ECONOMICS 101

Recently, one of my liberal friends wrote a letter to the editor of our local rag in Butte regarding all the advantages he thought raising the minimum wage would produce. The paper, being a liberal publication, readily printed his letter although I saw no letters from anyone in opposition which is usually the case for this particular publication. In any event, my friend argued the usual liberal philosophy that if we raise the minimum wage we’ll be “stimulating the economy” by causing more people to spend their new found wealth. In fact, economists indicate that because Americans still have no confidence in the economy, they are saving, not spending. The fallacy of this reasoning is now apparent as Bloomberg reports that Walmart, the nation’s largest employer, raised its minimum wage to nine dollars per hour with the result that “Labor costs…have weighed on earnings…. At the same time, Walmart is trying to maintain low prices to fend off rivals.” So, Wally’s World is now cutting employees work hours and “furloughing” employees which, in turn, is adversely affecting customer service. Older employees are also disgruntled over the raise in the minimum wage paid to beginning employees. “Some of the chain’s more senior employees have criticized the increase, saying it mostly benefited newer workers and that more experienced staff shouldn’t be making at or near what new hires are making.” Of course, investors are also upset because they expect profits from investing their monies in a business and could care less about social engineering in the name of some unrealistic liberal mantra. Just imagine what impact there will be on our already shaky economy if Wally’s World joins the slew of other businesses which used to be household words and have now faded from memory. Of course, liberals really have no problem with shrinking the private sector since they believe that the government is the answer to every problem. The fact that the government doesn’t provide a tax base since it produces nothing in the way of manufactured goods (or anything else of value it is increasingly argued) is lost on those who make their living by collecting a check from those who still work for a living.

MOVING INTO MY SEVENTH DECADE

Moving into my seventh decade, I assiduously try not to comment from the perspective of “having been there and done that,” preferring to let the younger generation find their own way through this veil of tears known as life. It also helps to know that most young people could care less what older people have to say anyway. But, on occasion, I can’t seem to help myself when I read something so stupid it pisses me off. Falling prey to reviewing Facebook, I recently read a missive from an obviously uber liberal blogger condemning a presidential candidate’s (the candidate’s last name suggests a small plant growing alongside the roadway) advocating working hard to achieve success. The blogger spent an inordinate amount of space setting forth how hard we Americans already work, his apparent conclusion being that more work won’t improve our economy or our lives. There is a simple solution to his dilemma. First, don’t get an education or prepare for a specific skill set that will enable you to earn a living. Second, spend your time complaining about the success of others. This will inevitably lead you to resenting those who are successful and wanting what they have. Since you have no education or skills, you can advocate taking what they have. Some would suggest this is unfair but what do they know. Call it “income redistribution,” it sounds so much better than “highway robbery.” Third, in another nod to Robin Hood, taking from the so-­‐ called rich and giving to the so-­‐called poor, wait for the government to meet all your needs. Now, you’re set. You can spend all your time on the net while you wait for your welfare check or other form of governmental largess. Of course, as more and more of you do so, there will be less and less of those who still work for a living. Since government produces no widgets, it can only raise money by borrowing, taxing the private sector or printing money. When the latest form of “ism” finally runs its inevitable course, don’t be surprised when your fellow citizens start burning themselves in the streets, like the Greeks, when the flow of governmental largess finally runs out. When I worked, I paid no attention to how many hours I worked. I often worked seven days a week. All I was concerned about was getting the job done and supporting and educating my family which I am proud to have accomplished. My oldest is a PHD and a lead professor of biology at a college, my middle is a Hollywood publicist and my youngest is an international tax lawyer. And they achieved their success with long hours and hard work. You can achieve the alleged “American dream,” whatever that means but you won’t do it unless you apply yourself and stop worrying about what others may or may not do.