Welcome to Liberrants, a blog dedicated to editorials, discussions, and studies of all things libertarian. Don't let the title mislead you; it's merely my attempt to be creative in describing myself as a "hopeful curmudgeon" who embraces the goal of the free, peaceful, economically vibrant society envisioned by America's founding fathers. Jump in! Contribute! Enjoy!

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Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States

A critically thinking curmudgeon whose goal, in addition to creatively venting about the imperfect world in which we live, is to induce critical thinking in others. The ultimate goal is to help bring about a peaceful world in which we can all live in freedom.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

You've Got to be Kidding!

I was listening the other day to an afternoon talk show on a local AM radio station in the Baltimore-Washington area (in fact, the host of this program is the only talk show host on any level, national or regional, to whom I can stand to listen), the subject of which was imposition of the minimum wage. The People’s Socialist Democratic Republic of Maryland, it seems, has decided that WalMart, the greatest retail success story in American history, is an evil scourge that must be brought to heel. The reason? Big Bad WalMart, in the opinion of the Party Commissariat ruling Maryland, oppresses its workers by not paying them salaries massively in excess of the minimum wage or providing all of them with lavish medical benefits. Thus the Maryland Politburo decided to attempt to ram through legislation, aimed specifically at WalMart, forcing the company’s Maryland operations to provide extra pay and benefits. Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich, to his tremendous credit, vetoed both of the bills in question, although the overwhelmingly Democratic Politburo overrode this veto.

The local talk show host was interviewing a representative of an organization (its name escapes me) that claimed to represent “the underemployed ‘working poor’” of Maryland. The upshot of the guy’s presentation was that minimum wages are the only thing saving the workingman from utter penury and that state-enforced generosity is well worth the costs. Nothing said by the host or callers to the program (a few of whom were small business owners who’ve suffered the consequences of minimum wage) could dissuade the guest from his position. But there was one statement the guest made that nearly made me run off the road into a telephone pole.

In response to the empirically provable fact that minimum wage rises cause unemployment among unskilled workers, the guest’s response was something to the effect of: Well, you’ve got to break eggs to make omelets. Of course some people are going to suffer as a result of a minimum wage rise.

Let me see if I understand this correctly. The spokesman for an organization purporting to represent those without a voice, that being the unskilled minimum wage earner, is saying that those most without a voice are expendable if it furthers some greater nebulous good?

Clearly socialism hasn’t died after all. It’s just amazing that anyone would go on the air in front of an audience of hundreds of thousands and not feel the least bit embarrassed by making an idiot of themselves through contorted and inconsistent statements. But then again, this is Twenty-first Century America.