- Post 29 June 2012
- By Joseph Farah
A new Zogby poll shows 70 percent of likely voters would agree to support legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10.38 an hour.
There's a deep divide in support between Democrats and Republicans, with Democrats backing the idea by 84 percent, while 54 percent of Republicans are behind it.
Does all this bipartisan support make it right? Absolutely not.
There are few initiatives that could prove more destructive to the economy, that could kill more jobs and that could steal more freedom than this idea. In fact, instead of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, you might think Americans would realize the best course of action would be to scrap the minimum wage altogether — giving Americans the freedom to work for whatever wage they choose to work for.
The minimum wage has been billed as a gift from government to working people. In fact, it is the opposite. It is a restriction on liberty, a barrier to freedom, a jobs-killer and a contributor to inflation, not a hedge against it.
There are many good arguments against the minimum wage, but few are being heard above the din of propaganda from the so-called progressives. It is counterproductive if your goal is to raise people out of poverty.
It costs jobs — especially for young people seeking entry-level positions. It drives employers out of the U.S. It causes businesses to raise prices.
But I'd like to focus on two arguments that should be much more compelling to real Americans — arguments not only against raising the minimum wage, but also against the very existence of a minimum wage at any level.
First, the minimum wage is immoral. That's right; it is objectively wrong. By instituting and enforcing a minimum wage, government does what government should never do — that is to regulate the simplest economic transactions between you and your neighbor, between consenting adults.
Let's examine this as a hypothetical scenario. Let's say you need someone to cut your grass and you can afford $5 an hour. Let's also assume I would like to do that job for the price. The federal minimum wage actually criminalizes such an arrangement.
Of course, that doesn't mean two consenting adults won't still go through with the transaction. We know it happens every day. It simply means the government has made it at least technically illegal.
It's ironic to me that so many of the very people who characterize themselves as "pro-choice" because they believe the government has no business protecting the life of unborn babies suddenly object to consenting adults making choices about how much money they will accept to do a job.
There is another very good reason to scrap the minimum wage. It is unconstitutional. It's sad but true that Americans no longer put much value in the words of the Constitution and what it says about the limits of power on government. After all, it is the document that protects us from tyranny.
Maybe you don't think America is in any danger of becoming a tyranny. Perhaps you believe we are truly a free society. If so, explain to me how the legislative and executive branches of government can conspire to ignore the strict constitutional limits on their authority by criminalizing common interactions between U.S. citizens.
Explain to me how politicians in Washington can interfere in common economic transactions between consenting adults. Isn't this one of the principled arguments against Obamacare, for instance? Explain to me where the Constitution empowers the federal government to stick its nose in the private financial business of otherwise law-abiding citizens.
I'm quite sure our Founding Fathers who gave us our Constitution would see this as a blatant example of tyranny — as immoral, perhaps, as anything imposed by the crown of England.
This is the problem with debates about whether the minimum wage should be increased. In fact, the debate over the establishment and enforcement of a federal minimum wage should have ended before it began. Two questions should always precede any such debate: Is it moral? Is it constitutional?
The minimum wage law clearly flunks both tests.
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