Minimizing wages

There is a silly controversy going on in the Province of Ontario, as in many other jurisdictions, about the “minimum wage.” I would explain the controversy, as it plays around Greater Parkdale, but the risk of boring gentle reader is too great.

I wrote “silly,” because governments (like the one we have in the Province of Ontario), raise the minimum wage by legislation, knowing full well that this will sabotage the interests of the poor. Their more intelligent propagandists also know this. They price the poor out of the low and entry-level jobs, thus hurrying their replacement by robots. They push other wages down, towards the lowest common denominator. They dump people into welfare dependency (culling their numbers through subsidized abortions). Those who keep their jobs lose sundry benefits including working conditions as their employers try to soften the fiscal hit. Whatever costs cannot be recovered from the employees directly, are passed along to consumers. The inflationary pressure is thus focused upon just those cheap goods the poor buy. And so forth. Innumerable economic studies have demonstrated the effects, which are almost entirely negative for people, though closer to a wash for faceless corporations.

But you cannot be a successful politician without realizing that most of your electoral clients are slow in reasoning, and poorly informed; that they can be suckered with plausible-sounding speeches. “The peeple” are also morally degenerate, thanks to the collapse of family and religion, and thus easy marks for appeals to low motives, such as envy and spite.

Take, for first example, the millions who buy lottery tickets. They cannot afford it, and are betting against incredible odds. But the idea of getting rich, without effort, and thumbing their noses at their imagined oppressors, goads them on. It is an extremely effective way to tax the poor, and with their full cooperation.

A great deal of supposed “health” and “environmental” legislation is in the same category. It increases costs-of-living disproportionately for the poor, while subsidizing the smug who buy the “organic” and “sustainable” high-end items. The whole fraudulent business of “global warming” involves strapping down the poorest, while creating economic opportunities for investors in Big.

Every progressive income tax is shot through with loopholes, that benefit the richest, at the expense of the poorly-lawyered. A flat-rate tax, without gimmicks, would actually shift the burden upwards, as credible economists have repeatedly demonstrated.

Which is why every advocate for a position that would actually benefit the lesser-incomed, or widen their freedom actually to choose (goods, services, schools, medical, everything), gets smeared. And why fashion, not only in clothing but ideology — the “cool” factor animating each progressive generation — consistently assists the wealthy and secure, in their exploitation and diminution of their inferiors. (It is no accident that Wall Street and Silicon Valley vote overwhelmingly Democrat.)

The big negotiate with each other; the small seek scraps. This has been the way of the world, and will be. Large corporations do not lobby for the interests of small family-business competitors. Neither do big unions. Small companies cannot afford to lobby at all. Which is why the tax departments treat them like oatmeal.

Which is not to say little people are good, and big people bad. They are all bad, I am only saying that the small are smaller.

Contemporary life is made the more poisonous, however, by the standardization and professionalization of hypocrisy. Through advertising of many kinds at every media level, we are bombarded by something worse than “fake news.” It is fake empathy, dolloped by the self-serving.

Against which genuine, personalized charity is the only effective weapon. Use it.