Monday, September 15, 2014

Raising the Minimum Wage

It really worries me when I see the current debate over raising the minimum wage.  This is especially visible in this article at CNN:
"the federal minimum wage has remained frozen at $7.25 an hour, which amounts to just $15,080 a year -- as long as you get paid for any time you take off. That's more than $7,000 below the federal poverty line for a family of four."
This fact is very sad, there's no escaping it.  A nation as wealthy as ours should not be in a situation where a man cannot support his family (assuming a married couple, and 2.2 kids).

Of course, that is not the whole story.

Firstly, we know that many households consist of single mothers.  And many others have both parents working.

Further, only a minority of households are being supported by a minimum wage earner.

Compounding this: one must ask, why should a teenager working a summer job be expected to be paid a wage capable of supporting a household?

Clearly, minimum wage is the wrong tool for the job.

We should be looking for a way of supporting households.  Strong households, with a father and mother.  Where only the father has to work, and can do something meaningful.  Do we really want a nation of telemarketers, waiters, and bureaucrats?

Technology has made it so that only a tiny fraction of people need to work at providing the essentials (food, clothing, electricity, housing).  Yet, we have maintained the mindset of "if you don't work, you don't eat".

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