A Biblical Case Against the Minimum Wage

As if we needed more evidence, we now have additional evidence that the progressive uplifters of our society are impervious to the claims of evidence. In support of this claim, I would simply point to the fact that California is now poised to join other economic illiterates in adopting a $15 an hour minimum wage.Minimum Wage

Those advocating this are either ignorant or cruel. Since this is being done in the name of the poor, I would like to begin by noting that ignorant people can’t help the poor, and the cruel people won’t. The ignorant uplifters actually think that such measures will actually result in extra cash for low-wage works, and such advocates simply need to be escorted to a back room where they can lie down for a bit. The cruel know very well that this won’t help the poor, but rather will hurt them. But that is a small price to pay for the additional power they will acquire in harassing, controlling, and destroying the small business owners who actually supply jobs to the poor.

So I don’t keep you in suspense, here is the biblical case against the minimum wage. “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him” (Prov. 14:31, ESV).

The principal engine of oppression against the poor is fraud. The poor have no ability to hire lawyers, accountants, or economists, and so they are almost entirely vulnerable to the political thimbleriggers whose hands are always moving so quickly. And when the poor are being oppressed by massive fraud — which is what minimum wage legislation necessarily is — you can’t resolve the issue by asking those perpetrating the fraud if their claims are fraudulent. Why no, they exclaim, with raised eyebrows. Fraud? Us?

The poor don’t need promises of wages, they need wages. They don’t need the rhetoric of opportunity, they need opportunity. They don’t need low-end job destruction; they need low-end job creation.

Minimum wage laws are either a manifestation of contempt for the truth, which is the pose that the ignorant reformers prefer, or contempt for the poor and those who employ them, which is the stance of the cruel.

You stand for the minimum wage and you deny being cruel? Why aren’t you arguing for $50 an hour? Sounds cruel to me — you $35 an hour thief. But then one of the ignorant reformers breaks in — wait a minute, he says. $50 an hour wouldn’t work because there would have to be layoffs. Ohhhh . . . there is a point where minimum wage increases causes layoffs among the poor? Who knew? What is the point where that might happen? What is the threshold where we have caused a rise in unemployment among the poor? Who knows? Good thing we have top brains in Sacramento working on it.

The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel (Prov. 12:10), and so we must simply oppose their wickedness. That is one front in the battle. But the real pervasive threat is the serene blissfulness of the ignorati. It is hard to learn anything when you are taking warm and self-congratulatory baths every day, soothed by the bubbly froth of one’s own uninstructed conscience. That ignorance is a very expensive hobby, but the one in the tub never has to notice it because someone else always gets the bill.

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jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Ditto for lotteries and the payday loan places. Cruel.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Come to think of it, I just wish the progressive SJWs would treat the payday loan places as good as they treat Christian bakers and photographers.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That’s a broad brush – there are quite a few “SJW” who speak out and act out against the payday loan places. Google “payday loans are unjust” or anything like that and you’ll find a lot. My guess is that there are very, very, very few people of any persuasion who are lifting a finger to do anything to a Christian baker/photographer. The media loves the few examples they can find, because it riles up the righteous warriors on both sides who have nothing better to do than argue about their right to buy a cupcake or their right to… Read more »

Lance Roberts
Guest

Minimum wage is just a way to redistribute money from those on a fixed income to those in the workforce. First, the minimum wage recipients get more $, then some prices increase, then eventually all wages rise and all prices increase. So it’s $-neutral (though not job neutral), BUT those on a fixed income don’t get an increase, they just get the higher prices. It’s ultimately theft and a breaking of God’s law.

Jim Hale
Guest
Jim Hale

And don’t forget the automatic 15 cents per dollar, per hour that the government gets just in FICA withholding.

BdgrGrrl
Guest
BdgrGrrl

And I suppose you aren’t going to accept Social Security when you are eligible? Don’t worry that it’s going broke; it’s not. In 2034, it will still be able to pay about 80% of promised benefits for the foreseeable future. If all of us sacrifice now (recipients on a sliding income-based scale and those still paying in), it won’t be hard to close all or most of that gap.

Ilíon
Member

Excuse me, but who *isn’t* on a “fixed income”? I mean, other than government “workers”, obviously.

Lance Roberts
Guest

Fixed income means retirees mostly, someone getting their income from a defined package.

Ilíon
Member

Yes, I’ve lived my whole life (*) having to hear retirees whine about how hard it is to get by on their “fixed income” and how they *deserve* to vote themselves more money out of my pocket because they have a “fixed income”.

 

(*) I’m pushing 60

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

How is it theft? At what point does it become theft? Workers ought to be paid, correct? So is it theft when we raise the minimum wage to match inflation? Is it theft when it goes up 50 cents? Two dollars?

insanitybytes22
Member

It is theft because low wage earners seldom even see that money. What they net and take home in our so called wage increases is often just gobbled up in now being in higher tax bracket and having to pay more taxes. In the end we all “feel good” about having helped the poor, but all we’ve really done is taken more money from businesses, filtered it through the poor who will never actually see it, and handed it back to the government.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Yes, but they FEEL good and virtuous and pious using OPM, and after all, isn’t that what matters?

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

“What they net and take home in our so called wage increases is often just gobbled up in now being in higher tax bracket and having to pay more taxes.” That is B.S. Let’s do the math. If I were making $8 an hour and I worked 40 hours a week with no vacations all year long, I’d make 15,360 dollars. If I was bumped up to $15 dollars an hour and worked the same schedule, I’d make 28,800 dollars. Now, without going through all of the deductions and so forth, if I just apply the income earned to the… Read more »

Jane
Member

The standard deductions are essential here, as is the EIC. It may still come out that the net gain significantly exceeds the tax increase, but your calculation is far too simple to do the question justice.

insanitybytes22
Member

You’ve left off the part about the earned income credit, the child tax credit, the Obamacare fines, and also the increased taxes from social security and medicare. You are also speaking gross income, not net, so on paper it may look good but in reality money is actually about your ability to purchase goods and services. Without fail, minimum wage increases are followed by rent increases, as we have seen in Seattle. Your extra 12 grand has now become 4 grand and is quickly gobbled up by the increased cost of housing and other goods. In the end, the net… Read more »

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

Why do you just throw this stuff out there without bothering to see if it’s right? A person earning 28,800 a year, with a child, can claim the child tax credit. With a qualifying child, they can also claim the Earned Income Credit. Both of them! No one making minimum wage is priced out of either of these credits. And since you took issue with my simplified tax calculations, let’s make it more realistic. Let’s take wages at 8 and 15, subtract the tax that should be withheld (based on the tax table), subtract the Obamacare penalty for opting out… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Pittard wrote:

This is real money they can use for housing and other goods.

Pittard also forgot to include the wage penalty for the guy whose wages went to zero because he lost his job to make way for the minimum wage increase. Apparently he doesn’t count in Pittard’s equation.

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

It’s also true that if you lowered wages, a guy that is currently unemployed might get a job. If we cut the minimum wage to 2 dollars an hour, a company could hire a whole bunch of employees. Yes, some people may lose their job as a result of this policy. But the thing to keep in mind is that the minimum wage policy is not a policy about employment. It is a policy about livable wages. Unemployment and affordable housing and other issues can and should be dealt with. But people need to be able to earn a livable… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Pittard wrote:

But the thing to keep in mind is that the minimum wage policy is not a
policy about employment. It is a policy about livable wages.
Unemployment and affordable housing and other issues can and should be
dealt with. But people need to be able to earn a livable wage.

Apparently Pittard has decided that teenagers can’t want summer jobs so they can buy energy drinks and video games. No, no. Teenagers must only need or want to work so that they can support a family of four, with a livable wage.

God save us from these insufferable do-gooders.

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

24% of workers at or below the minimum wage are teenagers, and most of those are part time workers. The actual number of people working at or below the minimum wage is quite small. Only 3 million workers total in the US. That makes 720,000 teenagers, but 2,280,000 men and women (mostly women, statistics show) that are not teenagers. So even if we accept your broad generalization about why teenagers work and how they use their money (which might be based on your own experience and a teenager but is certainly not indicative of all teenagers that work), should we… Read more »

Jane
Member

You can’t wave away the fact increasing the minimum causes some people’s jobs to go to $0/hr by pointing out that nobody should make $2 an hour. No employer will attempt to pay people $2 an hour with or without a legal minimum, or if they do, they’ll quickly figure out it won’t work, since people will not spend hours of each day working at a job that does not enable them to live on any terms, when there are alternatives. Unemployment needs to be addressed in ways that go beyond the minimum wage discussion, but it also needs to… Read more »

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

“No employer will attempt to pay people $2 an hour with or without a legal minimum, or if they do, they’ll quickly figure out it won’t work, since people will not spend hours of each day working at a job that does not enable them to live on any terms, when there are alternatives.” This isn’t true. For one, many people don’t have other alternatives, and the 7.25 Federal minimum wage makes is already a wage that makes it hard to live “on any terms” for those trying to support themselves or a family. And if there aren’t other alternatives,… Read more »

Jane
Member

People have homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and food banks.

Are those pleasant alternatives?

No. But compared to trying to live on $16 a day while spending 8 hours of it tiring yourself out at a job, not to mention having to spend money on transportation and keeping your clothing clean enough for a job, they’re probably a better deal.

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

You’re right, which is why we should give them more than 16 dollars a day to get by on. Raising the minimum wage just happens to be a great way to do that.

Jane
Member

But the point is that you don’t need any law to keep people from earning $2 an hour. No one will work for that, if it will not ultimately aid their ability to sustain themselves, which in real life, it will not. Raising the minimum wage is a great way to ensure that people will not earn $2 an hour, which was not going to happen anyway in the real world, but a terrible way to minimize the number of people earning $0 an hour, which does happen when people who can’t generate $15 an hour are required to be… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Pittard neglected to factor in the welfare cliff. At a certain point there are significant losses due to the sudden disqualification for other government assistance programs. Check out the chart at this link to see the disincentive to earn more income.

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

Yes. All those people out there that would rather not work. Have you met many people on welfare?

Susan Gail
Member
Susan Gail

Spike you are the red herring master

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

It’s not a red herring. It is calling Katecho on his/her claim (and the claim of the chart on the decidedly non-biased Commonwealth Foundation site) that people on welfare don’t want to get off welfare because its such a great deal. It’s what we call a generalization. If you want to study red herrings, look at Katecho, who never responds to an actual argument I’m making but always changes the subject by bringing up another problem. The supposed “welfare cliff” he introduces here being a perfect example. Has he/she responded to the tax data I presented above, which was the… Read more »

Matt Bell
Member

What options does a constitutional Christian government have for preventing businesses from paying totally unlivable wages to, say, all unskilled labor positions?

Lance Roberts
Guest

It becomes theft when the government uses force to force it to happen. So instead of market forces changing wages, it’s one party forcing another to do it.

John
Member

Excellent article. However how many of us attend a church where there is a fund set up to help the poor hire lawyers, accountants etc???

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Doug literally makes no argument to support his case. He quotes a verse that could also be in support of minimum wage just as much as against it. He then rambles on and on assuming it falls in line with what ever he already believes.

Please, if you are going to make an argument at least use facts and supporting evidence.

Matt Abel
Guest
Matt Abel

Andy, http://www.businessinsider.com/panera-bread-20-kiosk-ordering-system-2015-11
The fact that you don’t realize businesses are moving to automation to cut rising labor costs promulgated by a rising minimum wage raises many questions. I’m not even an econ guy; this is common knowledge, I would think. Anyway, your ignorance in this regard seems to make Rev. Wilson’s point.

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Yes yes, my ignorance is appalling I know. Unfortunately it goes much deeper than your article. I do appreciate the condensation though that I didn’t think about this at all. Look hommie, people are on separate sides of the isle. It does not mean that we should ignore one another or put one another down or call people trying to do good “ignorant or cruel” when they are putting the same if not more thought into it that us.

adad0
Member

Why can’t we have any good thinkers on this topic? Like Marx or Engles?????

RFB
Guest
RFB

“Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our political opponents have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?”

Joe Stalin 1930

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Have whatever opinion you want. That’s what America is all about.

drewnchick
Member

Or why not Adam Smith or Thomas Paine?

adad0
Member

Those guys might be patriarchs! Can’t have any of those now can we?????

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Or Ricardo’s Iron Law of Wages? I think he said that if you pay the poor a decent wage, there will be too many of them. Just give them enough money to buy potatoes and a mud cabin. It doesn’t sound very kind, but maybe having 16 brothers and sisters warped his world view.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That was part of the ignorant age of human population expansion. Malthus, Ricardo, and their friends have been proven wrong time and time again since then. We now know that helping people make their way up in life actually results in LOWER population growth. Once people make a little more money, they’re far better able to regulate the number of children they have. Once people have confidence in their earnings and health, the reasons to have children go down. It should be absolutely obvious by now. In almost any country, birth rates decline as wages go up. In every continent… Read more »

Matt Abel
Guest
Matt Abel

I didn’t know we were surrounded by water. My ignorance is appalling.

adad0
Member

Wow condescension about condensation .! When have these ever been in the same sentence?????

