They Won the Wage Battle… But They Lost the Work War

The red fist of socialism.

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.

Margaret Thatcher

Today, FoxNews reported that Bernie Sanders finally gave in to his campaign staffers’ clamoring for a $15 minimum wage. A victory for the common man, right?

Actually, quite the opposite.

Because of the hiked minimum wage, Sanders’s campaign cut its staffers hours. That means they’re not making any more than they did before. That means they’re not going to be nearly as effective in their work to get Sanders nominated.

And I think this could mean doom for Sanders’s campaign, and for the socialist movement in general.

Talk about feeling the burn. (Or is it Bern?)

To be fair to the staffers, they didn’t say anything about maintaining a 40-hour workweek. I guess they assumed that would be the case.

It’s basic supply and demand. There is no demand to justify staffers being paid $15 an hour. Therefore, when an outside entity violates the natural balance by placing a price floor on minimum wage, the supply is forced to decrease.

After all, Sanders’s campaign would go belly-up if it was forced to keep all its staffers, well, on staff at $15 an hour for 40 hours each week. They’d have to solicit more donations, probably from rich people (the same ones they hate and want to tax to death), in order to stay alive.

In this case, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. Socialism just got schooled.

We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.

Adolf Hitler

I’m shooting from the hip here. I don’t get political on this site very often. Yet I don’t see this as politics.

I see socialism and the “gimme” mentality as a great evil that imperils not only the U.S., but the world. I see it as a broader global, social issue that could (and likely will) inevitably lead to totalitarian regimes that mimic Venezuela at best and Stalin’s Soviet Union at worst.

Here are some cold, hard facts to be learned from Sanders and his staffers:

  1. Some jobs just aren’t worth $15/hour.
  2. If the minimum wage is increased, employers will be forced to reduce the workforce or working hours in order to keep profits in the black.
  3. Get ready for computers and robots to replace minimum-wage workers—because they work minimum-wage jobs for free. And they don’t complain or form unions, either.

And here’s three more tough truths for good measure:

  1. Life is hard, and you aren’t owed anything. In fact, life is downright cruel. And you shouldn’t trust anyone, especially not the government, to take care of you. You’re fortunate to wake up and live in one of the best times in history in the greatest country on the earth. You have a relatively comfortable life because of people who worked hard thousands of years before you to bring humanity to its current state. You have opportunities people halfway around the world could only dream of.
  2. Instead of clamoring for a higher minimum wage, get out there and learn some skills that will make you more money. The more value you provide to others, the more money you will receive as a result. Anyone can flip burgers or solicit. Not everyone can sell homes, repair faulty wiring, or manage investments. Very few can win Oscars, perform to 10,000 people, or start world-changing companies. The more value you provide to others, the more money you will receive as a result.
  3. Socialism does not work. It runs counter to human nature that God created in all of us. It discourages innovation and hard work by punishing the high achievers. It encourages complacency because those at the bottom aren’t compensated according to the value they provide. There is no incentive for them to work harder if big government is always taking care of them. (If you want evidence of socialism not working, I need only point to Venezuela.)

Socialism states that you owe me something simply because I exist. Capitalism, by contrast, results in a sort of reality-forced altruism: I may not want to help you, I may dislike you, but if I don’t give you a product or service you want, I will starve. Voluntary exchange is more moral than forced redistribution.

Ben Shapiro

You may say that selfishness is wrong, but at the end of the day, we’re all selfish. Even the most selfless things we do, we do because we want something out of them—whether because we want the feeling of well-being that comes from doing them, because we want to avoid the guilt we’ll feel if we don’t do them, or because we want to look good in our peers’ eyes. Socialism violates this natural human behavior of operating selfishly.

Once people understand very basic economics and human behavior… socialism will become a footnote of history.

And now, I’ll step down from my soapbox. For now.

But first, I’ll leave you with a haunting quote.

The goal of socialism is communism.

Vladimir Lenin

7 Responses

  1. This is interesting. I grew up in a die-hard communist city and when I began to study, I was puzzled to see that there were young people who were actually conservative.
    As for Bernie Sanders, he always seemed to me more a social-democrat than a socialist. His propositions are not that different from many politicians from the main West European social-democrat parties such as the French Parti socialiste or the German SPD.
    As for minimum wages, this already exists in France for instance. However, it amounts to about 10 EUR/hour, which is somewhat less than what Bernie Sanders is proposing.
    As for socialism itself, it is difficult to assess it. Actually, marxism is less or more a political application of Hegel’s history philosophy. Marx himself saw communism as the logical next step after capitalism. He would have been shocked if he had lived long enough to see that the countries that adopted communism were rural countries like Russia or China instead of strongly industrialized Germany or England.

