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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Why did you get married?"


Ms. Valentine makes the case that marriage is not as important to society as it used to be back in the days of Jane Austen.

She is right.

BlueCarp sees no reason for the government to be involved in a sacred vow between two people before God.

Unfortunately, Ms. Valentine veers off the track wildly in her conclusion:

Let's focus our resources on educating all people in both academics and life/parenting skills, providing quality job skills training, and actually paying them a living wage. Then, regardless of marital status, they might have genuine hope of building happy, healthy lives.

Let's just concentrate on the "living wage" aspect of this statement.

"Living wage" is code for raising the minimum wage. Its supporters believe that quality of living can be legislated: just mandate higher wages, and everyone makes more money!

It ain't that simple. If it were, we could just mandate that everyone make $1000 an hour and we'd all be rich. That's absurd. So is raising the minimum wage to any arbitrary amount.

There are always unintended consequences. Raising the minimum wage makes low skilled jobs go away. So, instead of a small business owner paying someone $8 an hour to sweep, the small business owner does it himself. The person who used to have that job now makes $0 an hour.

Nice job, Ms. Valentine. Your "living wage" is a huge success. But at least your newly unemployed sweeper can still get married.

Unless, of course, he is gay.

"Living Wage" supporters ignore the economic reality. Their response is always denial. They say that raising the minimum wage does not create unemployment. They can say and believe anything they want.

But they might as well say and believe gravity does not cause tides.

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