Matt Abel
Guest
Matt Abel

Sarcasm has no place in humor.

Matt Abel
Guest
Matt Abel

If your issue is with “ignorant and cruel”, those are the only options in this case. It’s just an assessment. Either proponents of minimum wage really don’t understand what it does… Or they do understanding and proceed in making life more difficult for the poor. To criticize the descriptions of “ignorant” and “cruel”, one must either present a third possibility or refute these. In reards to ignorance, “trying to do good” does not eliminate ignorance in a person.

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Why do I have to refute or present a third possibility when the first two were never proved? I’m not the one writing blog posts and I don’t pastor any churches.

adad0
Member

And so, the invisible hand, continues to manifest its self!????
So much so that I don’t pastor a church either!????

RFB
Guest
RFB

What’s even worse is the invisible fist.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think you underestimate the speed with which information technology drops in price. If automation can undercut $10/hour workers this year, then it’ll be undercutting $3/hour workers five years from now anyway. Yelling “we need to outbid the robots!” is a losing argument.

The only winning argument is that a human is better than a robot, not cheaper than a robot. There has to be some good reason for the human interaction and possibilities there. As long as your only argument is price, the robot is going to win sooner or later.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan seems to have a plan to help the case for robots move faster…. using someone else’s money.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

How can one “literally make no argument?”

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

its a figure of speech. google it

lit·er·al·ly
ˈlidərəlē,ˈlitrəlē/

adverb

in a literal manner or sense; exactly.
“the driver took it literally when asked to go straight across the traffic circle”
synonyms: exactly, precisely, actually, really, truly; More

informal
used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true.
“I have received literally thousands of letters”

Christopher
Member
Christopher

See also ‘Word Crimes’ by weird al.

drewnchick
Member

It’s literally a wrong way to use the word. It’s not even an oxymoron; it’s just dumb to say that literally means “not literally.”
Don’t stoop to the ghetto-speak of our wasted culture…

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Too bad language evolves over time. Lucky for you though, you will die sooner than me and won’t have to witness as much of the alleged pillaging of the English language (as if it has not been changing over time anyways).

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

“used for emphasis or to express strong feeling while not being literally true.”
Bwuahahahha! They used “literally” to define when “literally” doesn’t mean “literally!”
That is so random, I literally spit on my monitor. (You get to figure out if I did or not.)

RFB
Guest
RFB

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

They are through the looking glass and do not want to come back.

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

I know. I love English. I think everyone should speak it. Best language NA.

Ilíon
Member

When one is intellectually dishonest, as Mr Hall clearly is, one can assert *anything* and then demand it be accepted as truth.

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Hahaha. Good one. Please go back and come up with better insults. Feel free to google some if you can’t think up any interesting ones.

Howard Parks
Guest
Howard Parks

Mininum wage laws = oppression of the poor, through loss of opportunities to work, while simultaneously pretending this is going to make things better. I agree that case isn’t made clearly here.

I think it amusing that proponents of $15/hr wages think Evil Corporations will get the money for that by deducting it from the CEO’s $15 million salary. But they should know better: they’re evil Evil Corporations. They’ll pay that CEO $17 million once he shows how the costs of installing the robots can be covered by the savings in payroll and new hire drug tests.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

If minimum wage really causes less opportunities to work, and that loss of opportunities outweighs the gain that the rest of the workers make by actually earning enough money to make rent, then make the case. The case also needs to address the fact that the government has to toss up a large amount of money to support the underpaid workers (who foots their emergency room bills? Food stamps?). The EITC is part of that too, and Reagan was an huge supporter of the EITC, which is basically just corporations passing the buck for MW onto the public. Doug does… Read more »

john k
Guest
john k

God is no respecter of nationality, either. All Americans, Indians, and Chinese should not be paid more than the Rwandans.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Bingo!

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Are you speaking to JC or to me? Reading into the case that JC is making in context, I think he’d be quite willing to account for purchasing power differences, if you explained such a thing to him. I think he feels that the divine order is only disturbed when the differences lead to one faithful worker becoming rich and another poor, thereby leading the rich to exploit the poor and the poor to be unable to faithfully care for their family.

john k
Guest
john k

I’m glad you are willing to mitigate St John C’s seemingly unnuanced position on wage equality, but that means the quotation is not helpful for the nuanced wage practices that you suggest. (It’s good also to be reminded by JC that it is wrong to oppress the poor–but it is a problem if JC in context means that the existence of rich people is always due to exploitation, or inevitably leads to exploitation.)

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

JC’s words were a sermon to a congregation. In context, of course cost-of-living does not apply. But there’s nothing helpful in saying “therefore nothing applies because all situations are different”. It’s helpful to acknowledge that, long before sinful devious liberal politicians suggested such a thing, it really was a respected position within the church that wage equality was a good thing. And yeah, JC basically said that the existence of rich Christians while poverty still exists is always problematic. Unfortunately, our current culture is so wedded to wealth that the automatic response in 90+% of American Christians of all types… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Basil the Great, another of the most highly respected of the early Church Fathers, was of a similar vein: ““But whom do I treat unjustly,” you say, “by keeping what is my own?” Tell me, what is your own? What did you bring into this life? From where did you receive it? It is as if someone were to take the first seat in the theater, then bar everyone else from attending, so that one person alone enjoys what is offered for the benefit of all in common—this is what the rich do. They seize common goods before others have… Read more »

David R
Guest
David R

These are excellent statements, but where in any of this is government coercion proscribed or involved? John C and Basil are directing their comments to individuals, appealing to their faith, that they would use their wealth to help the poor and needy. He is exhorting the Church to follow the teachings of Christ, not through government coercion or force, but through the exercise of their faith and the outpouring of love.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

As I’ve repeated numerous times, the first step involves actually acknowledging that higher wages for the poorest would be a good thing. Pastor Wilson consistently denies that, and is entire “Biblical case for against the minimum wage” is built on that idea. I’m challenging that idea, first and foremost. IF we can come to agreement on that, the we can start discussing what is and isn’t a good way to make it happen. Obviously in Basil and John Chrysostom’s time, having the Roman government regulate wages wasn’t a big part of the picture. It may not be for us either… Read more »

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“As I’ve repeated numerous times, the first step involves actually acknowledging that higher wages for the poorest would be a good thing. Pastor Wilson consistently denies that”

I’m sure we agree that a christian buisiness owner should fairly compensate his workers for their time and labor. But I don’t think Wilsons objection to the increasing minimum wage equates to him thinking that the poor would be worse off if they weren’t poor.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Pastor Wilson quite directly says that paying higher wages would be bad, because it destroys jobs. Now, if he thinks that Christian business owners should start paying their workers more, that would be a nice thing to say, because there are a LOT of Christian business owners who pay the lowest possible wages.

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“Pastor Wilson quite directly says that paying higher wages would be bad, because it destroys jobs.”

He directly says that forcing buisinesses to pay higher wages destroys jobs, which is bad.

“Now, if he thinks that Christian business owners should start paying their workers more, that would be a nice thing to say, because there are a LOT of Christian business owners who pay the lowest possible wages.”

Regardless of what Wilson thinks I agree that a christian business owner should not be trying to pay workers as little as possible.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

What do you think the determining line or factors should be? If you know that there are desperate families in your community, and they are so poor that you could get away with paying the breadwinner $4/hour even though that means they’ll likely have to share a home with another family, live off food stamps and government health care, and be in a decrepit neighborhood with horrific schools…how do you decide whether to pay more, and how much more? Does the fact that they’ll leave for a better job asap (but you’ll be able to find an equally desperate person… Read more »

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“Does the fact that they’ll leave for a better job asap (but you’ll be able to find an equally desperate person to replace them rather quickly) play into it?” No, this is a bad business model, espesially for a christian. However I’ve seen fish processing plants pay people low starting wages with pay increases after x hours worked. This allows for temporary work for those not looking for a living wage. “If you know that there are desperate families in your community, and they are so poor that you could get away with paying the breadwinner $4/hour even though that… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

What you would personally do is exactly what I’m saying that we have a discussion calling Christians to do. And we could talk about it with real examples, real numbers, real discussion about what kinds of standards we want to set for how we treat our employees. I’m told that religious Israelis actually have very strong standards in this regard (One Jewish friend from Israel told me, not sure how true it is, that some have a rule by which they never take an income higher than 8x what their lowest-paid employee makes). We don’t need one rule like that..but… Read more »

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“If we agree that all Christian employers should provide such for their employees, and we agree to have real discussions on what that looks like and try to be active and accountable in talking about it as a church, then I believe we’ll have gone a long ways.”

Accepting that christian employers are subject to outside pressure and may not be able to provide this immediately. Discussing moving in this direction will be profitable.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Amen!

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I do like St. John C, but I don’t think he knew much about economics. Of course, God values the surgeon and the dishwasher equally; of course, it is as noble to be a tree trimmer as to be an NFL quarterback. But the only type of society that would ever reward their labor equally is a dystopia where everyone is poor.

Katecho
Member

Was Chrysostom arguing that employers should pay a fair wage, or that governments should require employers to pay a wage that they dictate? See the difference? It doesn’t seem that Jonathan does.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

If you had bothered reading what I’ve repeated over and over again, you’d see that I quite clearly do. But a strawman is easier to attack than the actual argument. As I keep repeating, the FIRST item of discussion is whether we should be paying the poorest people more. Pastor Wilson clearly disagrees – that’s what his whole “Biblical case against the minimum wage” is based on. You clearly disagree too – hence the snarky robots comment you made just before this one and your other contributions to the discussion. I dispute that point. I got called a communist repeatedly… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: As I keep repeating, the FIRST item of discussion is whether we should be paying the poorest people more. Pastor Wilson clearly disagrees – that’s what his whole “Biblical case against the minimum wage” is based on. Wilson has never opposed anyone paying more to poor people. Can Jonathan quote where he thinks Wilson said such a thing? Let’s see it. Rather Wilson’s point is that it is wrong for the State to mandate that people pay more to the poor. See the difference? It’s still not clear that Jonathan can see it, since he keeps defending statist… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Pastor Wilson makes clear over and over that he thinks the issue is not just that it is technically wrong for the state to do such a thing, or that it is an abuse of power, but that it is actually bad for the poor to receive higher wages because then they’ll lose jobs. “The cruel know very well that this won’t help the poor, but rather will hurt them. But that is a small price to pay for the additional power they will acquire in harassing, controlling, and destroying the small business owners who actually supply jobs to the… Read more »

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“If you follow that logic, then you’ll oppose generally higher wages for the poor whether they’re state-imposed or church-imposed or simply the individual decisions of Christian businessowners.”

From what I’ve read of Wilson he isn’t opposed to Individual christian business owners deciding what to pay their workers, and I’m sure he would agree that Scrooge was right to raise Cratchets salary instead of hiering a second clerk.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Then he has to actually state that, and then explain why he thinks it’s better for the worker. Because the logic of this post, as it stands, would be that Scrooge is hurting the poor by failing to pay the lowest wages possible so he can employ a second clerk.

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

Well said. And you’ll notice how Katecho disappeared after this comment. He/she does not do well with actual, well reasoned arguments.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Or any argument. He’s the purest example of the partisan shill that I’ve ever seen on an internet forum. In 10 years of reading this blog, I’ve never once seen him listen to someone else, admit correction, change his position when it was pointed out that his facts were wrong, etc. He has his set of positions and he’ll defend them to the death no matter how many loops he has to jump through to to it. And being particularly rude and mean-spirited about it all the while.

Spike Pittard
Guest
Spike Pittard

And always referring to you in the third person. Anyway, nice work with your posts.

geoffrobinson
Guest
geoffrobinson

Best group on Facebook: Robots for a $15 Minimum Wage

adad0
Member

“The principal engine of oppression against the poor is fraud.”

Let’s not forget that our recent “universal” healthcare law was based on fraudulent “research”.
Has anyone “saved” the alleged $2500 a year off their health insurance premiums? ????
Sounds like the principal engine of making people poor is also fraud.????

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

You had to go there. One of the greatest ironies of my life is how much my blood pressure becomes elevated by attempts of the government to improve health care. Such an evil, insidious plot.

duellsquimby
Member

The government never saves me or you any money. The IRS likes to think it does when it says, ‘refund’ but that’s not so much the case.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Duells. Agreed.

Katecho
Member

How about those 29 hour work weeks? Poor folks are loving those, I’m sure.

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

My health insurance premiums doubled between this year and last year, but my income dropped, so the state subsidies now pay for all of my premiums instead of half of them.

