Our favorite socialist, Bernie Sanders, is back in the news. Recently, he held a town hall meeting in California where he called for employees of a major global company to get paid more. That company? Disney. The location of the town hall? Disneyland.
For one day, Disneyland went from the happiest place on Earth to the most economically illiterate place on Earth.
Sanders and his followers (whom I call Bern Outs) advocate raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and have a catchy little hashtag to go along with it, #FightFor15. And judging from the number of times it’s been trending on Twitter, it seems to be a popular idea.
Which is exactly why I relish the opportunity to mock it.
What the Left thinks it means – a movement to raise workers’ wages by increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour
What it really means – more proof Leftists don’t know the first thing about economics
Throughout my working years, I have been paid less than, more than, and exactly minimum wage with each doing everything from mowing lawns to telling mortgage customers “no” when they wanted late fees waived because, and I quote, “we were only late several times.” And people wonder why I have gray hair…
My pay at each of these positions depended on a series of factors, not the least of which being work experience. I didn’t demand top dollar for my work because I didn’t have the body of work to back it up and I worked hard to build up my value to the employer. That way I knew I earned every cent.
Thanks to Sanders and the Bern Outs, people think they should be guaranteed a starting wage higher than the hourly wage many lower-level professionals make who have started building up their skills. And they don’t see a problem with this because they feel the working class doesn’t make enough to live in modern America, so they think raising the minimum wage will help.
Yeah…I’m gonna have to disagree with that because…how can I put this…it’s bullshit.
Although #FightFor15 is a nice idea on paper (or Twitter for that matter), it runs aground fairly quickly when you consider the impact it would have on labor costs. If Joe High School Dropout gets $15 an hour for running the fry machine on the night shift at the local Uncle Slappy’s It Kinda Looks Like Hamburger Emporium, that creates a business expense for Uncle Slappy, no matter how good or poor of a job he does. Throw in perks like health and dental insurance and before you know it, Joe’s doing all right for himself…until Uncle Slappy looks at his ledger sheet.
See, Uncle Slappy would not be the only employer having to pay increased labor costs due to the Fight for 15 crowd. Everything from the cost of what the Slapster swears is hamburger to buns to condiments will go up for the same reason. That creates a dilemma: raise prices or cut costs. At some point, raising prices destroys the consumer’s incentive to buy a product or service, which leaves cutting costs as the only option.
Guess what, Joe? You could find yourself on the unemployment line, and you know how much that pays? Zero.
Then, Joe will find himself in the same boat as other high-cost, low-skilled labor: competing for whatever work is available where only the most promising of employees will get a callback.
Even if Uncle Slappy is as liberal with his employee retention as he is with his “Buy One, Get a Stomach Pump Free” campaign, without cutting costs his Burger Emporium will close its doors, thus leaving Joe back in the same position he was in the other scenario. And, surprise surprise, make exactly the same pay as if he had been fired: zero!
Leftists will probably say I’m wrong about that, but there is a city that recently passed a law making a $15 per hour minimum wage a reality. And within a few months, their unemployment shot up, and companies started closing their doors because they couldn’t make ends meet. That city, by the way, is…Seattle, Washington.
Yep, a bastion of Leftist ideology got exactly what it wanted and saw it fail more spectacularly than Michelle Wolf’s jokes at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. And they still want to make $15 per hour the minimum wage.
Say what you will about the Bern Outs, but they’re committed. Or should be.
In the meantime, don’t be swayed by the arguments in favor of #FightFor15. If you want to make more than minimum wage, work harder, learn more, show up, and be responsible. It’s all about hustle. If you show it, eventually someone will take notice…and most likely give you more work. But at least you’ll be earning your paycheck, which is more rewarding in the long run than being given a wage you haven’t earned for work you can’t do because Bernie Sanders and the Bern Outs think you should.
Remember, Sanders has spent a great deal of his adult life making his money off taxpayers. Let’s just say I put more faith in my dog’s fiscal acumen than I do Bernie, and my dog licks himself on a regular basis.