Monday, January 02, 2006

The minimum wage shell game.


All of a sudden politicians from both major parties are talking about raising the minimum wage. Our children don't need a raise in the minimum wage but rather the closing of our borders to illegal labor which depresses the wage structure for American blue collar workers.

Even if today's minimum wage rose a few dollars to about $7, that's not a liveable wage. That why more and more young people continue to live with their parents well into adulthood, and obviously are unable to afford to start families.

What's very sad about all this is illegal workers with construction skills often make better money than American kids working at Starbucks or McDonalds. Our children are frozen out of the more lucrative blue collar jobs because employers don't have to pay their share of the social security tax for illegal labor. Hence contractors don't take on our children to apprentice skilled trades.

I meet young Americans all the time, some even with college degrees, working at or slightly above the minimum wage.

For all the palaver from academia, the media and government about the "best interests of the child" I suspect we are a culture which doesn't like children. Were that not the case they'd be at the head of the opportunity line rather than at the end.

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