Against raising minimum wage

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Feb. 26th's paper included a letter from ATNJ (Action Together NJ), a progressive activist group who praised the new $15 minimum wage law that NJ legislature just passed. Even though it is a popular notion that those who oppose the minimum wage are hardhearted corporatists that wish to oppress the poor, the opposite is actually true.

Somehow, the logic of the free market prosperity eludes leftists. The result of the $15 min. wage law in Seattle has been less employment, since businesses had to cut hours, employees, and benefits in order to stay open. One study estimated that the average low wage worker lost $125 a month with the $15 minimum wage. It is also likely that there will be fewer entry level job opportunities for young people in NJ.

On the other hand, the 2017 tax reform bill, which leftists oppose claiming it is just a tax break for the rich, has actually unleashed businesses to expand, create jobs, and raise wages without being told to by the government.

The crumbling socialist government of Venezuela is a present day example of what happens when the free market is not allowed to operate, and government determines prices and wages. Yes, there is greed in both capitalism and socialismit is a facet of imperfect human nature, but the beauty and safety of capitalism is the lack of tyranny that allows for prosperity.

The last insult of the ATNJ letter is their co-opting Martin Luther King’s original message of wanting a fair playing field and justice for all into a message of monetary equality and redistribution of wealth. Just because he used a banking metaphor does not mean he meant it literally. Equality of opportunity is the promise he strived for equality of outcome is not.

Luann Byrne


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