Lots of news came out yesterday from GDP to ADP to the Federal Reserve, and yet I think by far, the biggest news was the failure of a bill to force a higher minimum wage on businesses.
This bill is the worst on so many levels; from violating free markets, to enabling and encouraging mediocrity, to pushing people living on fixed incomes, to snuffing out the individual exceptionalism that often needs a baptism by the fire of adversity. It is about fairness, allowing the entrepreneur to cobble together his life savings, and to borrow from family and friends to take a shot and not have it hijacked by politicians buying votes by killing the dreams of prosperity.
I have to be careful when I discuss this, because from a political point of view, and in many ways, this is a non sequitur for the 73.4 million of the 75 million workers that do not work for minimum wage. Yes, I think a large percentage of people stuck in jobs working for minimum wage have done things that have put them in that position, or that has kept them in that position. Simultaneously, I also think there have been others, in similar circumstances that have chosen a different route - a more difficult one that requires more sacrifice and commitment.
A higher minimum wage is an affront to those same people who have bought into the notion of self-help and the American Dream.
Yes, I have to be careful because it is not easy to work and earn the minimum, especially when it is so enticing and more economically rewarding to live off the public dole. I think most people working minimum wage jobs could change their lot in life, but why make the effort if lawmakers are trying to give you a 39% raise? Even the average worker has seen their actual incomes decline over the past few years, (the last time the federal minimum wage was increased was in 2007, maybe the last time middle-class wages actually increased).
The left will say the GOP is heartless and hate women as they shake their collective fists at capitalism. The irony is if their policies worked, there would not be a hint of debate over the minimum wage. Fewer people would have to choose between flipping burgers and chilling out on welfare, food stamps, and an avalanche of additional benefits both federal and local, which would make up for those that have fallen through the cracks in this mean old world.
On the other hand, those who have deliberately fallen through the cracks are drawn by a lack of discipline and work ethic, by that shiny object called 'pity', and by vote buying. This is often what seals the deal.