Looney Labs Something Mailing list Archive

[Something] Politicians plan to harm disabled or poor workers nationwide

  • FromChristopher Hickman <tophu@xxxxxxx>
  • DateMon, 08 Jan 2007 10:51:08 -0800
I know that, like me, many people on these lists also care passionately about the welfare of others, so I wanted to warn you all about some impending legislation. And yes, I know that the last time I brought up the subject of minimum wage it started a flame war.  If you disagree, that's fine, but I urge you to learn more about the subject. I once thought that minimum wage laws were good.  At first look, they seem to help the poor by making sure that employers pay a decent wage.  On the surface, that makes sense.  However, employers only pay that decent wage to employees.  If they can't afford to employ someone at the minimum wage, they simply don't. Businesses fill jobs and hire employees ONLY when the income they will earn by doing so will be GREATER than the cost.  Increasing the minimum wage only hurts small businesses and the poor and/or disabled folks who would have held those lowest-paying jobs.

(These folks, and the citizenry in general, would be better served by the passage of the FairTax Act <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Tax_Act> which would render minimum wage laws moot, as everyone would receive a minimum living wage in the form of tax prebates.)

Recently the State of Arizona, just raised their minimum wage. I'm told that the Arizona newspapers have been full of stories during the past week about how organizations that employ disabled workers are now having trouble making ends meet. The politicians of Arizona, by making it more costly for these organizations to employ workers, have priced many disabled people, and a whole lot of young and low-skilled workers, out of the job market.

Now, the politicians of Capitol Hill are set to do the same thing nationwide, with a 40% increase in the federal minimum wage.

There should be no increase in the FEDERAL minimum wage. 
For every type of job, and every employee, there is a cost at which it is not profitable to fill that job or hire that employee. The costs involved include not only the wage, but also liability insurance, the costs to comply with government employment regulations, and the employer's share of the Social Security tax. Now, the politicians in Congress want to increase the wage and tax portions of these costs by 40%. 

There really is very little debate about this among economists. The empirical evidence is also pretty clear. Increasing the minimum wage increases unemployment among the young and the poor and the disabled. As recently as a few years ago this was a "settled issue," even in the minds of the editorial board of the "New York Times," which argued strongly against the minimum wage. 

But now politicians who care more about how things look (remember that to the uninformed the minimum wage looks like it actually HELPS the poor) than actually helping people want to implement a massive increase.

The politicians and many citizens seem to have forgotten that this is a settled issue, so we must go back to the barricades once again to defend the poor and the young and the disabled, as well as the small Mom-and-Pop independent stores that are having a hard time competing against the Big Box corporate chains. 

The minimum wage increase must be opposed. If you agree, you can tell Congress what you think using this form provided by the grassroots lobbying organization DownsizeDC: <http://action.downsizedc.org/wyc.php?cid=62>.

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