I’m so glad that the government installed a system to solve the problem that government requirements caused, thus making me dependent on said government to meet the government’s mandates. I feel so free, and not at all as though the government has taken the largest step toward making me a serf, rather than the free citizen that I used to be. / sarc

Katecho
Member

Speaking of which, provinces in Canada are having to spend hundreds of millions on youth employment initiatives to offset the consequences of their unjustified minimum wage increases. Talk about double-jeopardy for business. Yet some people run around praising Canada’s minimum wage as a success story.

adad0
Member

But if we make being sick a $15 / HR gig, you could be free and rich! In fact, develop a chronic condition and you’ll be all set!????????

RFB
Guest
RFB

Well I am sick and tired of a lot of the stupid I have heard in this thread. Does that count?

Katecho
Member

That’s an acute condition, not chronic (I hope). :-)

adad0
Member

Here I offer two curative articles as an antidote for flaws apparent in some of the very “righteous” opinions expressed on this topic.
(Folk/fact cures, supplements so to speak!)

1.10 Things You Should Know About the Minimum Wage Debate. By Joe Carter.

2. http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/03/28/californias-15-minimum-wage-deal-will-cause-unemployment-we-have-the-proof-of-this/#45ff57981906

RFB
Guest
RFB

I need to figure out how to inject it intravenously for rapid effect.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

I’m so glad that the government installed a system to solve the problem that government requirements caused

http://despair.com/products/government

insanitybytes22
Member

Wilson is correct, it is either ignorant or cruel or both. Minimum wage increases actually harm the poor in a myriad of ways. Layoff and reduced hours, increased costs of goods, all things that actually reduce the amount of money we have in our hands. Also, many working poor receive government subsidies and assistance and when you increase wages, you wind up decreasing other benefits. People who once qualified for medicaid for example, suddenly figure out their new and exciting tax bracket requires them to now be fined for being unable to afford health insurance.

drewnchick
Member

Min wage harms those who get laid off. And like a Shirley Jacksonian lottery the poor masses hold their breaths in hopes that they will not be one of the unfortunates who get bumped off. For if they keep their job, they make $30K/year, which IS worth writing home about. Sufficient payout, at any rate, to secure future votes… Yes, it’s a vote-grabbing maneuver, pure and simple, and the truly diabolical unwritten truth is that when 1/3 of the working poor lose their jobs, they won’t blame the government who raised the min wage to $15/hr…they’ll blame the business owners… Read more »

duellsquimby
Member

And that’s just one of the many reasons I didn’t support the Democrats after I had to go out and make a living. I got tired of getting hit by things like this. It reminded me of being able to join the union and the only thing it got me was more $$ taken out of my check. Then there was the next job where I didn’t have to join the union, but dues were still taken out non-the-less

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Wait – is one of your arguments that raising minimum wage is bad because then the public won’t give so many welfare benefits to the poor?

Wouldn’t you rather have the people who are directly benefiting from the labor of the poor pay their benefits, instead of forcing the taxpaying public to do so?

On the other things you say, the “newest” comments by Matt and Spike point out why you really haven’t made your argument yet. The argument that there’s a net benefit for the poor is strong.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote:

Wouldn’t you rather have the people who are directly benefiting from the
labor of the poor pay their benefits, instead of forcing the taxpaying
public to do so?

Wait, Jonathan doesn’t realize that he’s talking about forcing the same people in both of his scenarios?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Wow – look at you getting all socialist all the sudden. I didn’t realize that you’d be so quick to take the costs of a particular company’s policies and be willing to spread them across all taxpayers just like that. No, the people who directly profit off of people getting paid minimum wage cannot be immediately equated with the taxpaying public. If that were true, there’d be no problem with raising the minimum wage, because it would be exactly the same thing as taxing the general public, and THAT’S exactly what the EITC is already doing anyway. The only reason… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

The argument that there is a net benefit for the poor may well be strong, but that doesn’t mean it is truthful or rooted in evidence and outcomes.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

What an ironic statement, considering the content of the post we’re all commenting on. There are a LOT of studies that have been done on the general effects of the minimum wage. One I saw recently looked at New Jersey/Pennsylvania when one had increased the minimum wage and the other hadn’t, and found no loss of employment even at the border. But the better looks are the metastudies that compare many situations analyzed in different ways. Since the overall conclusion of the studies is “no clear relationship has been demonstrated between minimum wage increases and higher inflation or lower employment”,… Read more »

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

I’m sorry, I seem to have misplaced the concept of an “entry-level” job somewhere….oh, here it is, under the half-eaten stack of pancakes I scraped off the plate as a $1.60/hr busboy in 1973.

adad0
Member

Greedy bus boy!???? That was a fortune in 1973!

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Not so much, daddio. The point is (yes, I do have one) if Mr. Restaurant Owner is required to pay someone $15 to schlep dirty plates to the dishwasher, is he going to hire the pimply-faced 15 year-old who has never had a real job in his whole life? Or is he going to hire someone older, more experienced, and possibly less prone to be caught smoking in back of the dumpster when he should be working? And, if we must pay the busboy $15/hr, how much will we have to pay the dishwasher, the waitress, and the cook?

David Oestreich
Guest
David Oestreich

You won’t have a busboy as that would be to expensive, and waiters will have to bus their own tables.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Indeed. So, who benefits?

adad0
Member

Pipe down and pay your health ins. Cap’n!????

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

$15 per hour of course. That is a living wage and no-one needs more than that to live and thrive. Is the work of the busboy somehow less valuable than the work of the waitress? Is the work of the waitress more valuable than the work of the busboy? No! The work that they do is of equal value, therefore the wage that they are paid should also be equal! The cook and the dishwasher and the manager should also be paid the same wage! /prog

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

So then, Arwen, if the busboy is paid the same as the manager, what incentive does the busboy have to ever become the manager?

Jane
Member

Why does he need one? Why devalue the work of a busboy by suggesting there’s any reason he *should* want to become the manager?

But if he needs one, it will be provided by the warm glow of self-esteem and job satisfaction produced by the $15 wage. Paying people more makes them better workers, and happier people, who will then self-motivate to better themselves (insofar as one condition could ever properly be called “better” than another.)

/prog

RFB
Guest
RFB

Better or happier are not permitted conditions. Remember, anyone who is happier or is doing better is being cruel to others. Now say your penance.

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

None whatsoever, which is the point – remove all incentive to strive and improve, thus preventing ambitious underlings from gaining the skills to outdo their hierarchical superiors. Everything stays constant, everything stays in place, everything stays manageable, and the control freaks that infest our government and fancy themselves our intellectual betters get to keep their cushy little jobs because no one will have incentive to riot and overthrow the government. (Poverty is the only cause of civil unrest, you understand.) And then everyone will gather together for a rousing rendition of “Imagine” (…or as rousing as is possible with the… Read more »

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Got it, Arwen, thank you. I did not recognize the sarcasm in your first post. I thought you were serious. Bread and circuses. Check.
And as for Dunsworth, below: I believe the social experiment you are advocating has been tried and found lacking in many, many countries where little red books were issued. The triumph of the proletariat over the bourgeois inevitably results in the bureaucrats becoming the bourgeois and millions of the proletariat ending up dead at their hands.

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

No worries. I did kind of hide the “/prog” tag at the end of the paragraph. ^_^

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

I am not familiar with that tag. What does it mean?

RFB
Guest
RFB

Ya know, this system just does not work, we need to stop trying it, said no communist ever.

Katecho
Member

Fortunately, God has made the world in such a way that statism collapses under its own weight. God is not mocked, we reap what we sow. It will be a very painful lesson, particularly because much of the world is in the same warm bubble bath of fiat bliss. This time around the statists are not limited by other people’s money, they have graduated to spending the productive output of generations of people yet to be born! This is how we know that their promises will be defaulted on.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Keep saying thinks like that and people will start calling you Mike :)
(1 Kings 22)

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Oh, I dunno, RFB. I imagine someone in Tiananmen square might have uttered something along those lines at some point.

Jane
Member

They weren’t really communists, which is the point.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Right. They were “dissidents.” Which, in a communist country, is a temporary state immediately preceding their status as “dead.”

Jane
Member

Not entirely. There are dissidents alive and not wholly unwell in China today. Not living easy lives of it, but living.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Can you speak a little louder, its been a while since we greased the idlers and road wheels of the tracks and they make quite a racket when we…oh never mind, now I can hear better.

Jane
Member

With Arwen, I was using the /prog tag to indicate that I had been speaking in a progressive voice, not my own.

RFB
Guest
RFB

I would say that the “the control freaks that infest our government” are only half of the problem. The other is the Marxist theological adherents that provide the aforementioned with an religious albeit idolatrous veneer.

David Oestreich
Guest
David Oestreich

Actually, $8.10/hr in 2012 dollars. Better than the $3.35 ($6.98) I was making at McDonalds in 1986.

adad0
Member

How much is that in dog dollars? ; – )

David Oestreich
Guest
David Oestreich

Trick question, right? Everyone knows dogs have transitioned to the Yen.

Don’t waste my time. :^)

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That’s $8.90/hour in 2016 dollars, you know.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Which is about what that job pays now.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Where? Cost of living and wages vary dramatically from place to place.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Here in Minnesota. I could not find an average wage for a busboy, but I did find this site that says a dishwasher’s national average wage is $18,000/yr, so that’s right in there with the figure you quoted. I think dishwashers may make a pinch more than busboys, but it should be pretty close. https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/mankato-dishwasher-salary-SRCH_IL.0,7_IM525_KO8,18.htm

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m just asking because my guess is the cost of living in Seattle city (as in most cities) is going to be higher than the national average. There are “cost of living” calculators for immigrants who are looking to relocate to the USA for work. One I clicked on randomly suggests that Seattle costs about $1000/month for a single person or $3500/month for a family of four….not counting rent. That means a $9/hour job will only barely support a single person if they find roommates in a very cheap apartment, and has no chance of supporting a family at all.… Read more »

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

And that’s exactly and precisely why I chose the words “entry-level job” at the beginning of this conversation. As a teenager in 1973, I understood that a job bussing dishes for $1.60/hr was a starting point from which to work oneself up to a higher paying job. It’s where 16 year-olds enter the job market to establish a work history as worthy of a better job. No one ever considered that job as a “career” capable of supporting a family–and that’s a good thing for two reasons: 1. If you could support a family bussing dishes, you cheat society out… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Family business? Work study? Internships? Mowing lawns, raking leaves, and shoveling driveways? I availed myself of all those options other than the family business, and did decently fine. I also worked a few regular jobs between 16 and 19 that were alongside family people trying to make ends meet. My first job was barely above the minimum wage, the others were generally 20-50% above it. Family men and women had to take the same jobs. If we had an ample supply of jobs for all the 20-25 year olds supporting families, and therefore we could designate lots of other stuff… Read more »

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

So, are you advocating that “busboy” should be a $15/hr job typically held by a 20-25 year-old supporting a family?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m not ready to make that an iron law. I’m only talking about the factors that come into play for me when discussing this issue.

And again, place matters a lot. $15 in Seattle city (or even worse New York) and $15 in Idaho are not remotely the same thing.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: And again, place matters a lot. $15 in Seattle city (or even worse New York) and $15 in Idaho are not remotely the same thing. Hilarious. If place really mattered, why is minimum wage going up for all of California? Does Jonathan think that northern California should compete with the downtown San Francisco cost of living? Tell rural California how much place matters, Mr. “I’m not ready to make that an iron law.” Get ready for it soon. The government will declare that “place matters”, and that your new living wage will be custom tailored and assigned, based… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

In a way place does matter, and there is a correlation between increases in minimum wage and the cost of housing. In Seattle for example, minimum wage was soon followed by doubled rents.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

So if California makes a non-ideal policy, that invalidates my argument about the truth? How did California policy suddenly get equated with truth?

Katecho, you throw out the most random red herrings. I have never in any way endorsed California law.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

And instead of working his way up, learning new skills, starting his own business, etc., he should unite with co-workers and demand a living wage? Kind of like the Occupy Wall St. farce, where unemployed college grads demanded upper-middle class incomes because they had MAs in Contemporary Art or Feminist Studies.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

When I worked in that restaurant (Happy Chef) the manager told me it operated on a 1% profit margin. I also know patrons paid 6.5% sales tax on every bill, meaning that state made 6.5 times more money off that business than the owner did. I think if we mandate that busboys get $15/hr, we have just eliminated busboys–and the wait staff is picking up the dirty dishes. Poof! More jobs gone.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote:

The guys making the profits on the top are winning that race right now, and everyone else is pretty well stagnant.

Who would have thought that when the government sets interest rates at zero that rich people would continue leveraging debt like crazy, while poor folks would be left behind with their savings rotting in a bank with no interest? Who would have guessed?

