How Stupid Is The American Public?

minimumwage (2)The cruelest law of all is the minimum wage. It is the most basic law of economics: if the price rises on a good (ceteris paribus, of course), then less of it will be purchased. Labor is no exception. When you raise the price (i.e., the minimum wage in this case), less labor at the low end of the skill scale will be employed. For a thorough discussion, see here.

minimumwage2es (2)In a time when our economy is struggling and teenage unemployment is through the roof (especially minorities), raising the minimum wage is the worst thing that can be done. This price control hurts the most vulnerable in society and those most in need of jobs. Yet the political class knows they can depend upon the ignorance and stupidity of the voting public. By appearing to be compassionate, they gain favor and votes. This move is not compassionate, it is harmful and destructive. There is nothing more harmful to low-skilled workers than raising the minimum wage. If it benefits politicians they don’t care what havoc and destruction they impose so long as enough of the people can be fooled.

The reality is that  Government schooling produced this situation of zero to low skills. Now government rides to the rescue by making laws that make it illegal for their damaged output to be hired. No employer will hire an employee that costs him money. Unless the employee has a reasonable chance of contributing more than he costs, he has no hope of escaping unemployment. Unskilled workers are capable of doing productive work, but not at a beginning wage set too high by politicians looking out only for themselves.  If the minimum wage is so good, why not raise it to $20.00 per hour or $50.00? Wouldn’t that erase poverty?

The answer is an emphatic no! The higher the minimum wage the more poverty and unemployment results. This “feel-good” legislation will raise unemployment. Sadly, it will also destroy lives. It effectively makes it a crime to higher willing workers with low skills. These are people who deserve better than what they received from government schools. Entering the workforce at any wage would provide the work habits and skills that would enable them to quickly go beyond their entry levels. These low-skilled workers are no different than MBAs who enter at lower wages than they will earn after training and gaining experience.

The tragedy of the minimum wage is that it ruins lives. It condemns many to a lifetime of unemployment, welfare and living a life equivalent to a ward of the state. These “compassionate” politicians don’t care how much damage they do so long as you are too ignorant to see through their scheme. They want your vote. So long as you are ignorant enough to believe they are doing compassionate and generous things, they will continue to destroy lives.

This survey from Rasmussen is confirmation of the appalling economic ignorance of the American public.

54% Favor Raising Minimum Wage to $9 An Hour

Most voters don’t think the minimum wage is enough to live on and support President Obama’s proposal to raise it from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour. They’re more narrowly divided, however, when asked if hiking the minimum wage will be good for the economy. Read More

mencken2With every passing day, the American public makes H. L. Mencken appear to have been more of a genius than he possibly was. His evaluations of the public were merciless. Here are but a couple of his pronouncements:

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Mencken must be chuckling from his grave at the situation we allowed our criminal class politicians to impose on us. Even he probably could not have imagined how dumbed-down the government has made recent generations. Make no mistake, it is government and its policies responsible. Despite all the blather about education, our criminal class is quite content with having stupid constituents. An educated public would have ridden these crooks out of town on a rail.

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  1. I agree with your obsevation that the establishment of minimum wages, and subsequent revisions upward, do not seem to increase overall employment; but they do not have the adverse effects upon overall employment that you think it does. People being hired at minimum wage are not being brought in at the bottom of the corporte ladder, with the expectation that hard work and diligence will lead to promotions and higher wages. The jobs offered at minimum wage are the necessary evils required to do meanial but necessary work. There is no upward mobility, but for attrition; and -with the cost of living increasing, and the benefits from Social Security and Medicare decreasing- older workers are hanging on and even replacing younger workers at these minimum wage jobs.

    The workers in China and India, etc. are performing the necessary repetitive tasks of basic assembly and fabrication that do not require any significant levels of literacy and education. They are tasks once performed by immigrants poorly-educated workers in this country and elsewhere in the once-developed countries of the Western World. Before the Chinese sold their proletariat into economic servitude of the capitalists, the vast majority of them were underemployed and living on heaviliy-subsidized wages. I hope that you do not see such a turn of events as the solution to our under-employed and unemployment problems.

    Until yesterday, I did not know who Maurice Taylor was, nor did I ever hear of the company, Titan Industries, before. But Taylor’s rejection of the offer to run a tire plant in France says everything that one needs to know about the structural defect in globalization. Taylor bragged that he can build a tire plant in India or China, pay the workers there about a buck an hour, and sell all the tires that France could handle.

    As long as there are no limits to the way capitalists can arbitrage the cost of labor across the world, and thereby lowere wages and living standards to below subsistence levels in all but the poorest places in the world, their is no hope for the least among us to survive, much less succeed or even aspire to succeed. Furthermore, this is a hellish process through which most if not nearly all people will be sucked into a life of economic depression and dependency.

  2. The Ah-Ha TakeAway:
    “Also there is the point that union contracts may be written as “minimum wage plus” so that an increase in the minimum wage boosts the wages of unionized workers, amounting, then, to a pay-off to the unions for their support of certain politicians and parties.”

    and the second is like unto it:
    I can explain it to you – but I can’t understand it for you.

    Just in time for Christmas, a gift for the uniformed wanting to lose their “un”, Tom Sowell’s “Basic Economics”. Friend and MP fan Walter E. Williams wrote:Alchian said the true test of whether one understands his subject is whether he can explain it to someone who doesn’t know a darn thing about it. Mr. Sowell wasn’t Mr. Alchian’s student, but Basic Economics demonstrates his ability to make economics understandable to a person who hasn’t set foot into an economics class.
    Walter’s excellent writings

    Extra-Added Attraction: Browse Charlotte Iserbyt’s seminal work, “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” for free.

  3. I believe that 1% of the US pop’l can engage in critical thinking, 4% can think in general, and 95% probably need to wear a safety helmet and elbow pads when they walk and chew gum simultaneously.

  4. As we were traveling a few days ago, my wife tuned the radio to NPR. Someone was being interviewed about the fallacies of opposition to the minimum wage. The person cited a study that supposedly indicated little to no effect on employment as the wage increased. Aside from the fact that no time frame was given for this study, there is a certain amount of “give” in the system. But the most revealing aspect of it was the person’s admission that minimum wage increases are often passed on to the consumer and amount to a transfer of wealth. Unfortunately for those so naive as to believe the socialist propaganda, that transfer is often from one low-wage worker to another. If the price of necessities such as food, fuel, and clothing are driven up by the wage increase, what has the worker gained?

    In an inflationary situation as we find ourselves in presently, one might argue that wage and price inflation will prevent the dismissal of employees at the lower end of the wage scale. But the low-wage workers lose purchasing power even if they keep their jobs.

    Also there is the point that union contracts may be written as “minimum wage plus” so that an increase in the minimum wage boosts the wages of unionized workers, amounting, then, to a pay-off to the unions for their support of certain politicians and parties. Meanwhile this exacerbates the problem of inflation which again falls most heavily on the low-end wage-earner.

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