Nick Gillespie, on the misdirected zeal of Big Labor trying to up the unemployment rate by upping the minimum wage:
While there is nothing wrong with any job, the simple fact is that nobody is going to get rich—or even comfortably middle class—if his or her main gig is punching the buttons at a McCafe. The skills necessary to work there are simply not that advanced to increase wages exponentially and the entire economy of fast food is based on keeping prices—and by extension, wages—relatively low.
Rather than focus on fast food, it would be smarter to focus where the jobs—and wages—are. There’s something on the order of 3.7 million openings (about the size of the entire minimum wage workforce) in various trades ranging from construction to carpentry to ++electrical to welding. These are jobs that are not only in high demand but pay relatively high wages, often around the median household income of $51,000. Mike Rowe, the former host of the cable show Dirty Jobs, makes a compelling case that these are exactly the sort of gigs that can secure people steady work that allows for advancement and serious benefits.
…Nick goes on to suggest that maybe unions should consider encouraging those jobs. Which is a nice thought, except that the unions in question are pretty much a core component of the Democratic caucus, and it is not in fact in the Democratic party’s best long-term interests to make largely Republican – and largely right-to-work – states look good. True, they already look good – Texas and North Dakota alone are doing yeoman’s work in keeping our economy afloat – but why should the Democratic party’s power elite make those states look even better?
What’s that? “The good of the country?” …How I envy your earnest innocence and generous heart.
PS: I assume that I don’t have to explain to everyone why raising minimum wages can be problematical in a fully-industrialized society with a flair for robotics?