Socialism’s $15 bandage

By: Mark Schenck - Contributing columnist

A $15 an hour minimum wage.

Now that’s got be one of the best vote buying schemes the Socialist Democrats have come up with yet. Why not? Something extra for nothing sounds good and I always say “if it sounds to good to be true a Socialist more than likely said it.”

However there is one lifestyle that seems to function rather well with Socialism, our prison system. Don’t think so? Try this: Socialism claims to take care of your basic needs: food, housing, clothing, medical and dental care plus everyone is treated basically the same. In exchange you lose much of your freedom, liberties, individualism, feeling of self worth and you must ask someone’s permission before you do most everything. See the similarities now?

Socialism is largely based on the principle that “we will all be the same if only we are treated the same.” This is the major fabrication of the socialist political philosophy. We are not all alike. We have different skills, physical and mental attributes, different ambitions, and we live in a variety of geographic, economic and social areas of the Country, all of which contribute to our individuality, “one size does not fit all Americans.”

For instance, $15 in rural Tennessee has a completely different value than $15 in downtown San Francisco. For that reason alone the federal government should have no authority to dictate federal minimum wage requirements to state governments. A one-size minimum wage” does not fit all anymore than Common Core curriculum fits all school children.

Socialists should really read our Constitution sometime, especially the part about enumerated powers. The Constitution of the United States is a document that is often quoted but seldom studied. Anyhow, it states plainly in the 10th amendment, that “enumerated powers, (listed powers), which do not appear in the Constitution are reserved to the individual States and the people.”Currently and historically our Constitution makes no reference to “federal control of a minimum wage.”

Yet another neglected fact against a one size fits all “Federal Minimum Wage,” nine States: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wyoming, Tennessee, and New Hampshire, have no state income tax on wages, which not only makes their governors extremely popular but also allows their citizens to keep more of the $15 rather than giving away a chunk for State taxes. State sales taxes also vary tremendously: Montana has 0.00 percent sales tax and Arkansas has as much as 11.65% in certain areas. One size fits all doesn’t work here either!

Another illusion about the $15 Minimum Wage is, “when your wages are increased you have more buying power.” True, providing most other cost remain the same. The reality is, with an industry profit margin of 1-2 percent major grocery store chains, that do raise wages to $15 have only one way to cover the cost and that’s to raise the price of groceries. So what happens to your $15 an hour when your groceries cost more?

Most grocery store chains are already cutting labor due to the burdensome cost of “Obamacare.”Cutting additional labor to pay $15 will result in the reduction of additional employees. The same goes for the “Fast Food Industry” who’s profit margin averages 2.4 percent. Again there are no excess profit to absorb $15 labor cost so up goes the consumer’s price!

And just where do these “Would be Socialist” propose our citizens depending on Social Security and Disability payments get the extra money for food when the minimum wage goes to $15 an hour? A raise in Social Security and disability payments can’t be justified due to higher food prices! Why? The governments “core inflation index” excludes food and energy, the two main prices monitored most by consumers. So theoretically the price of your grocery’s, and gasoline could double or triple without the government’s “core inflation index” showing a need to raise Social Security and disability payments.

If you’re looking for the actual cause of low wages you’ll find much of it is simply a case of supply and demand, meaning we have a greater supply of low skilled labor than we have a demand for, or what the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls a “slack labor market.” Without competitive pressure there is no incentive to raise wages. In other words, if everyone is working you must offer workers more to get them to change jobs.

Other causes of low wages, our corporate taxes are the highest in the world, which is driving manufacturing jobs out of the country, which adds to the surplus labor force, which keeps the wages low, then add to that the flood of legal and illegal immigrants that are willing to work for little or nothing. Yet even with this knowledge the administration chooses to turn a blind eye to the real problem of excess labor. Why?

So instead of using a $15-an-hour Band-Aid for economic cancer, lets try fixing the problem for a change. Lower the corporate taxes so we are able compete with the rest of the world and how about regulating the flow of legal and illegal labor crossing our boarders so never again will 250 Disney employees be fired to bring in cheap non-citizen replacements from India. The federal government created this mess and a $15 an hour “federal minimum wage” ain’t gonna fix it?

Mark Schenck

Contributing columnist

Mark Schenck is chairman of the Scotland County Republican Party.

Mark Schenck is chairman of the Scotland County Republican Party.