By Chris Rossini
Vox ran an extensive interview with Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, and it's very concerning that a large number of Americans are buying what he's selling. Bernie likes to refer to himself as a "Democratic Socialist," which should be viewed as nothing more than trying to soften the ugliness of Socialism by throwing the word "Democratic" in front of it.
Regardless of what Sanders calls himself, this is not a man who believes in Liberty. After reading the interview, you can't help but come away without knowing that he does not believe in private property, voluntary exchange, individual responsibility, supply & demand, or even the proper definition of the word "right".
While page after page can be written to refute the positions that Sanders holds, in the interest of brevity, let's just focus on one issue, and hopefully it can easily be seen how misinformed and confused Sanders really is.
What right-wing people in this country would love is an open-border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour, that would be great for them. I don't believe in that.
For those of us that believe in Liberty and voluntary association, left-wing and right-wing are both disappointments since they subscribe to neither concept. But let's discuss what a wage really is.
In an economy (even as hampered by government as ours is) individuals, in order to sustain themselves, must trade and exchange with other individuals. One thing that most of us trade is our labor. We each have different skill sets, that are demanded by potential employers in different proportions. If your skill set is in high demand, employers must compete with each other to hire you, and they do so by offering you higher pay and benefits. Relative to the rest of the people who are selling their labor, there aren't many others like you and that have your skills. Employers must compete for you.
On the opposite end, if there are many others who have the same skills that you do, employers have many other individuals to choose from. In order to make yourself stand out, you may have to offer your labor at a cheaper price in order to get hired. You are competing with many others for that job. Either that, or you have to get rolling on upping your skill level so that you face less competition.
Labor, like everything else that is traded, operates under the laws of supply and demand. As long as all transactions are done voluntarily, and neither party is allowed to use aggressive force, the transactions should be looked at with the highest ethical and moral regard. There is no such thing as a "wrong" wage as long as both parties freely agree to the terms. If they agree, it means they believe that their life is better off than not making the agreement.
Bernie Sanders has a problem with supply and demand. He believes that everyone that is working should make at least $15 per hour. How he can arbitrarily make such a statement is hardly ever questioned. Anything under $15 per hour should be forbidden by government and against the law according to Sanders.
Logic dictates that such a law must harm the very people that Sanders proclaims to be helping. Under such a law, the large numbers of people who only have rudimentary skills are forbidden (by law) in competing for a job! They can't offer their labor for less than $15 per hour, even if they want, and are more than happy to do. As a result, teenagers, the low-skilled, the poorest and most vulnerable members in our society are forced into unemployment by law.
Bernie knows about the youth unemployment problem. He just has no idea of the cause:
You know what youth unemployment is in the United States of America today? If you're a white high school graduate, it's 33 percent, Hispanic 36 percent, African American 51 percent.
Of course youth unemployment is high. The minimum wage forbids the youth from competing for a job. The minimum wage does not increase anyone's skill level. It merely dictates that those who do not have the skills to earn $15 per hour must (through no fault of their own) head to the unemployment line.
Bernie and his followers are fighting a battle that they cannot win. Man cannot override economic laws. Government will not negate supply & demand.