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Minimum wage hurts the poor the most, much like environmental regulation and other government regulation, as well as taxation and government spending.
1. If business costs for labor go up, or unforseen "environmental" costs (litigation, etc.) are realized, like any other costs, the employer is in a position of having to compensate for the cost increases. Naturally in a market driven economy, simply raising the cost of their product will reduce any competitive advantage they may enjoy in their respective industry. Ultimately they have to decide whether to: A) go out of business if they become non-competitive, B) reduce costs to remain competitive or, C) increase prices, which is rarely an option if they are to maintain marketshare.
If costs are reduced by laying off employees it is generally the lowest paid employee that is the most replacable as their skills are the most limited, so the poor person, who finally found employment is now the first one to be turned out to pound the pavement looking for another job, while the work that he was doing is borne by other employees in addition to their prior responsibilities. Ironically, if market conditions do allow the employer to increase prices, the increase hits the poorest person the hardest as a percentage of his disposable income. Thus the employer will NEVER be the one to bear the cost of an increase in minimum wage. This is why it is often referred to as a "jobs killer" and unskilled and entry-level employees get hit the hardest. In times of inflationary or rising economic trends the negative effects are not immediately apparent, but in economic slowdowns or recessions the effect comes home to roost, and is very pronounced, but is rarely identified or adjusted. This is why an unencumbered marketplace is the best circumstance to determine the value of, and provide the flexibility for, employment costs. Loss of this flexibility is also why so many illegal aliens are able to find work.
2. Increases in business, or personal income taxation in general, also hurt the poor. While poor laborers, and especially the unemployed are rarely affected directly by income taxes, the effect of income taxation of others, that would otherwise have been in a position to hire or help the poor, is profound. When government confiscates income through taxation to "help the poor", it is run through inefficient programs and administered by apathetic wage laborers. This stolen capital has lost its opportunity to be invested in business to create more employment (and more taxable incomes, increasing the tax base), while at the same time those that are taxed have less disposable income to be able to donate to charitable organizations, that do a very efficient job of helping the poor. Real Chairitable organizations generally depend on committed volunteers who have a genuine interest in helping the poor through vocational rehabilitation, drug and alcohol dependence help, and feeding and housing whole families, etc. The government generally just hands out cash for the recipient to spend on their children, or alcoholic beverages or drugs, at their own discretion. The more income the government syphons out of the private sector, the more poor people are hurt. As far as our national willingness to participate in helping the poor personally, Americans have consistently demonstrated themselves, for decades or generations running, to be the most generous peoples on the earth.
3. Environmental regulation is a particular stinger for the poor. While some regulation is global (advantange Cuba, detriment U.S.), much of it is directed at the U.S. in a non-uniform fashion, in a transparent effort to force the transfer of our wealth to other nations in an end-run around our constitution, while making us less competitive in a global marketplace, with a net effect of reducing U.S. employment. Further, the costs of all of the necessities that a poor person has to purchase to survive, is driven up. Because of this they pay the highest percentage, of their budget or net worth, than any other group. The increases in environmental cost drive up the cost of their food (env. regulation on farmers, processers, truckers, etc.), autos, gasoline, and even clothing (regulation on plastics, workplace, transportation), making it increasingly harder for poor people to provide for their families.
Since natural sources produce 29 times the CO2 of all fossil fuel and forest management burning combined, with termites alone producing 10 times the CO2 of all fossil fuel burning, does it make sense to get hysterical about so-called global warming? Is this a just reason to further impoverish the poor? Perhaps this is a little tongue-in-cheek but if man's production of CO2 is considered to be so important then let's just kill 10% of the termite population and call it even!
Now couple this with the democrat party's singular view on abortion and inseparablity from Planned Parenthood, an organization that was born to "cleanse" the U.S. and the world of poor people, through sterilization and today abortion.
So the democrat party hurts the poor when they go shopping through increased environmental cost, deprives them of aid by removing funds from private hands that could otherwise be donated and used effectively, while taking away their jobs through minimum wage regulation, and all the while reducing their population through abortion. And this is the party that boasts that it helps the poor?