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The Immorality of Guaranteeing Minimum Standards of Living

184I’ve had times over the years when I thought Erick Erickson was the greatest thing since canned beer, and I’ve had times when I swore he burned down the brewery. Life is like that, we don’t always agree, and we got where we are by different routes. But the other day he wrote about the so-called living wage that the Democrats prattled on about last week. He’s completely right and here’s an excerpt.

The Democrats have discovered a new right. It is the right of people to live a certain lifestyle at a certain income if people work forty hours a week.

It sounds like a wonderful idea. Why shouldn’t Americans be guaranteed a certain level of income for hard work? If you disagree with the idea, you might just be a cruel and heartless person. Well, put me in the cruel and heartless camp. The bumper sticker idea will have long range and terrible consequences.

First, life is not fair. The Democrats are championing this idea to gloss over the fact that their ideas have caused economic stagnation. Instead of allowing the private sector to thrive, they just want to raise taxes from the successful and give to those who are not successful. But life is inherently not fair. Some people will always have better jobs and some people will make better life choices.

Second, this is welfare disguised. By the 1990s — when Bill Clinton was president — we learned that some people could get comfortable living on a welfare check and checked out of work. Their children spiraled into a cycle of dependency and poverty. In Genesis, God put Adam and Eve to work in the garden. There is something soul nourishing about work. When we all get to Heaven we will all have jobs. Getting people comfortable not working sucks their souls away and destroys their families.

But putting people to work and guaranteeing them a lifestyle does much the same. It encourages complacency and saps the desire to get ahead for many people.

via The Immorality of Guaranteeing Minimum Standards of Living | The Resurgent

Boy, he said a mouthful there. If you’re willing to pay people enough to live somewhat comfortably without working, people are willing to not work. Well, Duh, who’d a thunk it!

Along the same line, know what else doesn’t work? Pricing labor above its level. Steven Hayward found a report that the City of Seattle commissioned on how their new $11/ hour minimum wage is working out.

So it’s fun to notice this morning that the city of Seattle, which threw out both shoulders patting itself on the back for raising its minimum age to $11 an hour last year, is finding the results are . . . not so good. Seattle commissioned a study by a group of economists, who reported in a few days ago:

Yet the actual benefits to workers might have been minimal, according to a group of economists whom the city commissioned to study the minimum wage and who presented their initial findings last week.

The average hourly wage for workers affected by the increase jumped from $9.96 to $11.14, but wages likely would have increased some anyway due to Seattle’s overall economy. Meanwhile, although workers were earning more, fewer of them had a job than would have without an increase. Those who did work had fewer hours than they would have without the wage hike.

Accounting for these factors, the average increase in total earnings due to the minimum wage was small, the researchers concluded. Using their preferred method, they calculated that workers’ earnings increased by $5.54 a week on average because of the minimum wage. Using other methods, the researchers found that the minimum wage hike actually caused total weekly earnings to drop — by as much as $5.22 a week. . .

If employers cannot stay in business while paying their staff more, they will either hire fewer people or give their workers fewer hours. As a result, even if wages per hour increase, workers’ total earnings could decline. . .

They attributed a wage increase of about $0.73 an hour for low-income workers to the minimum wage, and another $0.45 an hour to the improving economy. After the increase, Seattle’s workers got about seven more hours in a quarter. Workers’ hours increased even more in other parts of the state, however, leading the researchers to conclude that the minimum wage reduced the number of hours worked quarterly by 3.2, roughly 15 minutes each week.

Those figures do not include workers without jobs. The economists estimated that the minimum wage decreased the share of workers with jobs by about 1.2 percentage points.

As Glenn Reynolds likes to say: Unexpectedly!TM

via: Minimum Wage, Maximum Ignorance

Unexpectedly™, indeed. Unexpectedly,™ every conservative and every economist who said this would happen, was right still again.

Unexpectedly™ still again who did the liberals, Democrats, and media (Yes, I know, I repeated myself twice there) hurt the most?

Why, of course, the poor and the jobless, it’s what they do best!

Unexpectedly! ™

Authored By nebraskaenergyobserver