Clearly, the solution, in Jonathan’s eye, is for the government to mandate higher wages for the poor… using someone else’s money.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The wealthy have been winning the race handily for nearly 35 consecutive years now. Once again you throw out a red herring instead of arguing the point. Real take-home income for the poor and working classes was growing by far the best in the 1950s and 1960s, when inflation-adjusted minimum wage was at its peak and the tax burden was shifted much more towards the wealthy. The stagnation of income for the poor and working classes started in the 1980s, and despite a mild rise in the late 1990s, was killed off enough in the 2000s that it’s still barely… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

“Personally, I’m a fan of suggesting that a full week of honest work should allow a man to support a family.” For any work? Flipping hamburgers, moving fertilizer bags and watering plants at a nursery, very basic data entry in an air-conditioned office? If I’m an employer, you have the right to coerce me to pay more than the market would dictate?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

“Commerce itself is not bad; indeed it is an intrinsic part of God’s order. What matters is how we conduct our commerce. The reason why commerce is necessary is that God created human beings with different ambitions and skills. One person is a good carpenter, another a good preacher; one person can make crops grow in the poorest soil, another can heal the most terrible diseases. Thus each person specializes in the work for which God has ordained him; and by selling his skills, or the goods he produces, he can obtain from others the goods which he needs. The… Read more »

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“inequalities in what people receive for their labor”  “For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

Nope.

BTDT to no avail.

There must be a translation that says “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me” actually means, “No, you are not allowed.”

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That’s the second time someone brought that passage up. You do realize it refers to the judgmental-ism of the “righteous” against sinners who were now being offered the Kingdom of Heaven, right? It’s not about paying your workers.

You might as well quote the Shrewd Servant parable as an argument for being corrupt.

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“You do realize it refers to the judgmental-ism of the “righteous” against sinners who were now being offered the Kingdom of Heaven, right?”

Yes.

My intentional miaspprorpriation of that parable segues like this.
If you want the poor to make $15/hr. than hire them at $15/hr. Making the minimum wage $15/hr forces other people to pay them which is not in line with any biblical command about caring for the poor.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

At least for Israel (and Sodom and Gomorrah, for that matter), the Biblical judgment regarding failure to treat the poor justly was taken out on the entire society, not just the employers. I agree that the case for using the government to encourage a minimum wage isn’t made. But let’s first agree that such a living wage is the goal, and then we can talk about means to attain it. Pastor Wilson’s agenda, for the decade I’ve been reading this blog, has been to try to argue that low wages somehow help the poor, and otherwise to almost entirely ignore… Read more »

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“If we can at least agree that living wages are a good thing, and are better for poor people than poverty-level “whatever the market will bear”, then we can have an honest debate about the means for getting there.”

We would first need a definition of what a living wage is.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No, that would come second. As far as I can tell, Pastor Wilson has never acknowledged that there’s any unacceptable bottom at all. Arguing on how much a living wage is is pointless if one side doesn’t even believe in the concept. Otherwise, once again, the arguments on technical details will just be based on irrelevant philosophical/theological assumptions.

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“No, that would come second. As far as I can tell, Pastor Wilson has never acknowledged that there’s any unacceptable bottom at all.”

I think it is fair to say that Pastor Wilson would find it unacceptable for people to be dieing.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

With the incredible resilience of human beings, there are an amazing number of things that low-wage earners can do to avoid death. I’ve seen many with my own eyes. A good number are sinful or degrading, but they are preferable to death for many desperate people. Of course, going to government handouts instead of/supplementing work is also a common solution. But I don’t know why we continue to encourage that. And saying that we want to eliminate the handouts, while still doing little-to-nothing about higher wages, church substitutions for safety nets, or the degrading/sinful options at the bottom continues to… Read more »

Christopher
Member
Christopher

“Yet, as far as I can tell Pastor Wilson simply fails to address any of this. I’ve never once seen him comment on what Christians should pay their employees, or how we should advocate for fair trade law that’s not specifically designed to impoverish the most vulnerable poor.”

I think that’s due to his faith in free markets. His posotion is probably something like remove regulations and the christ like buisinesses will survive while the others will sin themselves into failure.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yet I only see him making a strong case for that when it has to do with not paying poor people more. There are some slam-dunk free market issues that obviously hurt the poor. Like protectionist international trade, or food aid law. (Food aid law that has actually caused poor people to starve specifically comes in part due to lobbyists with connections to the Palouse). Considering the tiny number of beneficiaries to the unjust laws, and the lack of preset public feelings on the issue, pushing for the elimination of wealthy-protecting, non-free laws would be a much easier effort (and… Read more »

Christopher
Member
Christopher

That I do not know.

Katecho
Member

What if a teen needs a summer job so he can buy energy drinks and video games? What’s his “living wage”? Oh, you mean he can’t get a summer job now because all the employers cut their summer staffing because they can’t afford Jonathan’s blanket notion that people only get jobs because they have to support a family? I thought Jonathan said that “place matters”. Does the difference between a teenage summer worker vs a man supporting a family of five matter? If so, what does that do to Jonathan’s one-size-fits-all minimum wage egalitiarian utopian do-goodery of unintended consequences?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Obviously, someone whose family is already making a living wage….is already making a living wage. Teenagers should compete for jobs on the same standing as everyone else. If you want to provide special low-cost opportunities for teens to get work experience that aren’t available because breadwinners have snatched up all the jobs, then they can do that through internships, work-study, family businesss…you can create a new category for it too if you really want. It’s a debate worth having, not one that should be buried in your insults. But yes, I find the argument for teens needing jobs less compelling… Read more »

Katecho
Member

I presented the problem of a teenager who just wants a summer job, and not a “living wage” to support a family of four. Jonathan’s answer is that teenagers should just compete with everyone else, or try to get experience elsewhere, somehow. Here’s a quote from a link that bethyada posted: Milton Friedman once described the minimum wage as a requirement that “employers must discriminate against people who have low skills.” As Anthony Davies explains, “the minimum wage prevents some of the least skilled, least educated, and least experienced workers from participating in the labor market because it discourages employers… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Of course, I’ve already told you half-a-dozen times where teenagers can get that experience. typical “teenage” jobs like mowing lawns family business internships work study the already-existing minimum wage exemption for the first 90 days a teenager works Of course, you ignore because you’re making an argument to win, not concerned about the actual facts of the situation. You can create a new category if you want too, as I already acknowledged. But if the teenager is actually applying for full-time, long-term work, then he should complete with the other workers for full-time, long-term wages. Thank you for pointing out… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote:

But if the teenager is actually applying for full-time, long-term work, then he should complete[sic] with the other workers for full-time, long-term wages.

Jonathan seems to be doubling-down into his discrimination against those with low skills and experience. Notice how he says that teens must compete, but then, from the other side of his statist mouth, he forbids that they be allowed to compete on price. What was Wilson saying about such cruelty toward the poor?

RFB
Guest
RFB

Cruelty indeed.

What is fascinating (in the manner that a parasite inhabits the host and then devours it from inside out) is that those embracing these lusts (for OPM) cannot see that it is none of their business. They refuse to see their own covetousness while speaking of how they want to control others.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I have no idea what you’re trying to argue anymore. It seems you’re just throwing whatever you can against the wall, mixing it with insults, and hoping something sticks.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote:

the already-existing minimum wage exemption for the first 90 days a teenager works

If mandatory minimum wage is such an unmitigated universal slice of goodness for employer and employee alike, why is there an exemption for summer work? Let’s watch Jonathan try to explain that for us.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Who said that mandatory minimum wage is an “unmitigated universal slice of goodness”? Your strawmen are multiplying. The reasons for minimum wage being good for employee is that a breadwinner should at minimum be able to support his family on his wages. A teenager limited to summer work doesn’t need to do that. The reasons for minimum wage being good for employer is that it decreases turnover, increases the ability to train someone up, and increases the long-term value of any individual worker. All of those factors are almost meaningless for someone working less than 90 days. This has already… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: Thank you for pointing out that you don’t have any data for how destructive the minimum wage is. Good admission, but what a ridiculous excuse. Jonathan seems to be getting desperate now. Of course I didn’t say that I don’t have any data against forced minimum wage. The mounting exemptions to the imposed minimum wage are prima facie evidence that it is not the universal good that Jonathan keeps suggesting it is. What I said was that government handouts and subsidies and exemptions have the effect of hiding the negative affects of their continued meddling in the market.… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Where do you get “mounting exemptions” from? You claimed a small business exemption, and I proved to you that the exemption was not specific to minimum wage and was so rarely used as to be basically meaningless. I challenged you to state for me how many workers were being underpaid due to this “tiny business with no interstate dealings whatsoever” exemption, confident that you couldn’t because the number is so small as to be ignored.

My guess is that you will continue to ignore that, and try to move on to something else. Right?

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote:

I agree that the case for using the government to encourage a minimum wage isn’t made.

Encourage? Why does it feel more like being bludgeoned than encouraged? Who knew that minimum wage laws were just encouraging suggestions? And what does Jonathan mean by “using the government”? They certainly aren’t going to pay for this unfunded mandate.

It’s more like the government is using us and our money, to buy the youth vote, by promising to make entry level jobs pay a “living wage”.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Dabney was a hopeless optimist:

“…conservatism will tacitly admit it into its creed, and thenceforward plume itself upon its wise firmness in opposing with similar weapons the extreme of baby suffrage; and when that too shall have been won, it will be heard declaring that the integrity of the American Constitution requires at least the refusal of suffrage to asses. There it will assume, with great dignity, it, final position.”

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The EITC is already funding the mandate. If the poorest workers are receiving a living wage, the the EITC would no longer be necessary. There would be reduced food stamp and government health care costs too. And if higher wages at the lowest ends really have the benefits that experience and logic say they do (more stable employment, more family time, more stable families, greater ability for the husband along to be the breadwinner), then the extra societal benefits will pay off economically very quickly. You claim right here the government wants to “buy the youth vote”, when that very… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan asks: can we talk about whether or not raising wages for the poor is a good thing, and THEN we can talk about what the righteous ways to do it are Jonathan accuses me of red herrings? Has anyone suggested that the poor should remain poor, or that there shouldn’t be livable wages for those who seek them? Hardly. That’s not what the debate is about, and if Jonathan thinks it is, then he is simply insulting me and everyone else’s intelligence. We don’t need to talk about whether people should be trapped in poverty. That’s not the debate… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Pastor Wilson claims in his original post that higher wages hurt the poor because they reduce unemployment. By that logic, even if we were a nation filled solely with Christian business owners, we shouldn’t pay higher wages because they hurt the poor. If there weren’t thousands of Christian business owners paying their workers the absolute minimum wage, then no, I’d see no reason to have this discussion. And I’ve asked you a dozen times to stop your lying “raging statism” attacks. I’m more than sick of the name calling, not to mention the pure lies that fill your last paragraph.… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: Pastor Wilson claims in his original post that higher wages hurt the poor because they reduce unemployment. By that logic, even if we were a nation filled solely with Christian business owners, we shouldn’t pay higher wages because they hurt the poor. Knowing that Jonathan has a deep and abiding interest that no one ever be misrepresented or lied about on this blog, can Jonathan quote Wilson claiming that higher wages hurt the poor? We’d like to check and see if Wilson actually said any such thing, or if Wilson’s point was that government imposed higher wages hurt… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yes, this is where he said that higher wages hurt the poor: “The cruel know very well that this won’t help the poor, but rather will hurt them. But that is a small price to pay for the additional power they will acquire in harassing, controlling, and destroying the small business owners who actually supply jobs to the poor.” “Minimum wage laws are either a manifestation of contempt for the truth, which is the pose that the ignorant reformers prefer, or contempt for the poor and those who employ them, which is the stance of the cruel.” “You stand for… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: If you follow that logic, then you’ll oppose generally higher wages for the poor whether they’re state-imposed or church-imposed or simply the individual decisions of Christian businessowners. You’ll tell those businessmen, “Why are you hurting the poor by paying them more, when you can pay them less and employ more people!” That’s the false logic that I’m arguing against As I suspected, each of Jonathan’s quotes of Wilson are clearly against a state-imposed mandatory minimum wage. Notice that Jonathan was unable to quote Wilson in opposition to voluntary wage increases for the poor. Also notice that Wilson never… Read more »

bethyada
Member

“no one ever be misrepresented” katecho, I think this discussion is more complex as different things are being talked about. Wilson is talking about minimum wages mandated by government. Not only do we both know what Wilson thinks here, we also don’t think this means that Wilson thinks low wages are in general good, though those opposed to Wilson here seem to think this is implied. I think a discussion at a more basic level is required. Not really that keen to get into a long discussion in this thread, but some thoughts that I think need to be made… Read more »

