I should stop reading the economy-related blogs, people, because they are confusing me. See the following post, for example:
In the midst of the Second Great Depression, Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa has introduced a bill increasing the minimum wage to $9.88 an hour.
“If my proposal went through, a $15,000 a year worker will make $20,000 a year,” he says. “You know $5,000 a year is significant to someone in that category. [It] may not get them out of poverty, but it makes life better.”
OK, we can all agree that $15K per year is abysmally low and nobody can live on that. An income of $20K per year, while still low, sounds much better.
What I don’t get, though, is how the conclusion is being drawn that raising the minimum wage would raise incomes from $15K to $20K. Wouldn’t the employers simply outsource the jobs overseas? And wouldn’t the rest of employers simply stop hiring new workers and, instead, burden the existing workers with even more job responsibilities?
It is probable that I’m not seeing something important here but such suggestions sound like nothing but pretty, self-consoling speechifying. If a politician proposes that the minimum wage be raised, that politician should either find the courage and make it clear that such measure needs to be accompanied by outlawing the outsourcing of jobs and introducing a very stringent regulation of the workplace, or stop blabbering on the subject irresponsibly.
Again, correct me if I’m wrong here, but it seems to me that the economy in this country suffers from being subjected to endless half-measures. It’s like nobody has the courage to select a course of action and follow it without vacillating, going two steps backwards for every step forward, and without actually moving in any direction.
Is it any wonder that we are stuck in a protracted period of economic stagnation at this moment?