Here’s the deal. It’s complex, but not that complex. Anyone in 9th grade oughta be able to grasp it – which is why the bedwetters don’t/won’t/ can’t.
- A corporation is a THING, an inanimate object. It has no “duties,” moral, ethical or otherwise, any more than does your car or your carpet.
- The people who run public corporations have two duties. A legal duty to maximize shareholder earnings (really to ensure best use of company money/earnings/investment, which is the same thing) by making the most profit they can, and to obey applicable laws.
- Corporations stay in business in two ways: They minimize expenses, including salaries, and maximize profits by charging what the market will bear. Minimizing expenses doesn’t mean paying crap wages, but it does mean not paying more than one has to. For example, when I go look for a job I won’t take less than what I want, and firms won’t pay more than they must to get my skills. We reach a balance and I earn a living and they stay in business. If companies could get top-flight managers and executives for $50K, don’t you think they would do so?
That’s pretty easy. But there’s more. The bedwetters are picking on Wal-Mart today.
Wal-Mart serves a need – fairly good products at a price affordable by the bottom half of the Middle Class and below. If they raised their wages, they’d have to raise their prices. Then either they go out of business because everyone goes to Target – violating the trust (moral obligation) of their shareholders and investors and employees, or they layoff a bunch of people to bring expenses back in line with earnings. If they raised prices, who would be left without those goods? The lower classes. That’s moral? Then where do the go, the Thrift Shop? Suppose they laid off a substantial number of employees to be able to pay the remaining ones $15? Cool. But what about those now unemployed… What are the ethics there? What’s the morality of putting in the unemployment line 250,000 to pay 1,000,000 a buck an hour more – that the market didn’t force?
But – wait – if everyone paid more, then they could afford higher prices, right? Then you’re just reaching market equilibrium at a higher level and have accomplished nothing in reality. If a gallon of milk costs 10 min of my wages – 1/6th of an hour – then you give me a raise so that I can afford it in only 8 min of my hour, but then raise the price (to pay my new wage) back to 10 min of wages – what have you accomplished in the real world? Nothing insofar as that consumer is concerned. They may THINK / FEEL they’re getting paid more, but it’s a charade for the dumb. For those on fixed incomes – retired people, mostly – you’ve taken money out of their pocket, money that can’t be replaced, because THEIR treasury is fixed – they have no wages of which the price is a part. THAT is a moral disservice.
But – why not lower profits instead of raising prices? Won’t an equilibrium be reached in that way? Surely those investors can make less, right? No, they won’t. They’ll invest elsewhere and Wal-Mart will go out of business, unemploying 1.2M. The morality in that is…? And what about your IRA or a retired person’s pension that’s invested in Wal-Mart? They reduce prices, their value drops, those retired people are screwed.
If the Left wants to talk about obligations, moral, ethical and otherwise, then the education system has an obligation to educate people both to understand the above, and to be well-enough educated not to remain in low-wage/min wage jobs. And the education system is run by the Left – and it sucks. If it were doing its job, we wouldn’t be having min wage discussions. For two reasons. 1. people would grasp that minwages are dumb and that jobs with them – as long as we have minwage – are for kids and people entering the job market – not for raising a family. Want to raise a family? Take responsibility to educate yourself to get a better job. But it is NOT the responsibility of the State to get you a job or ensure you’re paid $X. There’s a word for that: “Communism,” and it ALWAYS provides worse results than does capitalism.
McDonald’s is probably going to be forced into raising wages. They’re bleeding profits globally right now as their market changes. What will they do? Labor costs will have passed the point of automation. In europe already – here, soon – they’ll install ordering kiosks, putting OUT of work all the kids at the counter. Next, they’ll put in automated burger-making machines that right now make 360 burgers an hour – better & more consistent burgers than the kids working there now. Do I support this? No. But I don’t support minwage. The government is making McDonalds (and others) make a choice they normally wouldn’t make. So – who, really – is putting those kids out of a job? Democrats. But – wait – the Democrats say they’re the party of the working class… so how can they be blamed for hurting the working class?
See above, under “education.” The Democrats ALWAYS harm the poor the most. Always have. Always will. Worst schools, property values, economic opportunities, crime, employment… all are in working class neighborhoods that have been voting for Democrats since 1932. And they’re still poor.