Katecho
Member

bethyada wrote: Businesses that want higher minimum wages want to impose their will on other businesses as they are already free to offer higher wages. Well stated. I wonder how Jonathan would respond to the point that businesses are already free to offer higher wages if they think it is beneficial to them. Why do they need the government to tell them to raise their wages if they independently think it is good for their business? bethyada wrote: As the money given to the poor and in foreign aid is voted by men who do not give the money, it… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’m confused, because you’ve already asked this question elsewhere, and I responded, and yet you’re posting the same thing in multiple places…why? Pastor Wilson makes clear over and over that he thinks the issue is not just that it is technically wrong for the state to do such a thing, or that it is an abuse of power, but that it is actually bad for the poor to receive higher wages because then they’ll lose jobs. “The cruel know very well that this won’t help the poor, but rather will hurt them. But that is a small price to pay… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: The EITC is already funding the mandate. If the poorest workers are receiving a living wage, the the EITC would no longer be necessary. Does Jonathan seriously think that a tax credit for low income people somehow funds employers to be able to afford to pay an increased minimum wage? A tax credit is not a fund, and it’s not even going to the employers who have to pay the unfunded mandate of higher minimum wages. Jonathan wrote: You claim right here the government wants to “buy the youth vote”, when that very vote is already with the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Maybe you’re unfamiliar with how the EITC works. You should look it up. Either the EITC is a funded mandate or it is an unfunded mandate, but it’s certainly a transfer of money from taxpayers in general to low-income workers specifically. Paying workers more would reduce or eliminate this EITC transfer, giving the taxpayer more money in their pocket. No, I’m suggesting that “buying the youth vote” with a minimum wage increase would be a really dumb strategy, and is not at all realistic. They already have the youth vote and it’s the lowest-volume vote for reasons they can’t do… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: Maybe you’re unfamiliar with how the EITC works. You should look it up. Either the EITC is a funded mandate or it is an unfunded mandate, but it’s certainly a transfer of money from taxpayers in general to low-income workers specifically. Paying workers more would reduce or eliminate this EITC transfer, giving the taxpayer more money in their pocket. I’m familiar enough with EITC, but the question was how the increased minimum wage would be funded. The EITC does not fund it, since it goes to low income filers, not to the employers or businesses who have to… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Re-read your first paragraph over and over again until the situation makes sense. Or have someone else read it and explain it to you. You have all the pieces in place, but haven’t put them together yet. This is one of those times where you’ve gotten so caught up in arguing that you can even EXPLAIN my own argument in your attempt to contradict it, and still fail to see it. As far as your second paragraph, in the states that Bernie Sanders wins, he tends to win all or nearly all demographics, not just the youth vote. The youth… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Based on this non-answer, I guess Jonathan is conceding my original point that mandated higher minimum wages are unfunded, just like the EITC (I should say, these must be funded with other people’s money). Regarding Bernie Sanders, I never claimed that the youth vote was enough to get him elected. What I said was that statists compete, even among themselves, to buy votes with handouts and promises of other people’s money. In Bernie’s case, his promises directed at the youth bought 87% of their vote compared to Hillary’s 13%. Jonathan thinks that he counteracts this point by saying that the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No Katecho, I’ve conceded that anyone willing to use an even partially objective brain can see that you accidentally made my point for me, but were so caught up in your argument that you still haven’t realized it. It’s right there on the surface of your own comment – anyone who has a chance of being convinced will already read your statement and see how you’ve confused yourself and answered your own question, so why keep going?

timothy
Guest
timothy

anyone who has a chance of being convince

Who are these people that do not have a chance of being convinced? Why do I have a nagging sense that the people who do have a chance of being convinced already agree with you?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

On the general question of the minimum wage, how high it should be, and whether or not it should be regulated by the state or simply something the church asks of its own members, there are many people with their opinions still out on the matter. My own opinion isn’t set in stone, and there have been some really good conversations on this thread where people have moved in one direction or the other. On the more specific question of the supposed “unfunded mandate”, either Katecho really doesn’t know what the term means or he’s purposely being obtuse being he… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

Jonathan you have a tendency to assume you have won an argument by merely having a coherent case and that your failure to persuade is somehow the fault of your interlocutor. On the general question of the minimum wage, how high it should be, and whether or not it should be regulated by the state or simply something the church asks of its own members, there are many people with their opinions still out on the matter. I have not followed this thread as I am busy with other matters, but your assumed premises are where the weakness in your… Read more »

Tony
Guest
Tony

“Jonathan you have a tendency to assume you have won an argument by merely having a coherent case and that your failure to persuade is somehow the fault of your interlocutor.” -it helps of the other side cares about a discussion….. “What katecho does very well is use dialectic to attempt to get you to question your basic premises and perhaps consider some different ones.” -katecho uses dougs rules for reformers, which is basically a copy of “rules for radicals, which is essentially worldly actions. Katecho doesn’t care about understanding one’s opinion and encouraging others to consider different premises. She… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Timothy, I did not put forth any model at all, much less a complete one. The things you mention are important and certainly deserve being discussed. I really wish we had been having the type of discussion that involved even getting the opportunity to put forth a coherent case instead of just a series of defenses of attacks against even the idea that such a case could be made.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Nothing is stopping you from doing that Jonathan. I encourage you to start doing so. That means defining terms and discovering first principles and starting from there.

It is very hard work, but in the long run (we are all dead….sorry, Keynes joke…) it avoids the clutter you have here.

john k
Guest
john k

Except that the Lord’s account names the steward as dishonest, or unjust, whereas the owner of the vineyard is not so named, but is a fitting picture of grace.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The steward is still put up as a model.

And, at least in that case, the parable is actually about money.

I’m a little distressed that we’re even having a serious discussion about this. There isn’t a Biblical scholar in the world who would claim the parable speaks directly to employee wages. Next we’ll be talking about how we each need to make financial investments that produce at least double or we’re not being faithful with our money.

john k
Guest
john k

“Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’”

Don’t be distressed. Of course it does not speak “directly” to employee wages. A preacher would be remiss to preach it that way.

However, you can’t help noticing that the employer is justified, and the complainers are sinfully envious.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yes, complaining about other people getting their pay increased, as the jealous people in the parable do, is indeed an issue.

Now, remind me again which side is doing that here?

There are even people in this thread saying, “Back in….I only got paid….why should they think they deserve any more” which has to be about the most direct example of what you’re saying possible.

RFB
Guest
RFB

The “people in this thread saying, “Back in….I only got paid…” were saying that they though it to be a privilege that we could find a paying job even if the wage seemed low.
I never thought I deserved anything let alone more. Where do you get this “deserve” shinola?

The essence was the lack of a complaining spirit, and the understanding that personal endeavor would be the ticket to increased earnings. The idea that government existed to do anything beyond man the battle stations, keep criminals locked up, put out fires and keep the streets repaired was not on the radar.

john k
Guest
john k

So what entity determines and enforces the equal “fair wage” that everyone in the world will receive? That enitity will have way too much power.

RFB
Guest
RFB

“So what entity…”

That’s easy, the idol that they claim to hate but (not so) secretly desire to use for their own personal piety crusades: force.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Why do you think it has to be an “entity”? Why can’t it be an ongoing debate among Christians as to what we’re willing to support? Over the years Pastor Wilson has tended to make arguments that align him with the crew which says, “Corporations should be allowed to exploit the poor as much as they want, and to the extent that the poor can’t do anything about it due to lack of options, we should ignore that.” He’s even argued that it’s unBiblical to call for other Christians to avoid purchasing products that were produced in unjust sweatshop conditions.… Read more »

john k
Guest
john k

Why do you think it has to be an “entity”? Why can’t it be an ongoing debate among Christians as to what we’re willing to support?

Because it’s not just a debate. You want some entity to impose a minimum wage. (The civil government is the only entity in our society permitted to thus impose.) Why is the alternative of employer/employee voluntary contract “worshiping the market”?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Christians saying that they will encourage all in their church community to support at least a minimal livelihood for their workers would be the first step.

Using the pulpit, witness, and purchasing power to encourage others to do the same would be second.

Those would both come long before a law, but only after a discussion.

Pastor Wilson doesn’t even want to discuss how much we should pay our own workers.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

All conduct is voluntary to an extent…and all conduct is based partially on external pressures. You can’t pretend that the poor don’t feel pressure and are completely voluntarily taking such low-paying jobs, then complain that the unfortunate wealthy are under so much pressure from everyone. Even Pastor Wilson wants to exert pressure – thus this post, and his previous posts on the matter. All my posting does is more of the same – verbal pressure for Christians to adopt a certain position, though from a stance of much less power. As I’ve repeated multiple times, what I’m arguing for at… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote:

Why do you think it has to be an “entity”? Why can’t it be an ongoing
debate among Christians as to what we’re willing to support?

This is the question Jonathan needs to answer every time he distracts us with his defense of a government imposed minimum wage. Would love to hear Jonathan’s answer as to why he has been the strongest advocate here for top-down government “entity” solutions. It seems, in spite of history, he has more faith in the compassions of the sword-wielding State than in Christ’s Bride, which I find very telling.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You are a liar. I accuse you of that right now. You have lied about me and my faith, and I rebuke you. A good part of this discussion, which I have been undertaking in part with well-meaning, reasonable people, is how I can balance my tendency I’ve shown on these forums NOT to rely on government with my desire for the poor to earn higher wages. I have not changed that tendency. As I have stated over and over again, first we, in the Church, need to decide WHAT the best policy is. I am arguing against Pastor Wilson’s… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Jonathan, do you see a problem with potential injustice in what you propose? I taught at a Catholic school for several years, and our wages were set by the board of governors. (They were uniformly low as it was understood that you undertook this work in a sacrificial spirit.) Even so, there were some teachers whose financial situation was much worse than others’. Would it be unjust to pay the new teacher with a wife and child more than the teacher with a master’s degree, lots of experience, and no dependents? Should the church custodian, assuming he is poor, earn… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Your reading of the people who are attacking me is covering up what I’m actually saying.

I have at no time ever suggested paying someone based on their number of dependents or their poverty. I specifically suggested otherwise. Dependents are already taken into account in the tax code – there’s no need or desire to do more than that.

I can understand and sympathize with a Christian employer who chooses to help an employee in a difficult time…but that would seem like a very individual, case-by-case scenario and I would never advocate anything more than that.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Hi Jonathan, I misunderstood you when you said, “Those in the church who pay people should pay a higher wage to the poorest workers.” I took you to mean that a church salary scale should be based on need. I believe that Christian support for a free market economy must be tempered by concerns about justice and charity. But I also believe that a genuinely free market can achieve widespread prosperity and encourage liberty in ways that no other system can. I teach ESL to new immigrants, and I have seen this first hand. They begin their first jobs speaking… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Ah, I see what you thought I said. No harm. Whether a $15 minimum wage is a good idea is a worthwhile debate. That’s a huge jump in most places. I certainly don’t feel that $15/hour is necessary everywhere (though it’s been quite a few years now since I grew up in the rural Northwest, so things may have changed more than I’m aware of). However, I think that the minimum wage can certainly be increased over it’s present level in most situations without any meaningful loss of jobs, and I believe the evidence is behind me. So the worry… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: I am arguing against Pastor Wilson’s claims that higher wages aren’t good for the poor. That comes first. Why does Jonathan think that Wilson is against higher wages for the poor? Wilson has only spoken against state imposed higher wages. Perhaps, as a radical statist, Jonathan can’t see the difference and needs to misrepresent Wilson? Jonathan wrote: I’m really sick of you lying about me and my faith. I haven’t said anything about Jonathan’s faith (unless his faith is in the state). Unfortunately, lots of genuine Christians are statists too. If Jonathan wants to rid himself of the… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You said, “he has more faith in the compassions of the sword-wielding State than in Christ’s Bride, which I find very telling.” You are lying about my faith. And now you are lying about having lied about it. We’re already discussing Pastor Wilson’s views on higher wages in general elsewhere on this thread, among people who want to have an honest discussion. And your claims for my “stench of statism” are based on nothing more than your repeated accusation of me as such. Your accusation that I’m “advocating statist solutions to everything” is another lie for which I’m quite certain… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: You said, “he has more faith in the compassions of the sword-wielding State than in Christ’s Bride, which I find very telling.” You are lying about my faith. And now you are lying about having lied about it. A clarification is in order. I certainly don’t mean to imply that Jonathan has no faith in Christ, or in the Church, but he does seem to have more faith in the compassions and mercies of the State relative to the Church. He seems to cast the Church as the stingy 1% giver (10% of 10%), and the State as… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Thank you for that clarification. However, you are as wrong as you can possibly be and have absolutely no evidence to support such a claim. I certainly believe that the American Church is very stingy with regards to the poor. It’s a horrible issue. And we need to do much better. What I said was that EVEN if we are generally giving 10% to the church (which we all know that we’re not, not on average), AND our church is giving 10% to the poor (which is the number I’m most familiar with), then we’re only spending 1% of our… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: THEN we can move on to discussing how our stance affects our support of various government policies. That can include support for a government minimum wage, although it need not be enforced at the point of a gun. It need not be enforced at the point of a gun, most often the state would enforce such things by liens against the business, putting all of the employee’s jobs at risk. The state apparently views corporations as persons, but they don’t seem to mind sending these “people” to the corporate grave in order to make a point about who… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I never said that the state IS offering minimum wage “encouragements”, I simply said that that was one possible option for us to advocate among several. When we ever get around to having that discussion.

