End the Welfare State; Raise Minimum Wage!

One of the major problems with politics and the media today is that we can easily ignore people who don’t agree with us.  I can discuss with my more progressive friends about minimum wage increases and we will squabble over how high and how fast.  Then I have friends who are against such things and we will butt heads over the same themes.  We decided to start using pigeon holed beliefs against each other.  Tell someone they are wrong does not change people’s minds.  Telling them that they are right but formed the wrong conclusion from their beliefs just might.

Increase Minimum wage = Reduced government dependenceImage

If you want to reduce food stamps, welfare, and therefore reduce the size of government, increase the minimum wage.  There are Americans who receive food stamps who work jobs if their pay was higher they, without changing any other laws, would move off of food stamps.  Thus reducing the money our government spends on food stamps.

A criticism of the welfare system is that it encourages people not to work.  Part of the reason for that is that a job pays less than what a person can live on.  Some Americans have to make the choice between working while not knowing if they can feed their family and not working and knowing they can feed their family.  A higher minimum wage the more cost benefit analysis favors people working.

Higher minimum wage = reduces crime

Americans will do what it takes to feed themselves and their family.  If selling drugs is more lucrative than working at McDonalds why would a kid make the choice of McDonalds.  There are other factors at work but money is a big one.  If a young kid who has little prospects knows that he can make a living off that low skill job he will be less likely to turn to crime.  As a continuation, reduced crime leads to less money needed to fight crime, reducing size of government.

Higher Minimum wage helps business.

The poor don’t (or can’t afford to) save money, or at least save a smaller percentage that of the middle class and upper class.  Money earned sitting idle in savings does not help the economy as much as money that is spent as soon as it is earned.  The American poor spend their money quickly to meet their needs.  The money is spent buying food, clothing, shelter from our capitalist system thus helping the food, clothing, and real estate business.  It also gives consumers choices instead of what is government approved products to spend welfare on.

Higher minimum wages broadens the tax base

If someone is making a livable wage, they are making a wage that can be taxed, increasing the tax base.  More givers equals less takers.  The government increases revenue.

Higher minimum wage reduces the deficit

A Decreasing spending on social safety net and broadening the tax base move the budget in the right direction.

Raising Minimum wages hurts Unions

The current rash of fast food and Wal-Mart strikes are mainly about wages.  Many of these people are trying to start unions in their stores.  If the minimum wage increase to a fair livable wage the reasons for American’s to join a union decreases.  Down with Unions, raise the wage!

What is your goal?

If your goal is to reduce the government and the deficit, hurt unions and help business.  If you think that we should reduce or eliminate the safety net.  You should be for a minimum wage increase.  The only argument left is it will hurt short term unemployment depending on how fast and how high you raise it.  The same arguments I had with my more liberal friends.

Not every issue that is brought up needs to a battle to the death over ideology.  Trying to convince someone that their entire belief structure is wrong, to tell them they are a villain for their beliefs doesn’t work.  Explaining how what you believe is also coherent to their beliefs is a much better and more successful.

If we are to overcome the partisan divide in politics and in media we need to change how we address questions and propose answers.  The sides agree on more than you think and we must be willing to make and listen to reasoned arguments.


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