(Stats of above image do not represent real figures)
The Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, wishes to address the issue, or non-issue, of “income inequality.” For starters, one must look at income inequality. Income inequality can be defined as “the unequal distribution of household or individual income across the various participants in an economy.”(Investopedia) Why is that a bad thing? A teenager who is working a minimum wage job at McDonald’s should not be earning the same amount of money as their manager that worked at the same joint for five years. The manager should not be earning as much as the owner of the restaurant. The owner of the restaurant should not be earning as much as the owner of the entire chain. You get the picture? So why is income inequality such a bad thing? Why is this a horrible problem with the American economy that needs to be addressed? In short, it isn’t.
People are paid for doing work. That means that their work has value. Factors for each job include but are not limited to age, experience, and education. If a person is qualified for a job, is hired, and regularly completes their job with excellence, they are more valuable than someone who completes the job with less quality. Therefore, they are rewarded with higher pay and eventually a promotion. However, that is not what Hillary Clinton would like. Every person working at McDonald’s doing the same job would be paid the same amount-regardless of the quality of labor or the discretion of the employer. So you’ve worked somewhere two years? Too bad, the guy hired next week doing the basic tasks you did a year ago (before you moved up) is getting paid the same as you are now. Hillary is most definitely a fan of diversity, as is most of the left. That means they should definitely understand that everyone works differently because they have different abilities, jobs, experience, education, and so many other factors not listed here. The workforce of America is very diverse, and Hillary should appreciate that. However, since they are different, their pay should be different as well.
As for raising the minimum wage, a common solution to the “problem” at hand, this ends up being terrible for low skilled or unskilled workers. The jobs these people perform are of minimal value to the employer and thus they are not paid very highly. If the government steps in and forces the employer to pay the workers more, the employee will not be able to afford it. So, as a direct result of government interference, workers end up being laid off and become unemployed perpetually as nobody is looking to higher overpriced labor. A person should never be paid more than their labor is worth. It is simply a waste of time for a business to take part in that action, and people will end up being fired and never granted the opportunity to gain experience and rise through the ranks. On top of the rising number of people unemployed, raising the minimum wage would result in inflation and the diminishing of the worth of the dollar itself. How? If companies are required to pay their workers more, they need an effective way to acquire that money. The most reasonable solution would be to raise the prices of their products (inflation), and as a result, the worth of the dollar would diminish. Overall, it would be disastrous not only to the economy, but also to every single citizen.
So back to the original question, “Why is that (income inequality) a bad thing?” What could Hillary see about this “issue” that we are missing? She seems to focus more upon the unfairness. She believes that the pay difference is an example of how America is unfair, how businesses are greedy, and how money needs to be redistributed to those that the government deems less fortunate. That is simply not the case, and the government’s involvement can only make things worse. Through evidence, logic, and basic explanation, the entire non-issue is proved just that; a non-issue!
Author: James Kurlich
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Hillary for America “A Plan to Raise American Incomes.” Raising Incomes & Fighting Inequality. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 June 2016.
Investopedia n.p. “Income Inequality” Web. 28 June 2016
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