The only thing I ever said about what the state is currently doing in enforcement is that no one is getting shot for not paying the minimum wage. I oppose the way the state currently uses the gun to enforce obedience on MANY issues, and have stated that clearly, but that’s a discussion for another thread, not this one.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan talks a lot about the Church, or Christians, or businessowners, or governments encouraging a fair wage, but let’s not allow it to escape our notice that a mandatory minimum wage is not an encouragement or a suggestion. It can get you fined, and possibly destroy your business if you don’t comply. It is an example of the government operating outside of its legitimate sphere of jurisdiction over crime, and imposing itself in matters of otherwise voluntary wage contracts.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

And so we can talk about whether it should be mandatory or not, or what would be a just way to encourage it within or without the Church, AFTER we agree on whether it’s a good thing for the workers themselves or not.

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote: And so we can talk about whether it should be mandatory or not, or what would be a just way to encourage it within or without the Church, AFTER we agree on whether it’s a good thing for the workers themselves or not. Jonathan seems to want to play coy now, but he has been defending a state-imposed mandatory minimum wage increase from the start. Everyone saw it. It’s hilarious to watch him try to back up the debate now, and demand that we stop refuting the statist position. For Jonathan’s information, the debate has never been about… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I can give you dozens of quotes where I point out that a state imposed minimum wage is not necessarily the best solution. We haven’t even had a real discussion about what the best way is to try to help ensure that there’s justice for the poor in terms of wages, because (some of us) are still getting around the argument of whether better wages even help the poorest workers. Can you point out anywhere, even once, where I said otherwise? “Everyone saw it” is not an argument. Your claim about what the debate is about is completely false. Pastor… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Jonathan wrote:

Since when did we start to worship what the market dictates?

Since when did we worship giving someone else’s money to the poor so that we could feel pious?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You’re really reaching with that one. This is one of those cases when you should have chosen just to make your case instead of trying to sound smart.

My argument is that “the wage the market dictates” isn’t necessarily the best wage we Christians should support.

As long as you’re opposing the truth of that even in the context of our own businesses, then why are you even talking about what we do with other people’s money? You love that red herring, but you won’t even touch the primary argument.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Jonathan, there is no doubt that the market dictates some questionable things, like thousand dollar tickets for rock concerts. But has history shown us a preferable alternative? If I have a commodity to sell (for example, my time as a tutor), am I not much better off looking for buyers who will meet my price?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

As a Christian employer, I’m willing to pay more than the market dictates because I believe they deserve a living wage, it earns the goodwill of my employees, I can keep them on for longer and therefore worry about turnover less and train them up to be more and more skilled, etc. As a Christian who loves my neighbor, I’ve seen the “market dictates” to be the source of an enormous number of abuses. This might be less obvious for people in America, though it certainly wasn’t in the late 1800s and early 1900s when such abuses were at their… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Since when are career politicians, cronies and well-paid busybody regulators smarter than the market?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Since when, indeed? No idea who you’re trying to argue with with that statement.

Katecho
Member

Is this where Jonathan introduces us to the Universal Basic Income guarantee? We can be like Europe.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Another logical fallacy that doesn’t advance the discussion at all.

Let’s really talk and at least try to learn something from each other. Stop the games.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Here again, katecho questions your foundational premises. Again, you dismiss the Socratic tradition of dialectic as a ‘logical fallacy’ when it is nothing of the kind, it is the primary tool of the craft. It makes no sense to ‘advance a discussion’ built along incorrect or unexamined principles. I see you do this time and time again, “Here is my model, here is why it works, no, you cannot distract me from it as my premises are non-arguable’ . Its quite boring. You would make an excellent bureaucrat in a statist regime. John Koskinen would hire you in a heartbeat.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The United States has had minimum wage for nearly a hundred years, supported by the majority of its population, without having ever introduced a UBI or trying to become “like Europe”. The fact that I am supportive of some sort of minimal wage here, not having articulated a position that is any stronger on that issue than most Americans and even being in line with a substantial number of conservative Republicans, does not make me “want to be like Europe”. It’s a lazy attempt at making a false guilt by association, and implying a slippery slope where none exists. It’s… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

You continue with the ‘its not based on logic” line and that is flatly untrue. You have radically different models of how the world works.

Your statist position is to use the power of government to force employers to pay people a certain wage. Because it has been doing so for one hundred years and with the will of the people does not make it less statist.

Ilíon
Member

Did you ever stop to consider that one important reason that $1.60 in 1972 equals $8.90 in 2016 is precisely because of minimum wage laws?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Of course – I’ve considered the question of minimum wage and inflation before. It certainly is not the primary factor in inflation, and may or may not be a meaningful factor at all. Here’s a quick explanation:

http://dollarsandsense.org/archives/2014/0714macewan.html

And here’s one that shows the minimum wage and inflation side-by-side:

http://benjaminstudebaker.com/2015/07/23/misconceptions-raising-the-minimum-wage-does-not-automatically-lead-to-inflation/

Matt just made a good, simple comment up top as to why minimum wage increases do not lead to an equal amount of inflation.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Your pancakes are in the garbage can covering my $.65/hour working in a mom and pop in 66.

Please do something with your pancakes;)

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Nonsense! Pancake makers deserve a decent, middle-class wage. How dare you suggest it’s a job for students, part-timers or someone between jobs. Are you implying they should have the gumption to work their way up, learn new skills, open their own business, etc, if they want more money? We’re on Bernie’s Big Rock Candy Mountain now. We should all have free housing, free healthcare and free college. And if we choose to flip pancakes after the free college part, then pay us a living wage!

RFB
Guest
RFB

I would try to help you out here but I am busy writing up my report on the Capn for AWP (assault with pancake).

Katecho
Member

Indeed. Because no one would ever want to flip pancakes unless they needed to support a family of four, and a cat. So it has been decreed by the statists who are here to help us.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Yessir, Officer RFB, I cannot tell a lie. I put that $.65 under those pancakes. Somewhere, there are 27 color glossy photos with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one proving just how totally depraved I was to do such a terrible crime. I think I’ll just go sit down on the Group W bench for awhile now.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

The $15 an hour minimum wage is yet another effect of massive Third World immigration to America. Mexicans now make up a majority of Californians, and increasingly dominate the politics of the state. A Republican can’t get elected to statewide office, and more and more House districts have swung from GOP to Dem. This has taken place in the largest state in the union, which has 55 electoral votes. Those votes used to go to the GOP most elections, like every single one between 1950 and 1990, because white Californians were some of the most conservative voters in America.` Back… Read more »

John
Member

Too bad it is always about race with you.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

That’s not true at all. Have I said Ted Cruz is lying because he’s secretly black? But, as I said above, a great many things do come down to race. Pretending otherwise doesn’t change that fact. Feel free to point out where I’m wrong above. Are you seriously claiming that when California was overwhelmingly white it wasn’t one of the most conservative states in the union, usually going for the GOP in the presidential contests? Or are you claiming that the demographcis haven’t changed much at all, and it’s not true that white people are now a minority and brown… Read more »

Jane
Member

How about that California was overwhelmingly Hispanic before it was overwhelmingly white?

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

LMAO

You, sir, are a genius!

adad0
Member

Not to mention that Lady Dunsworth is quite a Lady!

Ilíon
Member

But California never was “overwhelmingly Hispanic”. The Mexican colonists of California (who were, after all, mostly “white”) were still thin on the ground in 1849, when Americans started pouring into the region.

Jane
Member

They may have been thin on the ground, but they were everybody there, before the white people showed up — except, of course, for the natives, who weren’t white.

Ilíon
Member

What an amazing and quite useful skill you have, to be able to acknowledge that what someone else said is correct … and thereby prove him wrong!

Jane
Member

I didn’t acknowledge you were right, because you weren’t. California was overwhelmingly Hispanic before the other white people showed up. Natives were also thin on the ground.

White and Hispanic are not mutually exclusive categories, but you were using them as though they were until it became convenient to your argument not to.

Ilíon
Member

California was never “overwhelmingly Hispanic” (it was “overwhelmingly” American Indian, and then it was “overwhelmingly” American) … and you are intellectually dishonest.

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Guest
Conserbatives_conserve_little

And before that it was overwhelmingly Indian before the Hispanics showed up

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

How about that California was overwhelmingly Hispanic before it was overwhelmingly white? You seem to be confused. I asked the other guy to to tell me what I got wrong. You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that I asked if someone would please bring up some information that has absolutely nothing to do with anything I discussed, but can be seen as some sort of proof that you’re not a racist. But I didn’t. I asked where I was wrong in the comments I posted. So…where in my comments did I deny that the area now known as… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

No doubt a major contributing factor in the GOPs past California electoral vote success was that in the ten Presidential elections between 1950 and 1990 a Californian was the candidate in five and the Vice Presidential candidate in two. In two instances the Republican candidate had been Vice President under a President from California. In 1964, the California vote went to the Democrat. So it isn’t necessarily all attributable to California having been whiter, but yeah, Hispanics do tend to vote Democrat.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

That doesn’t explain why their Congressional delegation was so strongly conservative, like Robert “B-1 Bob” Dornan, William Dannemeyer, John Schmitz, and many, many others. Nor does it explain why the John Birch Society was wildly popular in California in the 1960s, or why Orange County was long known as the most conservative large municipal area in the nation.

John
Member

Because you see race as the problem. The problem is sin, not race. You act as though “white” people are less sinful than “non whites.”

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
Guest
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN

I never said a word about “sin.”

I simply pointed out the fact that non-whites support big government at rates far higher than whites, and that whites are the only racial group that support conservatism in any appreciable numbers.

If I’m wrong, show me. If I’m not, quit whining about sin and racism.

drewnchick
Member

Doug Wilson: “It is hard to learn anything when you are taking warm and self-congratulatory baths every day, soothed by the bubbly froth of one’s own uninstructed conscience.”
Me:

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Guest
Conserbatives_conserve_little

You didn’t support your case very well. You need to develop your argument for why iti is cruel. The one avenue raising minimum wage does work is if the employee is in government service. I know a single mother of two works in a public school in a paraprofessional capacity. In Washington State. She is making minimum wage. She is getting by a lot better there than if she were in Idaho.

Ilíon
Member

You didn’t support your case very well. You need to develop your argument for why iti is cruel. The one avenue raising minimum wage does work is if the employee is in government service. I know a single mother of two works in a public school in a paraprofessional capacity. In Washington State. She is making minimum wage. She is getting by a lot better there than if she were in Idaho.

Now *there* is a real argument about the goodness of minimum wage laws /sarc

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Guest
Conserbatives_conserve_little

I detect a touch of snarkiness in your answer. This woman works full time. Her take home is better in Washington than Idaho.

ArwenB
Guest
ArwenB

That’s because Washington doesn’t have income tax withholdings. To make up for it, they have a much higher sales tax and cost of living.

Conserbatives_conserve_little
Guest
Conserbatives_conserve_little

Yes and no. Sales tax is higher, but they don’t tax most food.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

I worked at my grandpa’s lunber store during two of my high school summers. Made the $4.25/hr minimum both times. No raise. I worked in the back, loading up lumber, sheetrock, fiberglass insulation etc, outside, on asphalt, in north Louisiana.

Once, I was mowing the ditch in front of the store in 100 degree weather when Pawpaw drove up. He rolled down his window:
“You doing alright?”
“Yes sir. It’s really hot but I’ve got some gatorade right here.”
“You want do this the rest of your life?”
“No sir.”
“Stay in school.”

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Ah yes. The poor are poor because they don’t work hard enough and stay in school. Silly poor people.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Andy Hall said:

Ah yes. The poor are poor because they don’t work hard enough and stay in school. Silly poor people.

I’m telling my experience with minimum wage. Do you have a problem with me telling it? I made no judgment at all.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Why yes, he does. That spoils a sentimental narrative.

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

No, you are perfectly fine to share your story as I believe I am perfectly fine to point out that it does not apply to a vast majority of poor people today. Both are equally true.

drewnchick
Member

And do you literally know the vast majority of poor people today, or is this not quite literally true?

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

I do read the social policies and look at the data and work with the poor. So yes. I have literally met with every poor person.

RFB
Guest
RFB

“I have literally met with “every” poor person.”

Wow, you are a busy guy.

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Yeah. That’s me. If you look at a different post in this big long chain people are making fun of my facetious use of the word literally. It’s pretty funny. Interesting fact. The internet now says that you can use literally facetiously! Hooray! Good thing too because everything on the internet is true.

drewnchick
Member

But is it literally true?

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Debatable.

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Andy, I see that you work with low-income people. As do I. In your estimation, what percentage of low-income people would either cease to be low-income or have their lives significantly improved by living a Christian lifestyle? And by this I mean no smoking, no drinking to excess, no drugs, and maintaining a healthy monogamous relationship.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Aren’t poor people already more likely to be Christian? That might cause you to pause in so quickly naming things as “Christian lifestyle”. And where’s no smoking come in? I really don’t like smoking at all, but I thought this was a very pro-tobacco blog. On a more pertinent note, your question belies the fact that addictions are often a outcome of poverty, not a cause. Over-consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs are often caused by high stress levels, and create a feedback loop that enhances both the harmful habit and the life of poverty that heavily led to it.… Read more »

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

Jonathan, I’d like to see Andy’s reply before I address yours. Thank you.

