What Living Wage Proponents Don’t Understand

Historically, the left has always depended on twisting the language through emotionally charged euphemism to forward its goals. In order to serve as a sugar coating to their essentially communist agenda, they have rebranded it as socialism. Socialism means sharing, we’re told.

But of course, the reality is that sharing is the farthest thing from their minds. Socialism is a foot in the door for communism, and communism is a system where the government owns everything, including the products of your labor. Anything you have is only lent to you for however long you use it to support the state.

The left has absolutely no reservations about corrupting the poetry and effectiveness of the English language to forward their political goals. More often than not, this is done by exchanging a word for its definition. For example, what was once called Shell Shock is now called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. To paraphrase the late comedian George Carlin, if they had kept the original term, some wounded soldiers might have gotten the care they need and so richly deserve.

But when it comes to economics, the left’s latest perversion of the language is; “A Living Wage’. But what exactly does this mean?

A living wage is just what they say it is: a wage that a person can supposedly live on. Where it gets tricky is that they presume that no matter how low the value of the work being done, a person should be able to make a secure living.

Now, most people would agree that anyone who works hard and is productive should be compensated enough to pay their bills, have shelter, and afford food. The trouble is, when you extend their argument over the spectrum of valuable labor, we run into the territory of the absurd pretty quickly.

So, we say that flipping burgers is a low-value task. Conservatives say it is a job for teenagers, college students, or anyone looking to kill some time and supplement a modest income. But the left appears to look on it as a viable career choice that someone should be able to live and raise a family on.

The reality is that flipping burgers is a low-value task, and assigning a higher wage to it only makes it a less valuable task. Also, it is snide to say that anyone would choose to flip burgers as a lifetime career choice. That is exactly the kind of devaluing of human potential that the entire leftist narrative depends on.

Nobody wants to flip burgers for their whole working life, much less the liberal Democrats who want to take money from the prosperous and the ambitious in order to curry the votes of people who cannot be inspired to do anything more productive than performing end-process fast-food manufacturing tasks.

For more clarity, let’s construct an analogy. Consider the range of appliances operating in the average home. In this scheme, a central HVAC system may be the single most valuable appliance- and the least valuable is arguably, we’ll say- a blender. Our HVAC system heats us in the freezing winter and cools us during the blistering heat of summer.

It is, in some climates- a genuine life-saving device. A blender conversely is a minor luxury which could be replaced with a little elbow grease in the kitchen. We could reasonably say that the HVAC system is as valuable as your GP doctor, who monitors your health throughout your life- anticipating, preventing, and treating illnesses from the minor to the severe. The blender could be compared to a burger flipper.

Needless to say, the HVAC takes more money to run- just as a doctor takes more money to fairly compensate. The blender costs maybe a few cents per use- certainly no more than a dollar- just like the burger flipper; whose services are far from difficult or essential.

The proponents of a living wage would like you to spend more money to run your blender- much more. And they would like to siphon off some of the electricity you use to power your HVAC in order to supply the extra energy to the blender. You don’t need an economist, or even an electrician, to tell you that this is not going to work very well.

The counter-argument to our analogy would be that human beings are not household appliances. And indeed, they are not. Human beings, unlike appliances, can go out, learn new skills, and get another job- a higher paying job.

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