Now that the majority of American citizens have graduated from high school without benefit of classical Home Economics, Civics, Critical Thinking and the Principals of Capitalism, we are likely doomed.
Without firm understanding of these aforementioned principals, citizens are vulnerable to the pandering nature of the politician. The politician, far from being a noble creature, is typically a lazy parasite with little interest in honest work. The goal of the politician is to gain power and control over others while performing as little work as possible.
Since growing numbers of the population (affectionately Boobus Americanus) have exited our educational system without (by design)critical thinking skills or even mastering the English language, it is easy for the conniving politician to lead by following. The population says “the rent’s too damn high!”, the politician says “you are so damn right!”, then leads the crusade to lower rents and fight for a “living wage” for all. This pander to the base instincts of the population being far easier than explaining the boring details of government imposed property management burdens.
It is basic human nature to covet what others have, hence the passing down of the Ten Commandments. It is also natural for the lazy to outnumber the industrious, when they can get away with it. A relatively few humans truly want to excel. To truly excel requires a huge commitment of time and energy, most are unwilling to exert this degree of effort. Most are happy and content with the basics of life and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this.
The problem creeps in when the politician says “I can get you more (than you actually strived for)”. This of course is an absolute lie. The politician cannot deliver, because to do so would violate the laws of both mathematics and human nature. Nonetheless, the covetous citizen will take a chance on any politician promising milk and honey and cell phones for free.
When politicians get together with university eggheads they determine that if they just set a “Minimum Wage” just high enough we can make life better for the less skilled. They believe that via economic alchemy the lower tier will be elevated with zero violation of the laws of thermodynamics or the concurrent laws of human nature. The egghead assures that politician (in return for a promised future governmental post) that if they bludgeon with the force of law against those who excel in the industrious population, utopia can be established, the less capable can be on par with the more capable.
The egghead, seldom having run a business or farmed or ever having gotten their hands dirty tells the politician that they have determined the magic number that will bring us closer to utopia. In New York City, that number was recently determined to be $15 per hour.
One might argue that a great opportunity was lost. We had a chance to truly elevate the entire population. They could have imposed a $50 minimum wage, a Mercedes in every garage. But being connivers, they probably figured it better to offer up future increases ($20, $25…) to win future elections. Remember, they are lazy at heart, minimum effort for maximum votes!
Of course, those critical thinkers among you are saying, but wait, if everyone is now making no less than $15 (or even $20 or perhaps $30) per hour, will not all businesses paying these increasing wages not simply raise their prices by the same proportion? After all, business has always raised prices, where possible, to cover the costs of production. This is an immutable law of the universe. Sadly, critical thinkers are an endangered species in the age of relentless thoughtless sound bites and selfish identity politics.
The U.S. dollar is designed and intended to shrink in relative value each and every year. The Federal Reserve even targets a healthy value disappearance rate of 2% of a dollar’s worth every year! Ingenious, is it not? This keeps the worker’s treadmill moving ever faster. Indeed, wages will always keep increasing (they must), just as costs will always keep increasing (they must).
A virtuous cycle for the politician promising a chicken in every pot and a (electric, climate saving) Mercedes in every garage year after year. The minimum wage increase allows the politician to artfully give the lower wage tier the illusion of getting ahead, the citizen rewards with reelection after reelection.
Unfortunately, an ever increasing proportion of Boobus Americanus among the population never grasp this manipulative economic fact, nor do the politicians ever want them to. Politicians love this treadmill, it makes for easy “defender of the proletarian” populist wage and income talking points on 24×7 Main Stream Media (themselves sideline cheerleaders). This allows politicians to look noble saving the “working man” from the “capitalist pig”. The continued dumbing down of Americans via the hijacked educational system serves the political and elite class well.
The truth is that relative differences in wages and income will always exist, they must exist. It is the way the human brain is wired to work. Countless millennia of survival of the fittest brought us here. This cannot be legislated away without dire consequences (think Venezuela, USSR, Cuba, etc.). If the person flipping the burger moves from $12/hour to $15/hour, the manager must then move from $18/hour to $21/hour and so on right up the entire employee ladder. There is no escape from this cycle, an immutable law of the universe, it cannot be broken.
The landlord of the burger flipper that now pays more every day at lunch and for custodial services will in turn raise the rents on burger flipper tenants so that the landlord’s standard of living continues unimpeded, without the slightest decline.
Everything is relative. Social and economic relativity generally stays about the same, it has thus been the case for thousands of years. One can look at what items could be purchased for in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and what people made in the way of wages, it matches remarkably with what we receive in salary today and what we have to pay for goods and services today.
In other words, differing labor skill categories have always had their relative pay differentials (rewards to excel) in every year of every century. Never before in human history has a way been discovered that allows for bypassing this basic law of human endeavor and relative reward.
Not even under communism was promised utopia found, because even there we see that there are always the haves and the have nots. The key difference is that under communism you must be connected or curry favor with party leaders under the table in order to live in a nice beach house whereas in capitalism you can strive and sacrifice for a few years and then if it is really that important to you, buy that dream house on the beach. You get to decide what you want out of life and set your goals appropriately. At least the majority of the population has a shot at that beach house under capitalism. Communism is nicely summed up by the wonderful adage “We pretend to work, they pretend to pay” everyone living at the lowest common denominator.
We must demand our public school systems embrace and teach the merits of home economics, capitalism and hard work, there really is no free lunch and for students to become good citizens they must truly understand this. Our public schools are currently failing the nation in this regard. Students must excel or succumb to automation.