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

That’s a scary line of reasoning that America has already been down in social welfare. I’m not smart enough to write big long articles on this but have studied a lot about how we have already used and rejected this idea of the ‘worthy poor.’ As Jesus once said, ‘love your neighbor as yourself, as long as they have a high school degree and live worth lives”

Capndweeb
Guest
Capndweeb

What? Oh, I see where you went with that. You have assumed I meant cut off benefits for people who smoke, drink, etc. No, that’s not at all what I meant. What I meant was, of the people I see on a day-to-day basis (and I have been doing this for 15 years) about 80% are engaged in lifestyle choices that are not helping them at all. (This does not include low-income immigrants and refugees. That’s a different topic.) See, I used to be low-income myself. I was engaged in all kinds of sinful lifestyle choices, but Jesus turned my… Read more »

adad0
Member

The “vast majority” of poor people stayed in school? You may need to do some more homework on that thought Andy!????

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

I apologize for that one. I know that we are coming from different view points and you are correct. I would not say that a “vast majority of poor people stay in school.” But at the same time I think I was trying to make the point that it’s not always their choice, due to what’s going on in their lives, the school itself, parents in jail or dead, etc. Rather than looking at poor people and say, they didn’t try hard enough like me, maybe we should look at their situation and try to help them out of it… Read more »

adad0
Member

You know Andy, a big reason people are on this blog is for amusement. People do tend to whack each other’s hornets nest, and it’s kind of funny. Backing way up, it sounds like a $15 min. Wage is a 50% raise over what it is now. Looking at this another way, do you deserve a 50% raise? Do you think most businesses could pay 50% more? Is it right for the state to dictate the value of a wide array of labors?

adad0
Member

Separate question: “You helped educate me and my peers (logos, nsa osmosis, church, counseling)” I am wondering if you have healthy reparte’ with Wilson, or something less cordial than it once was?
Wilson has been known to make much more direct Biblical cases than this one, though he is correct in that inept government policy does oppress the poor. The failure of orthodox communisim, “you pretend to work, we pretend to pay you”, is the “evidence” of the economic case. I do understand that there is such a thing as constructive govt. policy, as opposed to inept.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

No, you are perfectly fine to share your story as I believe I am perfectly fine to point out that it does not apply to a vast majority of poor people today. Both are equally true.

Whether or not your statment is true, you characterized me as disparaging those whose situation is much more difficult than a simple “stay in school”. I meant no such thing. And yes, there are a lot of them. And for them, I also believe that they will be best helped in the long run by much less government, not by more.

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

It is hard to interpret what people say on the internet. So what was the reason for your story? I honor your opinion that people will be helped more by less government than more. That is where we will have to respectfully disagree because I know neither of us will change the other’s mind.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Will facts? “support for paying higher taxes to increase financial assistance to the poor declines with income and education. Seventy-one percent of those making less than $20,000 a year support raising taxes to increase financial assistance to the poor; this number drops to 47 percent among those making over $60,000 annually. Likewise, two-thirds of those with high school diplomas or less support high taxes to expand the safety net, compared to 50 percent of college graduates. Intensity of support for government guarantees also declines with income. For instance, 46 percent of millennials making less than $20,000 a year say the… Read more »

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

That just shows what millennials ‘think’. What does that have to do with what is best for the country?

RFB
Guest
RFB

Well Andy, I suppose the burden is upon you to demonstrate why it is Scripturally moral to use the compulsory power of government, with the threat of lethal force for failure to comply, to steal from a private business owner’s revenue so as to give it to another.

When you argue for these “programs”, you support pointing a gun at your neighbor’s head. Do you think that is good?

That is arguably not “best” for any country

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Just don’t disobey the laws. Then no one has to point a gun at you. Also yeah, God, as the goverment of Israel, pretty much told them what to do all the time. I’m just not convinced that the American obsession with freedom is biblical.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Ok, just so that we are clear, you are willing to execute your neighbor to take his money and give it to others?

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

So you don’t believe in any taxes?

RFB
Guest
RFB

Yes, I am willing, but in a very limited manner:

“They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer…This is also why you pay taxes…”

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Yeah. So I don’t understand where you are coming from when you say that we want to go execute our neighbors? As as Christian pay your damn taxes. If you don’t then you go to jail. Its the law. There is no morality behind it. Just what happens. If you disagree with the taxes that’s okay. We just need to use our democracy to change those taxes.

RFB
Guest
RFB

“There is no morality behind it.”

Really, then not doing it has “no morality behind it” either. Since by your own hand, the law is morally neutral, why condemn someone for violating it.

“The power to tax is the power to destroy” McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819)

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Cool. Someone said something one time.

RFB
Guest
RFB

So, for the sake of clarity, you are willing to point a gun at your neighbor’s head so that you can take his money and give it to someone else?

Ilíon
Member

Just don’t disobey the laws. Then no one has to point a gun at you.
So, are you intellectually dishonest, or just willfully ignorant?
====
For those who don’t get sarcasm, those two options are the same thing.

Katecho
Member

Then there’s Harry Reid, who thinks that paying taxes is voluntary.

Ilíon
Member

True. But, at the same time, there is also katecho, who thinks that “I refuse to acknowledge that you have made your point” is equivalent to “you have made no point”

Katecho
Member

I don’t understand the sour grapes. I never said that Ilion made no point. His position and his arguments were quite clearly stated. I just didn’t find them persuasive after looking into both sides. That’s all. I just don’t grant that “natural born” is a measurable property of one’s being that needs no legal definition. Natural born is used to describe those who are citizens by virtue of their birth circumstances alone, and do not need to be naturalized. I don’t believe there is any distinction between citizen from birth and natural born. I believe that the founding fathers gave… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

“Just don’t disobey the laws. Then no one has to point a gun at you.”

You just made his point.

Having once worked for a gov’t handout program, I can attest (i.e., sample size of thousands) that there are a large number of able-bodied “poor” people who have no plans or incentives to work. A few really know how to exploit the programs and live middle-class lifestyles. Unfortunately, they never undertand what it means to earn money. Some even leave their doors open in winter/summer since someone else pays their utility bills.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

So what was the reason for your story?

Some of my classmates would have benefited greatly from working a minimum wage job and learning early on how tough it is, how small that paycheck is, and how even smaller it is after Uncle Sam’s grab. Little was expected of them in school or at home, and they didn’t learn the soft skills of work ethic like I did. I bet there’s a lot more of them out there.

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Unfortunately there is. I am currently a social worker for a low income school. I want to make it very clear that I have no clue what your life is/was like and your life experiences. When I lived in Idaho it made a lot more sense to take a more libertarian point of view. The whole idea of pulling yourself up by your boot straps and you can make due with what you got. Many people I knew came from backgrounds where their future depended on their contribution to it and the decisions that they got to make. Unfortunately, during… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I am familiar with the circumstances of quite a few urban poor people. I agree with you that many do not have the skills and opportunities to drag themselves out of poverty on their own. But can you see that a huge increase in the minimum wage will harm many such people rather than help them? I supplement my income by tutoring history and cleaning houses. Because most of my clients are not well off, I would lose all of them if I suddenly doubled my hourly rate. I need more money, and it could be argued that I deserve… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

There may be some people hiring on such small margins…but a lot of low-wage earners are also working for the WalMarts and chain fast food and the like…..who can afford to pay quite a bit more than they already do. Low wages in general support factory-style service and large, faceless businesses, because the employees are completely interchangeable, generally unskilled, and completely unknown to the person cutting the check. Higher wages have a good chance of supporting smaller businesses because small businesses can better take advantage of talent and of the positive benefits of a more friendly human touch. No one… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

Jonathan,

It is none (capital NONE) of your business to decide what anyone else can afford.

“Take what belongs to you and go…Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?” Jesus Christ

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Please don’t tell me that you believe that’s the meaning of that verse. Don’t be one of those people. I know that God has several times judged entire societies due to the manner in which those societies treated their laborers. I don’t want to be one of them. Therefore, it is my business. I know that when trying to earn enough food to see their baby make it to the next day, people will be willing to do anything. I’ve seen kids putting in a full day’s work in sweatshop conditions for 11 cents a day. I’ve literally seen that… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

So, you think that when Jesus says “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?” that He actually means you are not allowed “to do what I choose with what belongs to me [you]? How amusing. Saying that it means more does not mean that it means less. You are talking to somebody whose father dropped out of school at 6th grade, and worked all of his life. He did that to support a wife and 5 children, and it provided the ethic that allowed me to work 2 jobs back-to-back while putting myself… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

He is saying that salvation belongs to Him. The verse has nothing to do with money. The Bible is quite clear over and over that the fair wages of the laborers belong to THEM, even when he who pays the laborers chooses to keep it in his own hands. We can have a debate about what fair wages are, but “let the market decide” obviously doesn’t cut it Biblically. I don’t know how your dad ended up with a wife and 5 children in the 6th grade, but I applaud him for his strong work ethic and ability to get… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

First it was to support his mother, brother and sisters since his father could not due to illness. Then he continued when married.

We will agree to disagree. I cannot find common ground with communist economic sympathies.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I have no desire for the government to own the means of production.

Your father sounds like he went through quite a trial. I’m sure he was an amazing man. It goes to show that people certainly get put into situations where they are forced to support a family with an entry-level job.

RFB
Guest
RFB

His experience during that time period was actually quite normal for the micro-culture, and neither he nor family or friends thought that level of effort as exceptional. Their collective philosophy was don’t complain, do not expect hand outs, get to work, work hard, and if that is not enough, work harder or die trying.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’ve encountered much the same attitude among the working poor overseas today. It is admirable, though the circumstances which cause it also lead to a lot of other consequences that you would never wish on your own neighbors, much less your children.

RFB
Guest
RFB

I have traced my ancestry back to the 1400’s, and by the grace of God will see great-grandchildren in not too long. It has been, and is, a legacy of hard work and not whatsoever discounting the grace that made it. In none of this have I seen negative consequences, just the opposite in fact. Thankfulness for the gift and ability to work.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I was speaking more of: Inability to treat chronic health problems, due to need to work, poor working conditions, and lack of affordability of health care. Inability to access education of almost any type, due to lack of time and resources, leading to an over-reliance on cultural norms (which is great if you’re raised in a highly grace-filled and Scripture-educated Christian culture, but otherwise….) Limited chance to provide additional opportunity to women in the family, due to being on the fringe of making ends meet, therefore they can get in difficult situations. Forced location in communities with serious physical and… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

“Inability to access education…” K-12 government school is paid for by taking money from people who work, and giving it to everyone. Undergraduate (4 or less years) is widely available at low or not cost, subsidized and paid for by taking money from people who work, and giving it to everyone. “Additional opportunity to women.” The greatest opportunity the women in my family ever enjoyed (self-professed) was raising future adults. None of them, for hundreds of years, ever expressed the idea that doing that was somehow lacking in opportunity. “Forced location in communities with serious physical and moral issues due… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I think the amusing one in our conversation is the person who claims to have known what every single individual in his family tree expressed over the course of their lives hundreds of years before he was born. You’re going overboard with this, “But I know my family history and they’re saints!” argument. You’re also doing this weird thing of taking situations that I’ve witnessed with my own two eyes, and then discounting them because your family was personally in a different situation. Either you’re losing track of what the conversation is about and think that I’m only talking about… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

My consistent iteration of thankfulness for the grace of opportunity and the ability to work must have mislead you into thinking that I meant pride instead. My personal most-often reflection is “there is no way I could have done any of this…how could I have ever been so successful being such a knuckle-dragger…thank you Jesus”! What I meant by my pointing at my ancestors was: I read their baptism records, I read their obit’s and funeral cards, I see how they were born and died in Christ, I see how hard they worked, I see how tough they had it… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

There is a lot to be said for coming from a long line of cheerful, honest, and hard-working people, just as there is a lot to be said for being brought up in a decent home. No matter how tough our subsequent lives may become, that head start is an incredible blessing.

RFB
Guest
RFB

And the premise of being raised by “honest, and hard-working people…and being brought up in a decent home…” stands athwart the meme that being of lesser means (the new definition of the term “poor” in the U.S.) that someone else “did it to you” and that having less is some type of evil that needs to be conquered.

Poor does not equal having less than another, nor is it defined by what someone/anyone wants.

adad0
Member

‘B, I believe it was Confusious who once said:

“Never give driving lessons to a guy who’s canoe never had wheels!”

; – )

RFB
Guest
RFB

Yep, and given that it makes me wonder how they get so wrapped around the axle.

adad0
Member

Proverbs 22:14 Young’s Literal Translation

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a youth, The rod of chastisement putteth it far from him.

