May 27, 2006

Democrats: We Must Raise Minimum Wage!

According to a report on CNS, Democrats in Washington once again cited the supposed "need" to increase the federal minimum wage. They called upon the GOP to push for legislation to increase the minimum wage due to rising prices at the gas pumps. Who can blame them for trying? After all, the Senate GOP dropped the ball on the one issue that will define their era, much to the delight of the Democrats I'm sure. Why not try pushing for an increase in minimum wage proposed by the GOP? It's like a two-for-one deal for them. Can't you hear it now? "Look how badly the GOP screwed up this country with the immigration bill and now, unemployment rates are going through the roof."

According to the article:

"As Americans take their family cars out this Memorial Day weekend, it will be hard for the Republicans to go home and avoid talking about the issues that really matter to their constituents -- like $3-a-gallon gasoline that is emptying their wallets," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

and then...

Schumer and his fellow Democrats called high gas prices "one of the most pressing issues facing Americans, heading into the Memorial Day weekend driving season."

Perhaps Sen. Schumer was too busy sleeping through basic economics while he earned his Harvard education. Long nights at the frat house, Chuck (wink, wink)? The statement above is about as asinine as it gets when referring to the economy. I won't even bother insulting your intelligence to explain why.

Of course, the Democrats' idea of a solution is to increase the federal minimum wage. Countless studies have shown that an increase in minimum wage hurts those living in poverty more than it helps them. In 1996, a Joint Economic Committee report debunked the idea that increasing minimum wage was the answer to solving the poverty issue in America. Leading economists such as Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell have also pointed out the flaws in raising minimum wages or establishing "living wages."

Increases in minimum wage rates force employers to reduce the work force by either laying off workers or, by simply not filling positions as individuals quit. This leads to higher unemployment rates and less opportunities for lower-skilled workers. Another prevailing myth the Democrats attempt to circulate is the idea that those making minimum wages have families to support. According to data from the report cited above, 10 years ago, only 1.2% of minimum wage earners were adult heads of households earning less than $10,000 annually. Yes, the data in that report is old, but considering the state our economy is in now, it is highly unlikely that that number has increased. In fact, it is most likely that the number has decreased. So who are the other 99%? Most economists agree that they are young people, mostly students, who work a minimum wage job and live at home with their parents. Sound familiar? Yeah, I think we all started out that way. In fact, a 2004 Bureau of Labor Statistics report affirms this notion:

Minimum wage workers tend to be young. About half of all hourly-paid workers earning $5.15 or less were under age 25, and about one-fourth were age 16-19. Among teenagers, about 9 percent earned $5.15 or less. About 2 percent of workers age 25 and over earned the minimum wage or less. Among those age 65 and over, the proportion was 4 percent.

You cannot destroy poverty. It simply cannot happen and any increase in the minimum wage will only weaken the economy. You can, however, encourage young people, and those stuck in the low-skills labor market, to enhance their marketability in the work force by continuing to pursue higher education goals and developing skills which can transfer into the labor force. It's a concept that is so simple that even a Democrat should be able to comprehend. So why don't they? Because they target the poor individuals in this country for votes. They want those in poverty to remain there, stuck in the rut with nowhere to go but down.

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Posted by everyman at May 27, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack

"Democrats: We Must Raise Minimum Wage!"

"They want those in poverty to remain there, stuck in the rut with nowhere to go but down."

I suppose that's the goal of raising minimum wage? To put those poor people in even more of a rut. logic?

Posted by: Frank at June 20, 2006 12:31 PM
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