Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Arizona teens feeling crunch of minimum wage increase.

Last month, the state of Arizona passed an increase in minimum wage from 5.15 and our to 6.75. Obviously, this is a significant increase and the same thing that Congress has called for. The idea - help the poor, help those at entry level positions who can’t afford the necessities of life. The reality – teenage workers are being laid off, getting hours cut back, and business owners are passing whatever increased costs they see to the consumer. Now, the person who wined that they couldn’t even afford to buy school supplies for their kid may get more money for making pizzas, but will end up paying more for those school supplies. At best, it’s a wash. But the true impact is seen in the job market, where unemployment will surely start to rise. So are we doing any good here?

Now is when I get on my soap box and sound cold and insensitive. First, for the person who claims they can’t buy school supplies – I’d like to take a quick tour through their house just to see what kind of luxuries they’ve chosen to purchase instead of school supplies. When statistics show that the average person "below the poverty line" can still afford cable TV, it makes me a little skeptical. I wonder if this person smokes. I wonder what kind of vehicle this person drives. What kind of clothes they wear. I’m not denying that poverty exists in America, of course it does. But the truth is that most Americans have no idea what true poverty really is. School supplies? Please, I can go to the dollar store and get enough of the basics for about ten bucks. Any working American can find a way to squeeze ten bucks out of their budget. So what people really mean when they say they can’t afford these things is that they want someone else, ie The Government, to pay for them. Call me mean, cold, heartless, blah blah blah – but I’ve seen way too many people abuse their government entitlements in the name of "just trying to get by and doing the best I can." In the end, we all pay the price.

There’s a name for a system that demands all citizens chip in and pay for the common good so that all citizens can become more equal financially – it’s called socialism. Let me remind you of a little secret – Socialism doesn’t work. How many socialist governments have to implode before we, as human beings, acknowledge that it’s a failed system and should never be tried again? Look how long it’s taken Russia’s economy to recover from their prior socialist background. Are we wanting to go through that? Let’s face it, raising the minimum is a socialist policy, an attempt to equalize wages through government manipulation that leads to higher prices in consumer goods and higher unemployment rates. How much longer are we going to continue on this path to "equality" before we finally admit that it may not be the best idea?

Personally, I resent the fact that I have to pay more for a pizza because someone else doesn’t want to make the proper sacrifice to buy their kid school supplies. I resent that some teenager may steal my bike out of my garage because they have nothing better to do since getting laid off at the same pizza parlor that now charges me more for pizza. I resent the fact that the Democrats will be using the inevitable rise in unemployment to claim that the economy is bad and thus rationalize a tax increase to "stimulate" the same bad economy they created, thus leading to less consumer spending, lower consumer profits and thus more job cuts – a cycle that will continue until the GOP regains power and cuts taxes again. I’m a little tired of going through the same 2 decade economic song and dance that we’ve gone through since the 70s. Enough is enough. Lower taxes and lower minimum is better for the economy and thus better for ALL Americans, wherever they may land on the employment ladder. After all, a low paying job is better than no job at all. Pointing this out doesn’t make me mean or insensitive, it makes me a realist.

2 comments:

Robert M. said...

The minimum wage increase is always a bad move. This just proves it. People should have learned by now that human intervention does the economy no good.

Anonymous said...

Dear John, I am from India and not really into American politics. But I 'm for Bush and Rice and what they are doing. I am a Christian too and I feel people everywhere should take a stand against the evil destroying the human race. Good work...keep it up.

Amrita (Miss)