You heard it in Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address.
He called for raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour.
He explained, “We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong. That’s why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, 19 states have chosen to bump theirs even higher. …”
Some of you may support Obama’s idea. Some of you may oppose it.
My thought is that nobody in Washington – not Obama, not the Congress and not the Supreme Court – has any constitutional authority to insert itself between employers or potential employers and employees. If two consenting adults, as Obama believes, can do whatever they want to each other sexually, surely two consenting adults have the right to agree or not to agree to perform services for whatever wages they deem appropriate – without any interference from the federal government.
But that’s not what I want to talk about today.
Let’s forget the Constitution for a moment. After all, most of Washington ignores it every minute of every day.
Let’s look at this the way Obama’s own supporters – the people Rush Limbaugh accurately characterizes as “low-information voters” – might look at it.
Only $9 an hour?
What kind of a cheapskate is Obama?
Why only $9 an hour?
If indeed Obama wants every American to work for a “living wage,” why does he aim so low?
Obama’s proposal translates, for the benefit of the low-information-voter crowd, to a mere $360 a week at a full-time 40 hours. Does he consider that to be a living wage in his economy? Has he seen the price of gasoline lately? Has he been to a grocery store in the last four years? Even with 11,629 more Americans going on food stamps every day under his leadership, $360 a week doesn’t go very far.
If Obama truly believes raising the minimum wage is important to raising the standard of living in the U.S., why not raise it dramatically?
What would be wrong with raising it to $100 an hour?
That would bring the lowest-paid full-time employee in America to a salary of $4,000 a week, or $208,000 a year.
Just think of how that would raise the tax base. It would solve the deficit problem Obama has created in no time at all, right?
Well, no, of course it wouldn’t.
The reason it wouldn’t is because businesses would close all over the country. Hiring would cease. It would result in massive new unemployment. Surely anyone with half a brain, including most low-information-voters, would even understand that.
So rather than to inflict that massive new pain into an already flailing economy, Obama suggests injecting just a little more pain, to cause a little more unemployment, to make employers less likely to hire.
Does that make any sense?
Or does it make more sense to get government out of the way and allow employers to hire people willing to work for anything they deem an appropriate wage?
For instance, if I want to hire a full-time gardener for $300 a week, maybe even offering a homeless person a place to live on my property, and someone wanted that job, would it be wrong to allow him to accept it? That is what Obama believes. It would be bad.
Obama would rather that homeless person with no skills remains just where he or she is – no home, no job, no hope.
He acts like he cares, but he doesn’t care about people who are down and out or for those looking for their first break entering the workforce. He only cares about sounding compassionate. That $9 is not coming out of his pocket. He wants to mandate that it comes out of the pockets of the people who are actually providing jobs and opportunities for people in a very tough economy he himself has exacerbated.
So let’s not raise the minimum wage.
Let’s eliminate it.
And watch the magic of the free market at work.
See Obama present his minimum-wage proposal: