I’m in a kind of “comedown” mood this morning. No, I didn’t get wasted yesterday; it’s a purely psychological phenomenon. You see, yesterday was “Talk Like A Pirate Day,” one of my favorite days of the year. Drives the C.S.O. nuts, but she knows it’s only one day a year. Happily, the many telemarketers desperate to sell me an extended warranty on my cars or security services for my home don’t know that. I’m sure yesterday has winnowed my phone number out of many of their Rolodexes. (Rolodices?)
Add to that that there are still people unacquainted with the concept of zero. Some of them posture as economists and public policy analysts:
Leftists are arguing that a $15 minimum wage is far too low; instead, many are calling for a $26 minimum wage.
As originally noted by Foundation for Economic Education correspondent Brad Polumbo, online debate about the policy started with an August article from the progressive Center for Economic and Policy Research. Economist Dean Baker argued in the piece that the minimum wage ought to keep pace with overall economic productivity.
Having the minimum wage track productivity growth is not a crazy idea. The national minimum wage did in fact keep pace with productivity growth for the first 30 years after a national minimum wage first came into existence in 1938…
Think of what the country would look like if the lowest paying jobs, think of dishwashers or custodians, paid $26 an hour. That would mean someone who worked a 2000 hour year would have an annual income of $52,000. This income would put a single mother with two kids at well over twice the poverty level.
And, this is just for starting wages. Presumably workers would see their pay increase above the minimum as they stayed at their job for a number of years and ideally were promoted to better paying positions. If we assume that after 10 or 15 years their pay had risen by 20 percent, then these workers at the bottom of the pay ladder would be getting more than $60,000 a year.
Baker acknowledges that the policy would cause mass unemployment if implemented in the present economic order; however, he recommended fundamentally restructuring the economy such that wealthy Americans earn less income.
Glory be to God! There is no limit to the rapacity of the Left. My original reaction was YGBFKM. (Expand it yourself. Yes, the fourth word is profane.) But then I found myself recalling another hard-left “analyst,” a certain Teresa Ghilarducci:
Democrats in the U.S. House have been conducting hearings on proposals to confiscate workers’ personal retirement accounts — including 401(k)s and IRAs — and convert them to accounts managed by the Social Security Administration.
Triggered by the financial crisis the past two months, the hearings reportedly were meant to stem losses incurred by many workers and retirees whose 401(k) and IRA balances have been shrinking rapidly.
The testimony of Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economic policy analysis at the New School for Social Research in New York, in hearings Oct. 7 drew the most attention and criticism. Testifying for the House Committee on Education and Labor, Ghilarducci proposed that the government eliminate tax breaks for 401(k) and similar retirement accounts, such as IRAs, and confiscate workers’ retirement plan accounts and convert them to universal Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) managed by the Social Security Administration….
The current retirement system, Ghilarducci said, “exacerbates income and wealth inequalities” because tax breaks for voluntary retirement accounts are “skewed to the wealthy because it is easier for them to save, and because they receive bigger tax breaks when they do.”…
All workers would have 5 percent of their annual pay deducted from their paychecks and deposited to the GRA. They would still be paying Social Security and Medicare taxes, as would the employers. The GRA contribution would be shared equally by the worker and the employee. Employers no longer would be able to write off their contributions. Any capital gains would be taxable year-on-year.
I have no doubt that Miss Ghilarducci and Mr. Baker would cross-endorse one another’s policies. It’s powerful evidence for the contention that they hate people. Really! What would the consequences be for blue collar workers and retail sector workers, whose jobs are already threatened by the advance of automation, expert systems, and applied artificial intelligence? What prospects for retirement would they have?
But as the late Konrad Adenauer once said, the good Lord put limits on Man’s wisdom but none on his stupidity. The Left has a single aim, expressible in two and only two words: Control everything. Control who may and may not work, who may and may not spend or save and how much, who may and may not travel and to where and for how long, and so forth. That such control invariably reduces the whole of society to poverty doesn’t seem faze them. “This time,” they say, “we’ll do it right.”
It’s not just here. Hearken to what’s just been put in process in our neighbor to the North:
Surprised? Why? Canada has moved faster Leftward than has the U.S. Not that our Left hasn’t voiced similar proposals and “let’s edge up to it” notions here. Were you aware that various “policy analysts” have proposed the complete elimination of cash? It only started with the elimination of the higher denomination bills. Quite recently, “Republican” economist Ken Rogoff suggested that we eliminate the rest of our physical currency and go “pure digital.” Think about it.
The COVID-19-propelled refusal of many retailers to accept cash and the drive for “contactless payment” in all circumstances should have given any thinking American pause. Thinking Americans are our target audience here at Liberty’s Torch. I hope the citations above, added to the cash-aversion that flowed from the pandemic, are sufficient to make my point. My arm is already weary from flogging this horse.