Voting Ourselves Largess From the Pockets of Others (and Our Own)

As the Daily Signal and the Wall Street Journal remind us, while Marxists didn’t manage to secure a federal minimum wage increase last year, nearly half the states embraced Marxism on their own.

From the Daily Signal:

Federal legislation was met with resistance. though. Republicans argued raising the minimum wage would cause an increase in prices for consumers and low-wage workers likely would face layoffs as companies grappled with the higher costs associated with hiked wages.

Some of those concerns were validated last month by a University of California, San Diego, study. For three years, researchers followed low-income workers residing in states that saw wage hikes and those that did not. The study found that minimum wage hikes had negative impacts on employment, income and income growth.

So why isn’t free money a good idea?

Ted Cruz 2016


“Minimum wage supporters have good intentions, but those good intentions cannot repeal the law of unintended consequences,” James Sherk, an expert in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. He added:

Minimum-wage increases reduce the total earnings of low-wage workers — the higher pay for some workers gets completely offset by the nonexistent pay of those no longer employed.

In its study, UCSD researchers found that after minimum-wage increases, the national employment-to-population ratio decreased by 0.7 percent points between December 2006 and December 2012.

In addition, the study found that minimum-wage increases hindered low-skilled workers’ ability to rise to lower-middle -lass earnings.

I recall that a study was done in South Dakota several years ago (long enough for people to forget, apparently) which found the same outcomes.  There were also only a handful of people in the state actually earning minimum wage.  For example, my teenage daughter got her first part-time job in retail about a year ago, and she started significantly above minimum wage.

Study after study has found the same thing: minimum wage increases hurt workers. It’s the law of unintended consequences, with a vengeance.

Additionally, my state of South Dakota opted for even more government interference in the free market by passing Initiated Measure 17 at the ballot box to force insurance companies to pay out on out-of-network health care providers as if they were in-network, regardless of whether all parties agreed on the relationship or not.  Since insurers will be paying out more money under this arrangement, simple math and common sense makes clear that premiums will go up. So people have decided to cost themselves (and their neighbors) more money in exchange for the illusion of getting something for nothing. Sweet.

Woodrow Wilcox


This rather reminds one of the axiom that democracy (we were founded as a constitutional republic, but hardly behave as one anymore) can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury.

That’s classic Marxism: allowing greed to cut your own throat.

Whether it be voting ourselves the money of our fellow Americans through taxation, or voting ourselves the money of others by forcing others to pay to enrich us, the American republic appears to be just about over.

When you have a large number of states–including supposedly conservative South Dakota–voting to force businesses to pay more for labor than that labor may be worth (a decision belonging to the business owner and no one else), and forcing businesses to buy things for us against it’s will, freedom and the American way of life is an endangered species indeed.

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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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