Cityview on Facebook Cityview on Twitter Cityview on MySpace Cityview on flickr Follow Me on Pinterest  
Des Moines Cityview
 

Sponsored Ad
Sponsor
Sponsor

Your View

September 27, 2012
Follow Me on Pinterest

 

Minimum wage hurts the most vulnerable

Your GuestView from Elizabeth Rose, “Fix the minimum wage” (Sept. 6) was emotionally appealing, but logically misguided. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could simply raise the minimum wage without any unseen negative effects?

What we see are those people who get and keep jobs at the new higher minimum wage. What we don’t see are those people who just don’t get jobs because they are not economically viable at the new higher wage. Some jobs are lost because customers will simply not pay higher prices; some are lost to automation because the new higher wage makes automation economical; and some are lost to offshore outsourcing. Typically those with the least skill are the ones who can’t find jobs.

Many of the government laws and regulations regarding employment protect big, established businesses from competition by new, start-up competitors. Established businesses are often the ones that lobby for regulations which increase costs for would-be competitors. This is much the same as unions wanting government to require a high “prevailing wage” on construction contracts — to protect the union’s higher wages. These types of laws and regulations are primarily intended to protect existing vested interests.

As we continue to have downward pressure on wages and benefits because of international competition, it is possible that the cost of living will decline, too. If wages dropped 10 percent but the cost of living dropped 15 percent, what would be wrong with that? At the same time, our government is doing everything it can to increase the cost of housing (housing prices) — and then subsidizing those with low incomes. It would be better for those with low incomes if our government let housing prices fall to their natural level. Many cities don’t allow homeowners to take in boarders — which could lower the cost for both the owner and the tenants.

Morally and philosophically, we should not allow our government to use its force to prohibit peaceful and honest people from voluntarily agreeing to employment terms. It would be considered immoral and illegal if you used force or fraud to make someone pay you a higher wage. The same thing done by a majority through government is still immoral. The purpose of government is not to create jobs. The proper role of government is to protect our lives, liberty and property against those who would use force or fraud to take those things from us.

And if you still feel that government and taxpayers must subsidize those who earn low wages, then the Earned Income Tax Credit, which already exists, is much better than an increase in the minimum wage.

Kurt Johnson

Urbandale

CLARIFICATION:

The Fall Kubb Klassic is an alcohol-free event (“Locker Room,” Sept. 20).


Send your opinions to Cityview, 414 61st Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50312. Fax us at 953-1394, or e-mail us at letters@dmcityview.com. Please limit letters to 200 words or less. Cityview reserves the right to edit for length and clarity. The writer’s address and daytime phone number will not be printed, but must be given for verification.



Special Sections


Quantcast


Big Green Umbrella Media, Inc. • 414 61st Street • Des Moines, Iowa 50312 • 515-953-4822 • 515.953.1394 (fax)
©2012 Copyright Big Green Umbrella Media

Sponsored by
Sponsored Ad

Sponsor
Sponsor