No part of this “livable wage” argument makes sense to me. It seems to boil-down to “I want/ need more money, despite the fact that my position is easy to fill. Pay me more, even though I am lacking the qualifications, and creative and social intelligence needed to be valuable.” Sounds like a hand-out. WTF?
Here’s what I don’t understand about the “living wage”/ “raise the minimum wage” position: these are jobs that are at risk of automation soon, the “low-income manual occupations.” These are low-paying jobs, because the skills required to perform core job duties are easily found in the labor market. Manufacturing, administrative support, retail, transportation, warehousing…. So, paying just a few dollars more an hour isn’t going to reduce poverty, nor protect these easy-to-fill jobs from elimination.
Over time, competitive employers will either automate what can be automated, and/ or outsource what can be outsourced. The result? A revised business model that operates more efficiently and at lowered cost, including a smaller, better paid, higher skill/ knowledge workforce. This directly translates to increased profits. In other words, the availability of low-skill jobs at increased minimum wages will be greatly reduced, if not eliminated. Why would the soon-to-be-automated-out-of-a-job crowd promote business transition to increased automation and out-sourcing?
“The ‘bottlenecks’ that prevent a job from being computerized include the creative intelligence required, the need for perception and manual dexterity (it’s hard to automate brain surgery), and social intelligence, whether that is used to negotiate or care for others.
So, successful workers of the future will need to focus in these areas. What’s a low-pay worker to do? It’s remarkably simple: skill-up.
- Take the jobs that no one else wants to take (E.g., Dirty Jobs).
- Vocational training in certain careers offers well-paid jobs that do not require a college degree (E.g., 20 Great Jobs Without a College Degree).
- If you’re contemplating a 4-year college degree or higher, don’t study Comparative Basket Weaving in Medieval Europe as an undergraduate college major, unless you’re backed-up by an endowment, a trust fund, or an inheritance…or you marry well for money with a generous pre-nup up front. Post-secondary education in the U.S. must be treated as a business investment, so as self-investors, students should focus their studies on what is both satisfying and most lucrative within their abilities (e.g., The Washington Post, “Want to do what you love and get paid for it? Choose one of these majors”). As a friend wrote:
As a proposition, the idea that education should primarily serve as a source of character and personality development and perhaps even edification is noble and exalted. Up until a few decades ago, an individual without a marketable college degree was not necessarily doomed to a life time of misery. Unfortunately, we have to consider the changed paradigms of today’s world. Statistically speaking, the likelihood of a person without a college degree earning a relatively high salary and retiring comfortably is very slim today (and will get progressively harder for our children and grandchildren). Hence, we should grant leeway to the idea that higher education can (and perhaps “must”) be fettered by the shackles of a utilitarian philosophy in this ultra-competitive world. The freedom (financial, social, et al.) one gains through the career procured through that education can then be perhaps channeled for more grand purposes like personality development, spending time learning arts and crafts and engaging in altruistic endeavors.
A person’s value cannot be elevated by legislation, as the “livable wage” position asserts to do. A person’s productivity, education, versatility, special skills, leadership, and drive are not, in any way, enhanced by minimum wage. In contrast, a person’s value is set in socialist and communist systems; and these systems suck for doing so. Socialism is *such* a bad idea, because it suffers slackers to persist as parasites off those who are productive. In time, the productive realize that they are not rewarded for their contributions, and that others take credit for, and benefit from such contributions. Upon such realizations, the productive become dis-spirited and cease to be productive. Overall the socialist society’s production declines over time. Look at Venezuela. Look at Cuba. Look at NK. Look at the now thank-you-that-you-are-dead USSR. None of these societies were able to thrive. And for good reason: **communism/ socialism does not work in the real world.** As is attributed to Margaret Thatcher:
The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money [to spend].
Eventually, Socialists run out of other peoples’ money [to spend].
Much to the chagrin of Liberals, capitalism – even with its many defects – still offers effective solutions. Even Bono – an actual social justice advocate with credibility – has opined that “capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid.”
In the last 20 years, for instance, capitalism has lifted more than a billion people worldwide out of poverty, while the share of people in developing countries living on less than $1.25 a day has been cut in half. In China alone, 680 million people have been rescued from poverty, and the extreme-poverty rate has gone from 84 percent in 1980 to less than 10 percent today. In Africa, inflation-adjusted per capita incomes rose by an astonishing 97 percent between 1999 and 2010. Hunger in India shrank by 90 percent after the country replaced 40 years’ worth of socialist stagnation with capitalist reforms in 1991.
So, this “livable wage” argument lacks merit as a means to rescue the poor from poverty. It’s nothing more than more illogical nonsense of the leftist position on wage controls.