Friday, May 15, 2015

Why Punish Poor People?

The minimum wage and other artificial "market fixes" are public statements that the poor cannot be expected to learn skills and improve their bargaining position in the market place.  Minimum wages impose, long run, a minimum skill level required to hold a job.  Those without those skill levels join the ranks of the unemployed and are barred by law from trading their labor for skill development.

Gone are the days when it was legal to be a "free intern" or an apprentice.  Only the affluent are legally permitted to be free interns, so long as they work for government, or in cases where they already posses a very high level of skill.  Those at the bottom are legally prohibited by minimum wage laws from finding a way to improve their skills.  Effectively, this legislation guarantees a permanent class of citizens with little or no skill and a permanent legal bar to developing skills.

This appeals, of course, to college students, with no such legal barriers in their way, or professors, long protected by their monopoly tenure positions.  They have nothing to fear.  Or the extremely wealthy left-wing politicians (think $ 100 million plus Clintons, with Bill Clinton earning $ 500,000 per speech, mostly paid by government sponsored entities), who claim to be defenders of the middle class.

But, a poor person who approaches a company pleading to work for free in exchange for learning a skill is likely, if successful, to wind up in jail.  Great system.  Tax the cigarettes purchased by poor people and use the money to fund the Clintons.  Meanwhile, legally prohibit the poor from developing the skills to escape poverty.  The Clintons have got this figured out.

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