There is an absurdly simple reason why the minimum wage is not the same thing as a living wage. You’re not supposed to live on it. Only in post-recession, Democrat-infested America could anyone suggest that businesses ignore skills and pay out financial security to the tune of $15.00 an hour for flipping burgers. Is this a symptom of bad politics? Are irresponsible politicians creating greedy Americans? Here are three examples of what happens when we start believing their self-serving gibberish.
Bad politics turns the living wage into welfare.
An employee exodus from fast food joints would be a good thing for American waistlines. It also speaks volumes about what politicians have told people they should expect from employers.
Only in our business-blaming environment could we buy the argument that pay is a separate issue from the skill set an employee brings to a job. Low wage workers’ demands for a living wage of $30,000 a year is about securing a guaranteed income, welfare in lieu of skills that merit higher pay.
The Department of Labor has renewed the call for government to decide when employers should shell out for raises:
If you work full time in the wealthiest nation on earth, you shouldn’t live in poverty.
Tomorrow, it will be exactly four years since our low-wage workers last saw a raise. Now more than ever, we must renew the call to increase the minimum wage.¹
It’s going to hurt, but we have to give Nancy Pelosi credit. She comes close to calling the minimum wage what politicians, activists, and unskilled workers are demanding: welfare.
For too long, our country’s minimum wage has failed to provide a minimum foundation of security to hard-working Americans, forcing too many to choose between housing, food, health care, and other necessities.²
As politicians urge businesses to guarantee financial security for unskilled workers, what about uninsured, undocumented immigrants who need organ transplants? Have we not been doing enough for them, either?
Organ transplants for undocumented immigrants? Seriously??
Even cities that protect illegals should set limits. Chicago has enough financial worries without making headlines because of a hunger strike over funding organ transplants for the undocumented (okay, illegals don’t strictly qualify as greedy Americans, but they’re getting closer by the day).
It’s easy to be greedy with other people’s money, so look to bad politics in Illinois to find a way to make amends with activists and illegal immigrants dissatisfied with the freebies already lavished upon them. An uninsured citizen would go bankrupt overnight for even thinking about transplant surgery. Non-citizens are luckier. If they run up too much debt, they can just walk away.
The worst part about this is that unfairness rhetoric is spread by the foolish and raises the bar, mocking the countless good things taxpayers do for the underprivileged, citizens or not.
These greedy Americans demand pay for doing nothing.
Speaking of Illinois, things must be pretty bad when Democrats cannibalize each other. The party has always been a paragon of stick-togetherness, something we wish the GOP could learn to do. Not in Illinois, where the governor was just sued by leaders of his own party for refusing to pay lawmakers watching Illinois go bankrupt instead of dealing with public pension costs. Their living wage is a little more than $15.00 an hour and the $10.50 guaranteed wage agreed to by many Democrats, but at least fast food workers know how to make hamburgers. Springfield politicians have yet to demonstrate that they have the skills to do anything. Their insistence on being paid makes them the greediest Americans of all.
UPDATE 3/24/2016: Bernie Sanders has elevated the something for nothing political culture to an entirely new level. Higher wages, expansion of government health care, and free college don’t come cheap, but that’s how the liberal paradigm works. Meanwhile, almost three years after this post was originally published Illinois continues to set an example proving that government can spend with no money, no budget, and a stack of unpaid bills that just keeps growing.