The United States House of Representatives has passed yet another major bill that demonstrates their disdain for freedom, property rights, and capitalism. Additionally, this bill could derail the US economy which is currently on a fantastic run (though inflation and government debt put a huge damper on its success). If the entire premise upon which the government was created involved the protection of property rights, freedom, free trade, why do politicians constantly attack those very concepts?
Anti-freedom bill passes House easily
H.R .582 is a Democratic bill which increases the federal minimum wage by over 100%, from $7.25 to $15 per hour over the next five years. The bill passed the Democratic House by a vote of 231-199 earlier this month and has been sent to the Senate. This should come as no surprise to anyone who pays enough attention to politicians to understand that nearly every single Congressman hates freedom and only opposes communist and authoritarian bills when they feel they need to do so in order to be re-elected.
Does this anti-capitalist bill have support in the Senate?
Well, the Senate version of the bill is sponsored by Bernie Sanders and 31 other co-sponsors. Considering that only around 5 out of the 100 Senators support free-market capitalism (on a good day), a bill doubling the minimum wage can certainly pass the upper chamber and be sent to the President for the third and final step in the legislative process.
Would President Trump sign such a bill?
Regardless of how much many of his supporters worship and praise him for being the most infallible, pro-freedom, anti-socialist human to ever grace this world, Donald Trump has stated on numerous occasions that he believes the minimum wage should be increased significantly. Trump has changed his position on the minimum wage a few times, seemingly. Just before the bill passed the House, Trump said that he is considering supporting the $15 national minimum wage, according to Bloomberg.com. As Trump himself often boasts, he is the ultimate ‘deal-maker’. If Democrats offer Trump some concessions on immigration reform, it would not be too crazy to believe that he might sign H.R. 582 into law, should it reach his desk.
Is a $15 federal minimum wage practical?
Millions of workers in the US currently earn less than $15 per hour. As we explain in this video, wages are all inherently ‘fair’. A wage cannot be ‘unfair’ any more than the sky could be below us. Every employee who earns less than the new minimum wage would become legally unemployable. Their employers would be forced to either fire them (automation is becoming more efficient every day, and this bill gives robots a humongous boost in their battle against human workers), cut their hours, or increase the prices of their products or services. This would cause inflation to increase so rapidly that the US economy could be derailed entirely. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the bill could eliminate as many as 3.7 million jobs due to this inescapable rule which governs economics.
Indeed, nearly every sector in the economy would be severely affected by this bill. Let’s take a look at healthcare, for example. The average EMT in the US seems to make around $10/hour. Paramedics make $15- $20/hour, in my experience. Nurse assistants, nearly every hospital tech, and many other low-level positions in hospitals from janitors to transporters throughout the US earn less than $15 per hour. If EMTs all started at $15/hour, paramedics would have to see a comparable pay raise to make paramedic school a worthwhile investment. Increasing all of their salaries by 10%-100% would increase ambulance and hospital bills for every American by billions (maybe trillions) of dollars. Aren’t Democrats the ones who complain the most about the high cost of healthcare in the US? Don’t they beg America to be more like the Scandinavian socialist paradises (none of which have any minimum wage laws)?
You must also remember that the brackets for the federal income tax would remain unchanged once this bill passes. Due to millions of Americans technically being paid more than they were in the past (because their employers were forced by the government to pay them more money) their effective income tax burden could increase from around 5% to around 20%. These employees might also lose a whole slew of welfare benefits that are only eligible for poor people. In addition to making them look like benevolent saviors of the working-class Americans, these financial incentives surely played a part in the Democrats’ decision to embrace the socialist policy.
Once the annual cost of healthcare in the US increases from $3.5 trillion to $5 trillion, the politicians will have a perfect excuse to execute their final step in the plan: A total government takeover of the US healthcare system – along with every other part of the US economy. Of course, this would work terribly, but it won’t matter to the politicians. Once the government has a new power, they never give it back to the people.
For all of these reasons, minimum wage laws also make it more worthwhile to become a criminal by working off the books. Doing so allows people to be employed despite having skills that are valued at under $15 by the market. Working off the books also allows employees to keep 100% of their income due to not paying taxes. The video below elaborates:
Property rights are paramount
We have now proven that minimum wage laws are terrible for economies. If you need some more proof, you could just look at Seattle, whose economy has been falling downhill rapidly since increasing the minimum wage. Seattle is actually much more expensive than other areas in the US, so you could imagine how much more devastating a 200% minimum wage increase would be in Mississippi, where wages and the cost of living are much lower, making it much more difficult for employers to pay everyone at least $15/hour. In NYC, the minimum wage increase hurt immigrants and low-skilled workers by making them unemployable. Indeed, Deblasio and Cuomo were responsible for many New York businesses failing.
Even if we lived in a universe in which minimum wage laws did improve economies, such laws would still be immoral and unfit for a free society. This is because free humans possess ‘property rights’ (also known as self-ownership). A person who owns themselves and their property can do anything they want on their own and with any other human who consents. When a government interferes with the consensual relationship between employees and employers, they are violating property rights and the free market. Simply put, H.R. 582 is a bad bill because it violates the property rights of all 320,000,000 Americans.
Remember the prime sponsor of the minimum wage increase in the Senate? It was Bernie Sanders, the man who has championed the $15 minimum wage for years, including making it a large part of his 2016 presidential campaign. Sanders has said on record many times that it is downright immoral for anyone to pay a person less than $15 because such a low salary would not be a ‘living wage’. As it turns out, Sanders has condemned himself by accident. It turns out that the socialist Senator is paying his staff less than $15 per hour! His campaign staff does not seem to be very happy about their employer’s hypocrisy. It seems that Bernie Sanders is now being forced to cut the hours of his employees, which will offset the increase in their hourly wage.
The emotional argument
The only argument that leftists seem to have in defense of increasing the minimum wage appears to be emotional in nature. As you can see for yourself in this CNN video, the left’s only option is to create videos in which low-wage single mothers cry about their financial situation in an effort to convince enough emotional voters to support the legislative remedy to a non-issue. If you pay attention during the next debate regarding minimum wage laws, you’ll notice that the leftist only has emotional arguments. You could expect to hear terms such as ‘living wage’, ‘greedy billionaires’, and ‘fairness’, all of which mean nothing in the realm of economics, of course.