Minimum Wage for Dummies

March 21, 2023
(Originally written during the Obama presidency)

The Fallacy of a National Minimum Wage

What, I ask, is wrong with anti-American President Barack Obama?

I have to believe we can best understand his behavior by understanding the Western world meaning of the phrase “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” that is embodied by the three wise monkeys. From Wikipedia: There are various meanings ascribed to the monkeys and the proverb including associations with being of good mind, speech and action. In the Western world, the phrase often refers to those who deal with impropriety by turning a blind eye.

Turning a blind eye when dealing with impropriety. That’s Obama, brother.

With just a little recall, you will remember his public comments regarding the Benghazi slaughter, the IRS targeting the TEA movement, the NSA spying on American citizens and FBI abuses. Of course, there is the Obamacare thing too. Those responses can best be summarized politely by the phrase "turning a blind eye." More descriptive, accurate and satisfying descriptions can be easily expressed using barroom lingo.

Now the president is on the "raise the federal minimum wage" bandwagon. Why? The White House document, Fact Sheet: The President's Plan to Reward Work by Raising the Minimum Wage, dated February 13, 2013, states Obama wants a $9 minimum wage as a way to reduce poverty and inequality, increase worker productivity, and help parents make ends meet.

The document's justification for increasing the federal minimum wage is interesting reading. Perhaps what it states is true but again I ask, Why?

Obama will never talk about the real reason. It is my guess he: 

  • Wants more federal control over us little people for he believes the federal government knows what is best for every man, woman and child in the once-great United States of America.
  • Knows more federal control brings us closer to fulfilling his socialist agenda.
  • Can look good by explaining since the federal minimum wage has been with us since 1938, it is an American institution that was needed then and one we need to continually update.
Economists have differing opinions as to whether a minimum wage is good or bad for the people and for the country as a whole. With them, I do not quarrel. After all, this "C" economics student would rather sit in a rocking chair watching Gunsmoke. I am in no way qualified to dispute their beliefs.

However, I am certainly qualified to state my belief: If (a big if) the minimum wage has merit, take the program away from the federal government and let the 50 individual states handle the matter.

As with gun control issues, the states know what works best for their citizens. Each state can answer the question of whether or not it should even have a minimum wage or if wages should be determined by the marketplace.

Transferring responsibility to the states would not be a big deal for anyone other than Washington control freaks. States can easily step up to the plate because they have been in the minimum wage business for years.

Establishing state control over minimum wages would be good for its workers and good for the American people. Each state knows better than the federal government what is best for its people and will adjust as conditions change because they want their businesses competitive with other states.

Susan Adams, writing for Forbes, in her November 11, 2013 article The Minimum Wage Debate: Who's Right? tells us in her closing paragraph: The deadlocked Congress is unlikely to pass a minimum wage law. It’s a good thing that states and municipalities are moving to fill in the breach. 

 On that, I agree.

Throw a banana into the Oval Office.

 Now,  after saying all this, I will always believe the best approach is taking both the federal and state governments out of the picture. Let the marketplace determine the best wage across the board.