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful comment! I have not read Marx or Hegel for myself yet, so I don’t have a great grasp on what they taught. I for one am a libertarian conservative, so I favor the free market and have a distrust for big government. (Here in the U.S., it does not have the greatest track record. Excessive spending, lack of progress, etc.)
      I can’t speak much about how European countries have implemented socialist policies because I’m not very informed on them. I tend to think that one reason they seem to be working is a difference in culture. Policies that might work in Germany would probably not fly in the U.S., and that’s solely due to cultural/sociological differences.
      One innocuous example I can give is public transportation. Deutsche Bahn links the country of Germany together and even internationally. America, on the other hand, has no nationwide form of public transportation; we have a massive highway network, though. Why? I think one reason is because Americans value independence and self-sufficiency more than Germans do. Americans want to jump in their cars and drive from A to B when they want, even if it’s on the other side of the country. They don’t want to take trains unless they have to. And, unlike Germany, America doesn’t tax car owners.
      All that to say… the way I see it, the things cultures value affect the policies they implement. America was founded on the principles of freedom and independence (we fought a war so we wouldn’t have to be ruled by a king). Most European nations, even if they’re democracies, were historically ruled by kings and queens. So I think that history affects culture affects government, if that makes sense. It’s a complicated study and one that I find very interesting!
      All American states have minimum wages, but the minimum wage varies from state to state. Here in Texas, I think it’s $7.25/hour. In California, it’s $15/hour. And I hate to say it… but California has implemented a lot of (Democratic) socialist policies and they’re experiencing serious debt and poverty problems. Texas is much more Republican and we’re doing pretty well for ourselves!
      Anyway, thanks again for your comment! It’s made me think and given me some more things to look into. I always enjoy hearing what people from other countries think about things. It’s great to get multiple perspectives in the pursuit of truth!

      1. This is indeed an interesting topic. Actually, there is currently either a trend towards less welfare state in Western Europe. Traditional social-democrat parties such as the German SPD or the French Parti Socialiste have adopted more market-friendly policies when they were governing and they have now an identity crisis. Communist parties such as the French FI and the German Die Linke are much stronger than in the US though.
        You are right about the fact that differences in culture influence policy. The best example of this is education. Homeschooling is now very popular in the USA because many American people do not trust the state and think they will do a better job than public schools. In Germany, homeschooling is illegal. You have no choice but sending your children to school. In France, homeschooling is legal but rather marginal. Many French people think that the role of school is to form good French citizens. This is because after the French Revolution, France was very isolated in Europe. The Pope condemned the revolution, which was a serious thing for a country that was fast exclusively Catholic. School became a tool for the young French Republic to lessen the influence of religion in the country and create a feeling of loyalty towards the Republic among the population. This is considered by most French people as legitimate.

        1. I’ll have to read more about the European social democratic parties. I don’t follow the European political parties very closely, but it sounds like a lot of them have had identity crises! 🙂
          That’s very interesting about schooling and education in France. I did know Germany outlawed homeschooling.
          I consider myself blessed because I’ve experienced homeschooling, public schools (state of Texas), and private schools (best analogy I can give is similar to a British prep school—think Hogwarts from Harry Potter 🙂 ).
          I loved being homeschooled because I learned at my own pace (faster than my peers), had the freedom to explore topics I thought were interesting, and had flexibility in schedule. I often spent less time “in school” during the day but studied throughout the year. Homeschooling taught me how to think independently and rely on myself to get results.
          That helped tremendously when I started attending public high school. I could do more in less time because I knew how I learned best and didn’t have to rely on teachers or classmates for help finding answers. Public school did help me learn how to work in groups and socialize more than I ever had before.
          I didn’t like private school, though. It was too strict for me and didn’t have the opportunities like public school did.
          Just thought I’d share that American perspective in case you find it interesting!

          Last but not least, I read an excerpt from J. Edgar Hoover’s book “Masters of Deceit” that I found interesting:
          “In June 1957, Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet Communist Party boss, was interviewed before a nation-wide American television audience. With calm assurance he stated: ‘… I can prophesy that your grandchildren in America will live under socialism. And please do not be afraid of that. Your grandchildren will . . . not understand how their grand-parents did not understand the progressive nature of a socialist society.’ ”
          As one of the grandchildren Khruschchev refers to (my grandparents got married in the late 1950s), I find it amazing how accurate his prediction was. The U.S. is not completely socialist, but we have implemented a number of socialist policies that run counter to the principles our nation was founded upon. Most of our politicians don’t call it socialism outright. They call it “liberalism.”
          Khrushchev’s quote indirectly supports Lenin’s quote about socialism’s goal being communism. Socialism sounds more appealing but in reality is just a gateway to more authoritarian rule, a consolidation of power at the federal level (and in the case of the U.S., a loss of power at the city and state levels).
          It’s kind of like boiling a frog: The best way to do it is to place the frog in a pot of lukewarm water and slowly turn up the heat. The frog won’t even realize it’s being boiled until it’s too late.
          That’s where I see my country headed (and the world, to some extent). I’m concerned because we know communism doesn’t work, and socialist policies run counter to the basic designs of human nature.
          Thanks again for your comments!

          1. Thanks for sharing your experience with the American education system. This was very interesting. Education is a field in which cultural differences are very pronounced. Some things that seem obvious can be totally different from a country to another.
            As for your quote about socialism, this is interesting because I have been until then rather used to the contrary opinion, both in France and in Germany: people are rather worried about the decline of the welfare state due to globalization and the loss of their social advantages.

          2. You’re welcome, and I’m glad you found it interesting. Now I think I’ll have to write a more thorough article about it!
            As for socialism in France and Germany, I find your comment interesting. I guess it makes sense now that I think about it. The idea is similar to that here in the U.S.: bigger government means lower efficiency. It also distances the government from the voices of the people even more.
            Without getting too deep into it, the fact is that there’s been a push for globalization and socialism/communism since as early as World War I with President Wilson’s idea of the League of Nations (which is now replaced by the United Nations). While Europeans (such as the French and Germans) may have to worry about a loss of specific social advantages if the E.U. consolidates more power, I don’t think they need to be concerned about a loss of all social advantages.
            Just my 2¢ from across the pond!

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