Friday, December 18, 2015

The Nation: Opinion- Rebecca Vallas & Melissa Boteach- Paul Ryan Just Accidentally Made a Great Case for Raising the Minimum Wage

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Am I missing something here, or has The Nation come back down to Planet Earth and finally just left Planet Utopia where there’s no such thing as war, poverty, bigotry, everything that most people see as bad? Because lately they’ve seemed to have grown up and moderated somewhat. While Salon and the others on the New-Left, are still fighting against the establishment, American capitalism, wealth, Caucasians and everything they seem to hate. Paul Ryan and The Nation, just made the conservative case for raising the minimum wage. You could argue that it is liberal and progressive as well. But here’s the conservative case.

You want fewer people on Welfare and Unemployment, then paychecks have to be worth more than Welfare and Unemployment checks. People need to know they can make more money working than not working and still getting the benefits if not more benefits working than not working. Including the work experience, job training, etc, their kids seeing their parents with a job and not needing Food Assistance. Welfare and Unemployment, should just be an insurance policy that people collect from when they’re out-of-work and don’t have the skills needed to get a good job. But while they’re on Welfare, they’re getting those skills, but also taking an entry-level job that pays more than not working.

And I know I’m going to here that government shouldn’t set wages and let the free market do that instead. What free market? Employers, big part of the private market, but without their customers and employees, they’re out of business. The people who make that the so-called free market argument, aren’t talking about a free market, for a couple of reasons. Because they believe in business subsidies and welfare coming from taxpayers. And they don’t want the other two-thirds of the so-called free market involved in how much they should compensate their employees. They want a business management market, where they’re in complete control. No regulators and where they get bailed out by taxpayers when they screw up.

Attach today’s minimum wage to people on Welfare, but still give them their other benefits and add education, job training and requiring people to take jobs that they’re qualified for even if they don’t pay a lot while they’re still getting their public benefits. Including the childcare and education, as well as livable minimum wage, more people will be working and fewer people not working. Include a credit for small employers so they don’t get burned by it. And people will see that working is a hell of a lot better than collecting public assistance checks with all the benefits that comes with it.