Does America Really Deserve a Raise?

“America deserves a raise.” So says Obama in defense of raising the mandatory minimum wage. He’s far from the first politician to use this stale, tired and easy applause line.

Few will ask: How many things are wrong with this statement?

For one thing, a wage or salary involves a private contract. There is no one-size-fits-all (minimum or maximum) wage to be deemed fit for all by some politician who has never run a business, and barely ever held a private sector job, in his entire life.

There is no commander-in-chief of the economy — no Democrat or Republican, no former business executive or political “community organizer” like Obama — who is capable of having the intellectual and moral omniscience required to set that ideal minimum wage for a society.

In a communist, fascist or any other economically totalitarian state there might be a single wage deemed fitting for all. But that has nothing do with freedom, does it? That’s not the kind of economy the poor ignorant fools applauding this drivel really envision for us, is it?

To either agree or disagree with the statement, “America deserves a raise,” is to concede the premise that all economic activity is ultimately the property of the government, and absolutely under the control of the majority.

This means that private enterprises belong not to those who do the work and take the risks required to develop and maintain them; they belong to any random stranger who happens to vote for the man who declares the economy his own.

There is no “America” which is either deserving or undeserving of a raise. A raise has to do with the individual needs, wants and requirements of two or more willing parties.

Economically speaking, wages are set by supply and demand. The fewer employees there are to meet a relatively high or rising demand for something to be done, the higher that wage will tend to go. The greater the number of potential employees relative to the slots available means the less the wage will rise (it might even go down).

Realistically, when a government sets a minimum wage, it outlaws jobs not worth a certain amount. It’s unlikely any employer unable or unwilling to pay that new wage will do so. The employer will simply go without, and demand more of existing employees.

Even if the employer or business owner submits, the cost for the minimum wage has to go somewhere. The government cannot impose any mandate on the private economy without consequence. Even if business owners and bosses sat around all day and engaged in the enjoyment of luxuries (and that’s simply a hateful stereotype), they will now have less money to spend on those luxuries. What happens to those sectors of the economy who provide the luxuries? What happens to those jobs? Nothing happens in a vacuum. Everything affects everything else. It’s primitive and anti-intellectual to hold these views that Obama espouses; but many people actually think he’s smarter than the fools who preceded him in office.

It’s naive, foolish and incredibly ignorant to fall for these applause lines of politicians. If it’s really a raise you want, then you ought to favor government policies which unleash innovation, production and private investment as never before seen. Instead of hampering the economy with more baggage than it already endures, how about releasing it from the federal regulations, high taxes and government directives which keep people from earning all that they might, and being all that they could be?

Remember that government does not create a single job. Even a “government job” first comes from wealth begged, borrowed or stolen from the private economy. If wages are “too low,” then the challenge is to make the economy more vibrant and productive. You can’t do that in a socialist economy, and you can’t do it in a severely hampered market economy, either.

“America deserves a raise” is one of those statements designed to induce guilt and intimidation in the ignorant, or the uncritical. It’s psychologically effective with many, but it counts on falsehood, fuzzy thinking and a general attitude of malice towards the only people who contribute or create anything of worth to our society: The productive and profit-seeking who start and build great businesses.

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