I posted a long ranting post about Freedom a couple of days ago here.
Andrea posted an incredible response to in it a comment... you can read her comment on the same link towards the bottom of the page.
This post is my response to Andrea's comment... if you haven't read my post and her comment, just a warning this post might not make sense. Also, if you don't like honest in-depth discussion about things... this post may bore you and you should probably punt here and go to youtube and find a cool kitten video or something.
Let's just go point by point...
Minimum wage: Andrea states that she doesn't think that companies (kinda out of the goodness of their heart) would pay people a proper wage if minimum wage was abolished. She also states that minimum wage is not a proper living wage. I whole-heartedly agree with both points. Completely.
But here's my response: If it is not a proper living wage how is it doing anyone any good? It accomplishes nothing in the world except driving the cost of goods up for everyone, including folks that are earning that amount. Example: I had a friend that ran 2 pizza joints, everyone in the place that worked full-time made more than minimum wage. If you got a full-time job, you started at more than minimum wage. So, in fact, that employer had taken upon themselves to pay the folks that made it their full time job to support themselves off of, more than the Gov. required. But the part time (about 90% college and high school students) help, started at minimum wage. They then worked themselves up based on performance and time in service. When the current minimum wage went into effect in July 2009 he had to increase the starting wage, and the wages of several folks who had been there for some time because all of a sudden they were making less than the people who started. All total just in pay increases due to minimum wage his yearly operating expense rose $28,000 for 2 pizza joints.What should he do? Eat the cost? There isn't that much profit in Pizza. So he raised his prices some... but you can quickly price yourself out of the game in the pizza business, so he started working more hours himself and his wife worked more hours at the store. So the biggest, longest lasting effects of the raise in this instance was higher priced pizza and less total job hours for employees to be paid in this market. To the point of $7.25 being a livable wage... absolutely its not. You can't support yourself on $7.25 an hour... but a high school kid working 20 hours a week can more than pay for gas and car insurance on it. Someone working a second job to pay off some bills can make a quick bunch of dollars off of it. No one will ever be able to support themselves or a family off minimum wage, that's why the argument of raising it or even having it to insure it is providing a livable wage is ridiculous. There are jobs in the world that aren't intended to provide a livable wage. Not only that, there are jobs in the world that it will disrupt the economy and destroy the market to try and make them pay a livable wage. To the argument of employers won't pay employees a good wage: absolutely there are employers who will take advantage of people and their situation. But there is also free market in this country and everyday thousands of people leave their jobs for greener pastures. I am not one to claim that free market is the end all solution to wage discrepancies... but its the best current solution. Our current wage and labor laws have accomplished 2 things... they have driven the cost of goods up (passed what minimum wage will pay for) and the have made using Migrant or illegal immigrant labor seem like the only viable choice to many employers. Most employers will in-fact pay for good help and the ones that wont are going to resort to other detrimental means to get around it. So what's the answer... let the Market decide and work very hard to help more people realize they have choices and can better themselves or their situation. It won't fix everything, nothing will, but the current situation is hurting everyone except the wealthy.
Unions: Andrea brings up valid points about Unions... they started with 100% sincerity to protect worker's safety and insure fairness in the sharing of profits. Let's be completely straight here I think any private sector union has the right to do and demand anything they want. I have never said they should be regulated in any way from demanding ANYTHING they want... it's America, if the Teamster's want a personal assistant for every employee paid for by the employer, the should legally be able to demand that. Andrea also said that she admits that some Unions have gotten corrupt and protect the lazy, I have seen this first hand as well and think it is a bigger problem than many realize, but I also agree that their are many unions still fighting hard to insure quality of work, worker's basic rights and a fair wage. I also think that many Unions don't have any concern for the well-being of the Company, this probably stemmed from the Company not caring about their well-being, but its a 2 wrongs
Andrea then goes on to discuss "Prostitution" ... (sorry Andrea I feel bad that I drug your name into this convo!)
She brings up completely true and valid points about the horrific facts associated with the illegal pay for sex trade and points out that she doesn't think most prostitutes are engaged in it to pay their mortgage. I think everything she said is true, except the mortgage part. I do think many that involved in it are doing it to pay their bills. Yes of course some (probably more than most professions) are doing it to pay for a drug habit... but folks are working for the postal service to pay for a drug habit as well... any job this is true. But everyone that is doing it because they need the money for legitimate things is being made a criminal for making a contract with another adult to go and do something that is perfectly legal if they don't exchange currency. I would also contend that anything in the world that cannot be eradicated should be legalized and controlled. Alcohol and Drugs have 100% proven that in history. Smoking a joint in my home, having a beer, owning a gun, or having sex for a buck, creates no victim and is only a crime because we create laws that are unenforceable and cost trillions to chase a pipe dream. Would legalizing it make the world perfect? No absolutely not, but it would for sure, relieve under-paid, understaffed Law-Enforcement entities, create a taxable industry and quit making criminals out of consenting adults. It would also create standards and policies for it to be done in a healthy, productive way.
Folks... it's prostitution is illegal for the exact same reason gay marriage still is in so many places... someone chose to legislate their morals on you.
Greed: Andrea talks about Greed next and we just had a mis-communication. She list things like "(not pay taxes or into Social Security or Medicare/caid, food stamps, etc.)" - thats not what I am talking about... I agree they have to pay into those things... I think those things need reworked and modified but we need those things and everyone should pay. I was talking more about wages and the giving of money to programs like research and cultural things. I don't think folks should be forced to pay for things they don't deem essential in most cases. (Yes, there is a gray area here, cut loose)
Andrea's last paragraph is a subjective stance on the overall good of folks. I don't disagree with her, but I also don't think its relevant to the conversation. The fact some bad folks will do bad things is never IMO a legit reason to not let good folks do good things. Also deciding what is good and bad is so often a judgement call. I just think we let morals get into law making and we not only erase some Freedoms to do good, we create criminals that have no victim and we enable some other forms of bad to flourish.
Anyhow... sorry this so long, mega-thanks to Andrea, it was a killer comment and I love the discussion and i will be here for ever so only let it die on this subject if you want.