The Destructive Farce of $15.00 Minimum Wage & Melancholia

Posted: Aug 31, 2013 12:01 AM
The Destructive Farce of $15.00 Minimum Wage & Melancholia

Forces with ulterior motives continue to lead the lambs to slaughter. 

Leveraging a mentality that things are "owed" rather than "earned" in America, unions and their agents along with those that still think Thomas More's Utopia is an ideal society are pushing for a minimum wage hike to $15.00 an hour - more than double the current rate.

Protesters are framing the issue that corporations are part of a public domain and naturally they should share in their good fortunes. 

Moreover, corporate greed results in employees being their victims rather than victims of personal mistakes. There are higher paying jobs out there, why aren't these workers applying for those jobs?

The fact is, most fast food workers have cornered themselves into uncompetitive positions in the job market where better skilled workers make more money. 

Still, in this period of redistribution of wealth and redistribution of accountability the minimum wage battleground is perfect as it evokes victimization, racism and the ills of capitalism.

Here are the facts. 

> People go into business to make money.
> Businesses pay taxes that more than cover the sidewalks and roads and have no moral obligation to pay salaries above free market levels. 
> Large fast food chains are struggling in the United States, with growth coming from outside this country. That growth has been underpinning profits and share prices.
> States with minimum wages significantly above the federal level for the most part have higher unemployment rates than the national average.

There are really short memories out there, but only two years ago McDonalds' locations were mobbed with job applicants during a one-day job fair. Some places had as many as twenty applicants for each job, and now these same workers are demanding a hundred percent wage increase. The summer I worked at McDonalds, there were 300 applicants for three jobs, and the interview process took hours. After the first round of interviews, the manager came and whispered to me I got the job, but I had to wait until the other positions were filled.

I considered the job a stepping stone, a place to get some spending money and stay off the streets. I was always grateful and worked hard. But I knew it wasn't a career, although I met people in management programs that were making good money. I moved on as did Jay Leno, Sharon Stone, Carl Lewis and Jeff Bezos. The private sector shouldn't be made to take on the role of government welfare agencies basing wages on workers' needs rather than worker skills. But mostly those kids that have dropped out of school or aren't marketable shouldn't buy into the notion it's not their own fault.

The nation isn't going to compete in the new economy with so much focus on artificial wages and limiting profits and wealth of businesses and individuals. Sure, it might seem an attractive Utopia but it would destroy America's greatness, and before that would harm the so-called poor significantly more. 

Sad (last) Days of summerMelancholy
A feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.

Synonyms: sadness, sorrow, unhappiness, woe, desolation, dejection, depression, despondency, gloom and misery.

This morning's commute was the epitome of bittersweet, as is each Friday before Labor Day. The commute was as easy as pie, like driving down the Pacific Coast highway without any other cars on the road. The Doobie Bothers were blaring on my radio, and I put the Jaguar to the test. Yet, throughout the ride, I knew this was the last time this year I would have it this easy. Traffic is back on Tuesday and it's supposed to rain on the east coast. I get this sense of melancholy each year at this time. 

This year, it might be more acute because it's matched with the mood of the nation.

 The nation is stuck in a rut of pensive sadness that manifests itself with a range of emotions from anger to indifference. It weighs on the economy and weighs on personal decision-making. Our knee-jerk reaction is always defensive, with a narrative of shifting blame and assigning punishment. Yesterday on Varney & Co, we had the founder of Lumber Liquidators (LL) on the show in part because I had been singing his praises as yet another great American success story.

Tom Sullivan started the company as a natural progression of life when he saw an opportunity selling lumber in a way that wasn't being done. He's almost a billionaire, and people that invested in his company (including our subscribers) are making money, too. One of my biggest goals is to get people to see behind the numbers and know these companies aren't just numbers and stock symbols but people, including those that start them and establish a culture. 

As it turns out, Tom was a great guest. He was lively, excited and inspirational, but then he did it... he talked about the fundraiser he had very recently for President Obama. Naturally, we were shocked that someone that's attained so much in a system that the president is trying to dismantle would add cash to his coffers. Tom said he liked the president and thinks he means well. In my mind, if dismantling America and piecing it back together as a nation that scorns success is well-meaning, then so be it.

When the interview was over someone tweeted me he will never buy from Lumber Liquidators again. 

I get where this person is coming from, but I have to say this is a slippery slope. I had a woman email earlier in the year with the list of companies she and her husband shop at, and it was shorter than the ones they're boycotting because of political ties and leanings of management. I didn't make her day when I told her Costco (COST), on her approved list, probably had to be struck off considering all the money the CEO raised for President Obama and his speech at the DNC.

I wondered how old she and her husband were and thought maybe they should watch "Duck Dynasty" and learn how to hunt just to be on the safe side and make sure not a penny of her money ends up in the pockets of the wrong politicians and organizations. I get it... I bought a copy of the movie "Milk" years ago and never opened the box. My disdain for Sean Penn, the person, has clouded my appreciation for Sean Penn the actor. 

This line of thought has stopped so many people from investing in the stock market. Conservatives have missed one of the greatest stock market rallies of their lifetime because they inter-mingled the notion of investing success during this administration as helping the enemy. It's a pity because we all have to be careful that our disdain for a political party or the ideology running America doesn't cloud our appreciation or love for America.