Minimum Work for Minimum Wage

Raise the minimum wage. Again. Why not? Who can possibly be against raising the minimum wage, except, of course, those mean-spirited Republicans? And therein lies the motivation. Now it may be bad economics, but its great politics. Works every time. How can anyone tell Santa Clause that they don’t want any?

As usual, it’s a Democrat win-win situation. It places Republicans in a bad light, while enlarging the ranks of the Democrat electorate, especially among minorities and other entry-level young people. The Democrats suggest that if you vote for them, you will receive more goodies. And if Conservatives, sometimes known as Republicans, ask who’s going to pay for them, they are branded as being mean, cruel, haters of babies, women, old people, and of course, homosexuals.

Obamaphones, extended unemployment benefits, free condoms and morning-after pills, doubling and tripling of food stamps, coverage on parent’s health insurance until age 27, free school lunches, breakfasts, and dinners, college tuition loans, and of course, Obamacare. The list is endless.

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But every year or so, just like clockwork, they roll out the minimum wage increase bandwagon. And every time the low information voters jump on board. Sure, everyone wants to get paid as much as possible. It’s a beautiful thing. Democrat Florida gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink says, “Think what raising the minimum wage does — it puts more money in the hands of lower-paid workers, and they turn right around and spend more and support restaurants and go shopping and provide for their families, and so I think it’s a spur to the economy.”

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Is this a great country, or what?

This week, the “non-partisan” Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says that the centerpiece of the Obama Democrats midterm campaign pitch, a call to increase the federal minimum wage by 40 percent, will cost as many as 1 million jobs. Democrats aren’t disputing the CBO findings, but are again trying to explain why not having a job is really a good thing.

The argument is that while those low-wage jobs would be wiped out, the enhanced incomes of those still working will pay dividends in the years to come. It’s a similar argument to last week’s explanation: Fewer people will work, but their being “freed” from unsatisfying employment will create new opportunities and raise overall living standards. Suggesting that the unemployed might even have time to compose that opera they have always wanted to write.

Although raising the minimum wage makes a good political talking point, there is a little problem. It doesn’t work. Never has. If the benevolent government demands that hamburger flippers be paid more, the hamburgers they flip, and sometimes eat, will cost them, and us, more. So the increased cost of goods and services soon catches up to the increased minimum wage earner.

But now there is another fly in the ointment. Illegal immigrants. Florida Democrat gubernatorial candidate, Alex Sink, said in a debate last week that we must continue to import illegal immigrants because they are needed to “clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping.”

Obviously, the rising tide doesn’t lift all boats. Each arriving wave of illegal immigrants, still anxious to “clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping,” is stranding more and more of the increased minimum wage beneficiaries on the sand dunes of unemployment. But the recently extended unemployment compensation benefits will surely cover them past the next two elections, which, of course, was the whole idea in the first place.

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