimes killing other family members. We have all heard of the 5-year old Kentucky boy who accidentally shot and killed his 2-year old sister. Some may have heard the story of the 7-year old who accidentally shot himself in the head. More stories are out there.
The moral of all these stories should, of course, be simple. Guns are a right, but they should be treated like a responsibility. Gun safety is paramount for responsible gun ownership, and the importance grows 10-fold when kids are in the house. Gun safety does not mean avoid the issue altogether and simply hope your kids never find your guns. In fact, this is arguably irresponsible.
Instead, confront the issue. If you have guns and kids in your house, show them your unloaded guns, and make sure the television and any other distraction is eliminated during this talk. Teach them that guns can be dangerous if used improperly. Show them that if they ever find a gun, you never, ever touch it or pick it up. Do this often, monthly if you feel you have to. Reinforce to your kids that guns have a purpose, and they are not toys. The last thing you want, as a parent, is for your child to run across a gun and not know what it is. Kids are curious…
Of course, never leave your kids unsupervised with guns, even if they are unloaded. Once again, this reinforces to the child that responsible adults always need to be present when guns are available … always. There are no exceptions to the rule, ever. Loaded, unloaded, disassembled, whatever. The only thing that stands between your child and a devastating mistake…is you.