Senator Bernie Sanders has marched with McDonald’s employees. He’s called on Walmart and other large corporations to pay their employees a “living wage.” He’s pushed legislation to make the national minimum wage $15 per hour. But as it turns out, he’s not only underpaying his own staff, but his leadership team is using the same arguments against the union that businesses have used against Sanders’s own rhetoric.
The Sanders campaign issued a statement Thursday from campaign manager Faiz Shakir. [Emphasis added]: “We know our campaign offers wages and benefits competitive with other campaigns, as is shown by the latest fundraising reports. Every member of the campaign, from the candidate on down, joined this movement in order to defeat Donald Trump and transform America. Bernie Sanders is the most pro-worker and pro-labor candidate running for president. We have tremendous staff who are working hard. Bernie and I both strongly believe in the sanctity of the collective bargaining process and we will not deviate from our commitment to it.”
According to union members, many on the staff are working as much as 60 hours per week, which brings their hourly compensation well below $15 per hour. Yet the work they do out in weather conditions, talking to people about policies, and memorizing said policies is arguably more skill-intensive than the entry level jobs the campaign says deserves to be paid higher.
The real minimum wage should be zero
In a free market economy, businesses negotiate deals in order to acquire the resources they need, including human resources. This is why setting an arbitrary minimum wage is philosophically ludicrous, especially at the national level. Businesses and employees should be allowed free and open negotiations. If a job is worth $5 per hour and there are people willing to do the work for that wage, so be it.
Then, there’s the real-world challenges with a national minimum wage that Sanders and other Democrats never tackle. For a small-town store in West Virginia, $15 per hour may be enough to force it to shut down. Meanwhile, it’s hard to get anyone in a city like San Francisco to do any challenging work for $15 per hour. When the national government sets mandates for states based on a universal criteria, it’s bound to fail. The United States is too economically diverse when it comes to labor for Washington DC to get involved.
Then, of course, there’s the non-partisan CBO’s report that raising the minimum wage would kill 1.3 million jobs.
Socialist politicians rarely have the stomach to turn their policy proposals towards themselves. But they’re not interested in equality for all. They want to be part of the ruling elite while the rest of us are equally miserable.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
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