A friend of mine from the Left Coast responded to my post with some very good comments and questions that I thought brought some profundity to the discussion. Here are his statements and my replies.
Jedi Knight: You might enjoy watching the documentary “The One Percent”, by Jimmy Johnson. I’d like to hear that I’ve misunderstood you, but you seem to argue that the minimum wage has increased disproportionately over the years,
but the opposite is true, and the dangerous consequences about which we should concern ourselves, both financial and sociological, are actually taking place at the upper end of the social scale.
Me “Just like old times! Thank you! Excellent questions! Minimum wage should be tied to the actual rate of inflation. But no one should be stuck in a minimum wage job for their entire lives. Minimum wage jobs were never supposed to be careers. The fact that they have become so is a SEVERE CONDEMNATION of Liberal Progressive Socialism, not Walmart or McDonald’s or Commercial Capitalism. This entire group of people is a condemnation of the Socialist system that is mentally enslaving entire groups of people for the benefit of their political patrons, not the welfare of the people. At some point, I’m going to try to break this into a paragraph… and accidentally send this before I’m done… so I apologize in advance…. What’s needed to lift these people out of poverty is education, not Welfare… and certainly not an artificial increase in the Minimum Wage… which should be targeted to their local economic conditions in order to be effective anyway. The Illegal Immigrants to whom we are about to give amnesty are making FAR below Minimum Wage… and paying no taxes… and the people who employ them are paying no taxes…. I worked for FAR, FAR LESS than minimum wage and FAR, FAR MORE than 80 hours a week for much of my life. But I understood the purpose. Minimum Wage jobs are entry level positions for KIDS… not permanent employment for adults… with children of their own to raise…. Adults are supposed to ascend the value chain…. That’s how Capitalism works…. That MUST happen in order for the necessary improvements in productivity so that they ADD VALUE to whatever work they do… rather than just simply demanding a higher wage…. Adding value to whatever work they do through improving productivity raises their Standard of Living… because whoever pays them is incentivized to pay them more because retaining them is more profitable than adding someone else or replacing them…. If they never improve, then he must incur MORE expense to marginally increase production…. The Law of the Firm, etc. Basic economics. If the minimum wage employee at McDonald’s makes more burgers per hour… washes more dishes… cleans more counters, mops more floors and empties more trash… whatever he does that improves his productivity… improves the profitability of the company… and improves the Wealth of our Nation…. And… you can bet every penny you’ve got that McDonald’s has metrics that track ALL of that… so they know the value of each and every employee…. The single greatest expense for companies who hire a large number of minimum wage workers is labor…. But… robotics will likely be a cheaper and more productive answer for those jobs in the not too distant future…. So… doubling the Minimum Wage today… only hastens the elimination of those jobs in the near future…. And doubles the price of the products for EVERYONE immediately… so those workers just had their living expenses doubled… so their effective earning power just got worse… because now they are paying more tax…. The other issue is that adults stagnating in entry level positions prevents kids from getting those jobs. That’s why the Youth Unemployment Rate… particularly among minorities… is so atrocious…. So… instead of teaching THOSE kids to be productive… we are training them to be UNproductive… and continuing to add expense without adding value…. The key is education. Even after they are on the job. Teaching them to buy into increasing the value of the company…. But THAT is antithetical to the Union message in America… which is about Entitlement… and Class Warfare… because Unions aimed at unskilled labor come straight out of the Anarco Communist dogma of Marx and Engels and Lenin, etc. And ultimately… their goal is to destroy the Capitalist Economic Structure, not redistribute wealth….”
Jedi Knight: “I also am baffled by the statement “People who believe inherently in one, tend to accept essentially ALL without serious inquiry…. “. Rather than “people” you might get some mileage from the phrase “this group of authors” instead, but one could well come to the conclusion that should those authors be alive today they might also hold a more informed view of how even capitalism can be broken through those who increasingly have the rules altered in their favor. Flat tax anyone?”
Me: “Many of the authors on the list are still alive and active. Professors Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss are Secular Humanists who are VERY active currently spreading their faith… and attacking Conservatives… especially religious ones…. They are HUGE supporters of Obama…. That was my point…. Professor Carroll Quigley was a conspiracy theorist who wrote about a group of people with incredible power…. He taught Foreign Policy at George Washington and greatly effected Bill Clinton and others…. And… he was probably talking about the Dulles Brothers…. And he was probably RIGHT…. The NSA spying on America and everyone else is directly out of their playbook…. But if you are intellectually honest, you will allow yourself to understand that most people accept the precepts they are given from authorities they trust as a block… without actually vetting the content…. So… I said what I meant to say…. And I can defend what I said…. And… I paraphrased what Quigley said…. Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time…. End of Part I…. Chapter 3: Europe Shift’s to the Twentieth Century…. America moved away from Secularism back towards Christianity in the Second Great Awakening…. The Secular Humanists are reactionary in their dogma…. They returned to the ideology of the XIXth Century…. And… they’re STILL there…. It’s straight out of the Enlightenment of the XVIIIth Century….”
I am not an authority on how to tax, but understand Macroeconomics well enough to believe that taxes are more than just a tool to fund government. Taxes are by definition inefficient. So… a flat tax would improve efficiency… and reward efficiency….