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Progressives promote minimum wage hikes for political benefit

To The Daily Sun,

Have the basic laws of economics changed? Lew Henry from Gilmanton Iron Works (see his 5/7/2014 letter) apparently thinks so and other progressives, from President Obama to Mitt Romney, agree. They say that raising the minimum wage will create jobs.

Progressives want us to believe that employers who don't have any jobs for which they are willing to pay $7.25 an hour will hire lots of people to do that same work at $10 per hour. That makes no sense and it doesn't work. This idea borders on insanity!

If it's not worth it to you to pay someone $50 to cut your grass, you are not going to hire someone at $65. But the progressives want you to think that other people will pay $65 even when they wouldn't pay $50 for the same work.

President Obama's hocus-pocus economics, which is similar to that used during the Great Depression, helps explain why his policies have given us the slowest and weakest recovery since the Great Depression.

Most people understand that requiring the price to be $65 in the above example will cause some people who are doing the job for $45, $50, $55, or $60 to lose their jobs. Increasing the minimum wage not only reduces job creation but causes people to lose their jobs.

Despite the harm minimum wage increases cause to people, Progressives promote minimum wage increases because it benefits them politically. First, since Americans want everyone to have "enough", promoting minimum wage increases makes progressives look compassionate and like they are helping. Progressives have dumbed down American education and know that the media will help them hide the facts about the minimum wage and its consequences.

(Note: Minimum wage statistics only consider base wages, they do not include overtime, tips, or commissions. So many people identified as minimum wage workers earn more, perhaps much more than the minimum wage. Most minimum wage workers are under 25 (about 1.6. million are over 25), 2/3s have never been married, and most work part-time in the leisure and hospitality industry. Almost 60 percent have no education beyond high school. (Ref: http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2013.pdf) And, the CBO estimates that about 1/3 of minimum wage earners will lose their jobs if President Obama's minimum wage proposal is adopted.)

Second, the minimum wage is an evil tool for keeping people poor because the poor are a reliable voter base for progressive politicians. Raising the minimum wage won't make workers rich, and it may not even increase workers' take home pay because of the characteristics of the workers, their jobs and welfare rules, but some workers will lose their jobs. A higher minimum wage also makes it harder for the young to get their most important job, their first job, the one they get with no experience and few skills.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, many union contracts are tied to the minimum wage. Increasing the minimum wage causes union wage (including government wage) increases, union dues increases, and increases in the amount of money that unions contribute to Progressive politicians. The benefit for progressive politicians and their supporters comes at the expense of lost jobs, and increased taxes and cost of living for everyone else.

If progressives really cared about low-wage Americans, there are actions that they could do. They could join conservatives who fight for things that help every American. First, they could stop obstructing school choice so every child can get a good education. Second, they could enforce the immigration laws to reduce the labor competition that steals jobs and reduces wages, mostly hurting our poorest citizens. Third, they could eliminate minimum wage laws, at least for the young, so people with no or low skills and experience can get a job that starts them on the quest for their American dream. Finally, they would fight for the tax and regulatory policies that would get our economy growing again, creating great jobs for every American. Unfortunately progressives refuse to support these things because they are opposed by their special interest group supporters.

Progressives don't seem to care if people are poor because they buy poor people's votes with welfare. But conservatives want everyone to prosper and that requires a decent education, experience, and a growing economy so everyone can get a good job.

Proposals to increase the minimum wage are simply cruel attempts by Progressive politicians to build and maintain political power by taking advantage of the ignorance and good will of the American people.

Don Ewing
Meredith

 
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