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.
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.