RFB
Guest
RFB

That reminds me of another saying:

Everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the throat.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

And my dear father’s favorite: If you’re not a socialist at 20, there’s something wrong with your heart. If you’re still a socialist at 30, there’s something wrong with your head.

I have two dear friends who, unlike me, are trust fund babies. They were gung-ho for Sanders until they started listening to him. “He wants to take all our stuff!” they told me.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

While not a socialist, I’ve never understood that quote to be anything more that the frequently-expressed Biblical truth that when people acquire money, it has a tendency to harden their heart.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

No doubt the acquisition of wealth hardens some hearts. But it also enables the rich to help the poor in ways that the rest of us simply can’t, much as we would like to. I was a socialist at 20. I believed that everyone was willing to work hard for the common good. I thought that poor people needed only enough money to get an education, and then they would no longer be poor. I have not lost my compassion for poor people. But the things I believed at 20 were demonstrably wrong. That, I think, is the point of… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The mere fact of wealth existing indeed “enables the rich to help the poor in ways that the rest of us simply can’t.” It also enables them to hurt the poor in ways the rest of us simply can’t. To make a meaningful argument for wealth, you’d have to explain why one would be more likely to happen than the other. The Biblical witness certainly seems to back the “exploit” side of the argument. It is absolutely impossible to read James, or the words of Jesus, and believe that wealthy people will generally work towards the good of the poor.… Read more »

Katecho
Member

It boggles my mind how Jonathan can rattle off the titles of such books and still come out as a harping statist.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I suggest that you let your mind actually get boggled, instead of just saying so for rhetorical effect, and start to consider that I might not be a statist despite your attempts to label me as such so you can “win an argument”. If you dropped the name-calling and assumptions, and actually spoke to me on my own terms about what I’m saying, then we might have a productive discussion. For you to take that entire long and very non-statist comment I just made, and not engage the actual content one bit but just attack me as a “harping statist”,… Read more »

Ilíon
Member

On the other hand, if you’re ever a socialist, no matter how young you are, there is something wrong with your moral compass.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

I honor your opinion that people will be helped more by less government than more. That is where we will have to respectfully disagree because I know neither of us will change the other’s mind.

One more quick thing. It would also be very bad if the government just shut off the spigot and everybody was “Ok, you’re on your own now!” A sensible, but steady, ramping down of wasteful and pocket-lining programs that do more to hurt the poor ALONG WITH a ramping up of accountable ministries of mercy from Christ centered churches is what we need to shoot for.

Andy Hall
Guest
Andy Hall

Dude, I totally agree with you. Buuuuuttttt, what is the actual feasibility of having all social welfare and charity come out of Churches? I used to think the same thing but now I just don’t think that it is possible. The shear magnitude is incredible and nothing that the splinters of the current church could take on. So I believe that we need to have to reform the goverment systems.

John
Member

Agreed but it seems like the church isn’t trying at least on a significant level.

drewnchick
Member

Could it be that the Church “isn’t trying” because She too has bought into the ProgLib tripe that the government is responsible for the poor, or at least already has that covered? Could it be that the Church would LIKE to put more effort into helping the poor but finds it difficult because tithing is way down because taxes are way up from a legalized theft ring dubiously aimed at helping the poor?

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That would be a bit ridiculous, because the overall amount of take-home income in America is atmospheric. Our homes are three times larger than they were in 1950, even though we have half as many kids. The amount of technology and other luxury goodies that we buy is through the roof (laptops, smart phones, SUVs, flat-screen TVs, etc). And taxes haven’t picked up in 35 years. It’s never been easier to tithe. And besides that, what % of your church tithe actually goes to the poor? Maybe 10%, if that? So even if everyone in your church is giving their… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

You are always free to give as much as YOU want. You are not free to use the compulsory force of government to point a gun at your neighbor’s head to take his money and give it to someone else. When you say poor, what is your definition? From Census report: 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning. 92 percent of poor households have a microwave. Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks. Nearly two-thirds have… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Again, what a strange line of attack. No one forces anyone in this country to employ people at the point of a gun. Actually, what the government DOES do is take money from everyone to pay off the Earned Income Tax Credit. That’s a payment to poor workers, taken from the public, to make up for the fake that our minimum wage does not allow working families to make it out of poverty. That’s a lot closer to “use the compulsory force of government to point a gun at your neighbor’s head to take his money and give it to… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

I find it amusing that you use the word decent while advocating rank indecency. Listing the author of any government project carries no weight with me. If you can convince the citizens (including any businesses) to give their money freely, fine. Beyond that, stop pretending that using the compulsory power of government is not force. “No one forces anyone in this country to employ people at the point of a gun. Actually, what the government DOES do is take money from everyone…” So, what happens if you refuse: First they send the letter. If you refuse that long enough, they… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

So in your mind, the fact that I am not in favor of Christians taking part in or advocating violence therefore determines that I’m not allowed to take a stand on any government action, ever, because then the government might someday use the violence I disapprove of in order to effect it. It’s sweet of you to care so much about my position. But in reality, I, like every Christian in this country that has bowed their knee to the god of American government, actually has to live with the tension of the government doing many things I disapprove of… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire.

Government does not encourage in any manner except by taking more, or less. If you do what it says, it may take less, if you do not, it will take more, up to and including your life.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Jonathan, In what way have you bowed your knee to the god of American government? Are you not obeying the God who is when you live with government doing things you would not approve, rather than rebelling? I don’t have a strong opinion on the issue of minimum wage one way or another. I, like you I believe, do not subscribe to the notion that taxation is theft, nor do I categorically object to the idea of my tax money being used to help people. That said, you also have to come to terms with the fact that RFB is… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Romans 12:9-13:10 makes clear that rebellion in such scenarios is cautioned against. I don’t think it’s an absolute argument that rebellion is never, ever an option (though violent, killing rebellion isn’t). But that section of Romans, confirmed by Christ’s actions and the NT in general, suggest that a great deal of injustice can take place in the government while we still continue to obey their obey-able laws and pay taxes to its often unholy yet still God-appointed enforcement, and hope to positively influence that government in its obey-able edicts. I’m not against force. I am against irreparable violence. I’m not… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Jonathan, In those countries where the police very seldom use deadly force it largely because they very seldom need to use force to ensure compliance in the first place. The reason they don’t is partly cultural – simply put, people are conditioned to behave better than they do here – but partly because the threat of violent force is very much there, and people know it. Don’t argue with the German Polezei, you won’t enjoy the outcome. When you say Christians should encourage their society do pay sustainable living wages do you mean voluntarily, or do you believe there should… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Yes, let it go. If we wanted to back up for a second, what I am absolutely in favor of is that Christians make the argument that all people deserve a just wage, and take our own actions to help get society there. There’s a lot of room for individual discernment within there. if we really got so far as to make the end game you’re talking about, I don’t even think there’d be an issue. Christians would have already done such a good job of setting the societal standard that there’d be little need for a poor person to… Read more »

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Well, Let it go does keep you consistent with principle, and that is to your credit, but when a law will not be enforced it might as well not have been enacted. A rule not worth enforcing probably wasn’t worth making in the first place.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I’ve seen that sentiment in this particular community, and find it odd. (For example, there are people here who claim that any OT law without a specific penalty ascribed doesn’t count and doesn’t have to be followed.) Does the same go for church law? Or any other law? That if death isn’t an eventual consequence, it doesn’t count? As I repeat over and over, there are MANY ways in which to have a regulation be meaningful without pointing a gun at anyone. You use network of association – those who fail to follow the law are unable to use other… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

You do realize that the census numbers for poverty are simply rough numbers based on reported cash income? How many of the people in those numbers you just cited are elderly people on fixed incomes (who probably are in Arizona/Nevada/Florida needing AC to survive), or who already own their own home and who are thus don’t actually have as much difficulty getting by as the younger working poor we’re talking about? How many are rural poor where it would be impossible to work any job without owning a car, or where both the husband and wife are forced to work,… Read more »

RFB
Guest
RFB

Compassion is what you do with your money. Compassion is not using government to do something with someone else’s money.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I was merely speaking about the manner in which you were choosing to speak about, and in some sense misrepresent, poor people.

RFB
Guest
RFB

No one’s individual economic circumstances are any of my business.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Then I’m not sure what point you were trying to make with the “facts” you cited. They certainly appeared designed to taint the whole group based on the circumstances of a subset of the group.

But yes, the economic circumstances of others are indeed our business, as the Bible makes clear at many points.

RFB
Guest
RFB

My business is any individual that God places into my path, whereby I have the wherewithal to help. My business is absolutely not to get into someone else’s business, or use the force of government to make him do something with his money.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Well, consider this debate to have been placed squarely in your path.

RFB
Guest
RFB

No problem, as long as you consider yourself helped…

by being made aware of the immorality of using force to take from your neighbors. (You know, like thou shall not covet they neighbor’s anything…)

Because, absent convincing them with the power of your argument in the marketplace of ideas, you are left to using force.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

No, you could use network of association. Or shaming. Or provide fringe benefits or tax breaks for compliant businesses. There’s more – quite a wide range in fact.

RFB
Guest
RFB

And you just confirmed the reality of force:

…provide fringe benefits or tax breaks for compliant businesses…

Compliant with what? The FORCE of law.

“Government does not encourage in any manner except by taking more, or
less. If you do what it says, it may take less, if you do not, it will
take more, up to and including your life.”

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Again, you can choose merely to give extra benefits to such groups, or to include them within beneficial association, without needing to shoot anyone. You’re very focused on this. How many minimum wage rejecters have had their lives taken in the last few administrations?

RFB
Guest
RFB

Refuse government, and be adamant about it. Take the stand on principle, do not back down, and then extrapolate the consequences. Watch what happens. It is called a trajectory, and it can be plotted. I am focused upon it because it seems as if you are very cavalier regarding what it looks like up close and personal. I want you to picture yourself looking at a man through the sights on your firearm, willing to take him from his wife and children, and send him to stand in front of God for eternity, all because you want his money for… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Except I literally never, ever have.

Besides the fact that no one in this nation is shot for violating minimum wage laws, your argument is akin to claiming that anyone willing to support national defense is supporting the murder of innocent Iraqi children, because you can’t support national defense without supporting the practical consequences of what those defense forces do even when you disagree with them.

RFB
Guest
RFB

By advocating using the force of government to tax (a forced minimum wage) you are advocating for that. “The power to tax is the power to destroy”; Chief Justice John Marshall, for a unanimous Court in McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 (1819)

No one is shot for violating minimum laws of any kind; the gallows has
stairs, and you start at the bottom. You walk your principles to the
top.

You are conflating warfare and law enforcement. Apples and oranges, and not even close.

Katecho
Member

Well said RFB. The issue is not true poverty. The issue is State induced dependency. Universal serfdom through handouts and entitlements and other appeasements. The “poor” are being farmed.

God help us when the State implodes and the handouts disappear.

RFB
Guest
RFB

The issue that girds my grid is the ready willingness of professing Christians to send brother against brother to enforce their sentimental utopian ideas.

It is a lot different looking down the barrel (from either end.)

RFB
Guest
RFB

That (when the State implodes) is what the Marxist theology advocates do not get. They think that they will have the strength of 10 because their hearts are pure.

Right.

They will be as mice trying to negotiate with owls.
They will regard the owls way as “wrong”. The owl will regard them as dinner.

JP Stewart
Member
JP Stewart

Exactly. I’m sure some Venezuelans supported their system like Berniebots are doing now…only to find themselves trying to get in front of the food lines when the OPM Ponzi scheme broke down.
While making predictions about future economic events is a loser’s game, I will say negative interest rates in Europe and Japan are a very bad sign. Debt-driven nanny states can only last so long.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

Could it be that the Church would LIKE to put more effort into helping the poor but finds it difficult because tithing is way down because taxes are way up from a legalized theft ring dubiously aimed at helping the poor? This is A problem, but not THE problem. I have found that people with less are often more giving than those with more. I was in Ethiopia once when a 13 year old orphan boy got two jolly rancher candies that the rest of my group was handing out. He insisted that he give one to me. Sweetest candy… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Well said, Malachi. It’s difficult for the Church to compete with a charity monopoly that farms the poor… using other people’s money.

Look for the State to float the idea of taxation of churches soon.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That’s true in general. It can also be said for many, many churches on a specific level.

John
Member

Agreed!! But unless we do we can’t throw stones at people who think they are actually helping the poor by raising the minimum wage.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

I get the feeling that you think a certain verse about a mote and a log and things stuck in eyes might apply here….

Ilíon
Member

Rob Steele interpreted you quite nicely.

Ilíon
Member

And you know this, how?

Rob Steele
Guest
Rob Steele
Terry Riegel
Guest
Terry Riegel

Did I miss your article condeming the pillaging of America by Bankers, or is that the kind of theft your ok with. Your selective outrage is telling.

Ilíon
Member

What about your selective “outrage”, to say nothing of your selective “honesty”?