Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Cost of Liberty

When the Founding Fathers designed our government, they understood the difference between a government that exists to serve its population and one that strives to control it. They created our Constitution, the ultimate law of the land, with the goal of keeping the government in check and preventing it from abridging the liberty of its citizens.

But liberty has a price. For the freedom of speech, we must tolerate the words of those that disagree with our position. The freedom of religion requires that we allow beliefs other than our own. And to ensure that we retain the right to a fair trial, must follow the law even if it means that sometimes the guilty will go free.

The framers of the constitution also gave us the right to keep and bear arms in order to defend ourselves, to defend our country from outside attack, and should the worst happen, to defend ourselves from our own government. While valid arguments can be made for and against restricting citizen’s rights to arm themselves for the purposes of self-defense and defense of the country, no argument can prove that we, the people, have no need of protection from the government itself.

History provides ample evidence of governments committing atrocities against their own unarmed populace. Take for example, the Armenian genocide in Turkey and the countless dissidents silenced during China’s Cultural Revolution. Our own country’s hands are not clean in this regard, the most recent example being the forced internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II.

The cost for the right to keep and bear arms is high at times. It has led some to question if liberty is worth the price and if it might be better to trade our liberty for the dubious protection of a disarmed populace. I tell you that the cost of surrendering this liberty will be far greater than the cost of defending it.

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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Freedom


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Raising minimum wage is minimally sage

When the siding on your house has dry-rot, giving it a few heavy coats of paint might make it look better for a little while, but it won’t make the underlying issue go away. Raising minimum wage to alleviate poverty is the same kind of solution, one that looks good on a superficial level, but ends up not really fixing the problem, and here’s why.

Labor is a tradable commodity, and just like any commodity, labor can vary in value. It takes more skill to be a doctor than a store clerk, so their labor has a higher value. Minimum wage is the base price that the government has placed on unskilled labor.

Labor and its price are part of a giant economic system that also includes all the goods we buy. When the government artificially raises minimum wage, all the other parts of the economy are forced to shift to accommodate the change. Employers that provide minimum wage jobs, such as factories, restaurants, and stores, have to pay more for their labor, and so they must either raise the prices or hire fewer workers in order to maintain profitability. Unemployment goes up and consumers, which include minimum wage-earners, must now pay more for goods and services. Once prices finish adjusting, the larger paychecks for unskilled laborers will not end up stretching any further than they did before minimum wage was raised.

Also, when minimum wage is raised, skilled workers do not receive a boost to the price of their labor, but still experience the raised prices of goods and services. They can’t buy as much with their paychecks as they could before, which means their higher-value labor is now worth less than it used to be.

To raise a worker’s income, the only real solution is to raise the value of that worker’s labor, and that can’t be done through raising minimum wage.