But the Left doesn’t get this. They are IDEOLOGICALLY committed to the absurd idea that just because you exist, you are worthy of a Middle Class lifestyle, earned or not. It’s like when Bill Clinton came into office. In the Army, Rangers wore black berets. They busted their asses to get through Ranger school to earn them. Bill thought that wasn’t fair, so he ordered EVERYONE to wear black berets. He thought it was fair that those who just showed up got the same honor as those who worked for it; what the Left does. What they Left hates: Personal responsibility.
The Left also are Luddites and Malthusians – and they’re always wrong there, too.
And they HATE progress. Look at their agendas. They cannot get past the Industrial Age; everything invented since is evil. AND THEY ARE DUMB. You may or may not recall that Obama made a statement back in about 2009 to the effect that ATMs put bank tellers out of a job. He didn’t grasp that reducing friction in GETTING money increased the velocity of money in the market – and CREATED more jobs. The Left is too stupid to be able to think more than one layer at a time, more than one step ahead. Really. No hyperbole.
What happened when unions priced themselves out of many industries? Those industries automated. Detroit used to have human-manned assembly lines for cars. Now they’re all manned by robots. Why? People started charging more than they were worth. What happened to the people? Many got another or better job, the older ones got permanently unemployed. Why? They demanded more than their company could pay – and remain in business. Goose that laid the golden egg: Dead. And if the line couldn’t be automated – it went overseas. Unless America is gonna put a big wall around the country, companies are going to go where their costs are lowest. This is Globalism, and it’s a fact of life. I disagree with it, but that’s a legal issue setup by the government. I don’t go to work to raise the standard of living of some kid in Pakistan. That’s Pakistan’s business. We can build all we need, and have nearly all the raw materials we need. We just need to get back to duties & tariffs, etc., to fund our government – and minimize government to make it fundable thereby. And don’t get me started on welfare. I have NO obligation to some dumb ghetto guy’s kids he’s left all over town. They’re HIS problem. And, no, that’s not a lack of empathy, as the Left fantasizes. If I take responsibility for one kid, what about the rest? If I take 10, what about the eleventh? Once you start down the slope of it being ANYONE’s responsibility to raise my kid other than me, you know what you get? You get $18T in debt – which is just about exactly what we’ve spent on welfare since LBJ started it in 1964. And that costs over $160B a year in interest, lowering the standard of living of all of us.
But the Right and Left both love Wall Street, and Wall Street loves low prices – which is why the GOP is now on the wrong side in the immigration debate. Wall Street would be perfectly happy if all of us were just poor enough to buy some of their stuff but not too much. Lowering wages by using illegals willing to work for a buck a day works just fine for the 1%. It works just fine for the bottom feeders. But the Middle Class will disappear over time – but no one cares because all the decision makers will be dead by then. Their kids will be fine. The poor will be out a Middle Class to rob, and the Middle Class will be extinct. Past their time horizon. Oh – and Democrats don’t have kids to worry about, so they don’t care at all, which is why they vote as they do. (Three – and only three – Leftist/Democrat political units exist in Western Civilization that have above-replacement fertility: HI, NM, NV. Not ONE country outside of the US is at 2.1 or above – and the US ONLY because of Red States.)
And why do the rich support Wall Street? Why do they support both Progressive political (really just one now) political parties? Because in today’s Baby Boomer uneducated crony capitalism (State capitalism) world, the rich vote for whoever will leave them alone (and buy politicians to steer billions their way), the poor vote for whoever will steal the most from workers to give to them (the Middle Class), and neither group expects – or votes – for liberty or freedom. The rich don’t need it and the poor prefer to eat. No one in a socialist world wants a Middle Class. They are unruly and actually think they deserve to keep what they earn, depriving government of giving it to the poor for their votes, and demanding a job – which costs more than giving it some illegal, which will lower prices and increase earnings per share.
The fascinating thing is that ANYONE in the Middle Class votes for Democrats, or, increasingly, for Republicans. See above, under “Education.”
Until and unless we start demanding the smartest college grads be our teachers (right now our teachers have the lowest SATs of any cohort in colleges – they are the least and the dimmest), and paying those – smart – teachers what they are worth and rejecting government sector unions (which even FDR rejected), things can only get worse.
Min wage is just the tip of the iceberg, and the Progressive Democrat/GOP are just re-arranging the chairs on the Titanic.