Police arrested a lady in Atlanta yesterday for blocking traffic as protested the minimum wage outside McDonalds. She told the WSB reporter who interviewed her that “without struggle there is no progress.” Then she said she wanted the government to force McDonalds to pay more “so I won’t have to struggle.”
If you are working your tail off and doing the best you can and, perhaps you have to rely on family, friends, charity, or government to get by, as I said on Rush’s show, that’s not failing. That’s working. And work is rewarding. But if you are in your thirties, making minimum wage in a career, and standing on the street demanding the government do something about it, yes, yes you have failed at life.
Luckily life is longer than failure and you still have time to turn things around when you’re in your thirties. But you’re definitely failing. If you think it is the government’s job to force your employer, who is more likely than not paying you before he pays himself, to raise your wages, you’ve got a problem and it is not your employer’s problem and it is not my problem. Without struggle, there is no progress. Forcing your employer, via government action, to pay you more is not struggling.
The “controversy” over my remarks on Rush’s show yesterday reminds me of what Michael Crichton referred to as the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect. Essentially, you read a story in the newspaper about which you are an expert and realize the author has it completely wrong. Then you finish the story and flip the page to read the next story in the newspaper assuming it to be right. Much of the controversy came from liberals who intend to mischaracterize conservatives using five minutes of what amounted to more than thirty total minutes of a three hour radio show, with more on the subject today.
They missed the part about me being a conservative and not libertarian and therefore supporting a social safety net for people who cannot take care of themselves.
They missed the part about me saying if people are working their tails off and struggling we should help them.
They missed the part about me exempting senior citizens and kids from the statement. And as I said on my own show, I also know people who make minimum wage working for charities because they find it fulfilling. They aren’t failing at life. I also know millionaires who live dismal lives and are clearly failing at life.
In fact, the people most upset with me missed the part about me specifically saying more than once that I was referring to 30 year old minimum wage workers who are blocking traffic demanding the government force their employers to pay them more. Those people have failed at life.
I realize in Obama’s America there are people who have to work minimum wage because they can’t find anything else. But there are also people working minimum wage jobs as a career who have decided to use the government to force their bosses to pay them more money. I don’t make any apology about saying those people have failed at life. They have.
Thanks for listening these last two days. It was a lot of fun. I’ve done twelve hours of radio over two days.