How can the United States of America jump-start job creation? Obviously there’s nobody better to answer that question than a politician who’s been on the U.S. government payroll for nearly half a century and has never owned or operated a business – Vice President Joe Biden.
“There’s no reason in the world why an American working 40 hours a week has to live in poverty” Biden stated as he began his stint filling-in for President Obama with the recent “President’s Weekly Address” to the nation. “Right now a worker earning the federal minimum wage makes about $14,500 a year. And you all know that's incredibly hard for an individual to live on, let alone raise a family on” he stated.
Biden was – again- promoting the Democrat party’s 2014 midterm election theme of raising the federal minimum wage requirement. “If we raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, that same worker will be making $20,200 a year—and with existing tax credits would earn enough to bring that family or a family of four out of poverty” he claimed.
The Obama-Biden legislative agenda is going nowhere in Congress, at least not right now. Consequently, it’s easy to dismiss Biden’s rhetoric as nothing more than that – mere words to push a political agenda and not much more.
Yet America’s existing fiscal and economic policy has over the past several years been driven by this same kind of “mere rhetoric.” Biden may lack President Obama’s charisma when pleading the case for a policy initiative, but our nation’s current economic crisis has been caused in no small part by an electorate that heard the President’s charming words about more plentiful, less expensive healthcare, and believed him.
So before you dismiss the rhetoric about the magic of minimum wage laws, try some critical analysis of what the Vice President said, and consider the veracity of his claims. To start, consider this line: “there’s no reason in the world why an American working 40 hours a week has to live in poverty.”
On the surface it’s difficult to disagree with that statement, but consider its implications. For one, it begs the question “what is poverty anway?” (I’ll get to that in a moment). Additionally, it presupposes that one is entitled to something on the order of “middle class” status simply because one puts in 40 hours a week working at some job. That is, this statement of Biden’s ignores the fact that peoples’ contributions to the economy vary according to their capacities, their skills, and the expectations placed upon them– and with these variables comes a variance in the wage one earns.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.