Now that the Obama, Reid, Pelosi triumvirate can no longer tout Obamacare as its “signature” achievement, they’re looking for a distraction. A bad deal with Iran lasted three days in the news cycle.
Where to turn?
Why the minimum wage, of course.
I mean, really. Who can live on $17,000 a year? What family of two can live on $34,000 a year?
Here’s an idea.
Let’s make Walmart, McDonalds, and Burger King pay their workers $15 an hour. If we did that, everything would be just fine.
People would make $31,000 a year, and all would be right in the world. Right?
Not so much.
I’ll bet the immediate effect at Walmart would be robot stockers, self-checkout lanes, and really poor service. Not to mention higher prices. Do you really think that the two liter bottle of Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper would continue to retail for $1 at Walmart? Do you really think that the Burger King French Fry burger would still be $1? Or any size drink at McDonalds would still be $1?
Let me tell you about a business I know intimately, the radio business.
Back in the day—prior to 2008—we hired a lot of high school kids and college kids at minimum wage to do things at the radio station, hoping some of them would stick. In baseball parlance, they were our farm system. The developmental league.
Today’s minimum wage of $8.25 an hour places an impossible burden on a small business like most radio stations are. But we have a solution. Computers can do most of what the kids used to do. The net effect is that we now hire almost nobody because computers work for free. If you can sell, you can make some money. If you’re a talented air personality—either local or national—the pay can be reasonable. But we’ve learned to do without employees who, frankly, cost too much for the return we get on the jobs they do.
Do you really think that the McDonalds, Burger Kings, and Walmarts of the world can’t automate many or even most of what they hire minimum wage people for today?
Go look at today’s warehouse for the answer to that question. You’ll see robots moving material from the start to finish of the process.
Part of it is disruptive technology.
But a big part of it is that the Federal and State governments have made it extremely difficult and expensive to have employees for almost any size business.
The other issue is that raising everybody’s wages simply devalues the currency.
If it’s one thing the Obama Administration should understand, it’s that.
Unfortunately, they seem to think that devaluing the worth of the United States Dollar is a good thing. All of the printing presses that the Federal Reserve controls won’t devalue the currency as much as doubling the minimum wage.
Making the generous assumption that jobs won’t disappear, a straight doubling of the minimum wage will cause everything from rents to car payments to increase, thus negating the reason the wage was raised in the first place.
Now I want you to think about something.
These are the same people who brought you Obamacare.
I just learned this week that a bunch of prescription drugs I used to be able to buy at Walmart for $4 a month have tripled in price. The same drug had been on the $4 list for the last six years; and all of a sudden, the month before Obamacare goes into effect, it’s off the list, and the price triples.
That’s known as an unintended consequence.
Do you really think that the same people who created the poster for unintended consequences should be allowed even more control of the job market?