Good data support the LePage proposal. Last year even the Paris-headquartered Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, made up of 34 countries (70 percent from Europe) that rarely agree on anything, released a report contending that countries could reduce teen unemployment by "lowering the cost of employing low-skilled youth" through a sub-minimum training wage.
The "progressive" concern, of course, is that rapacious bosses will seize the opportunity to fire an adult—but no competent manager will replace a good worker with an untrained teen. To play on another 1960s tune, "All we are saying, is give kids a chance." So, why the furor from the Huffington Post and other organs of the left? Because 1960s craziness remains. Why should anyone have to work for less than $10 per hour? Why shouldn't everyone work for at least $100 per hour? Banish hardship! If we bang on the doors of Eden, they will open.
Neil Diamond: "Sweet Caroline, o-o-o, good times never seem so good." But they don't last unless children are born and grow up. Diamond: "Hands, touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you." That may lead to crisis pregnancies, but I prefer to think about the hand of an unborn child reaching out of the womb during prenatal surgery and touching the doctor's, or the hands of a man-child or a girl/woman learning the joy of grown-up work and gaining productive habits that can last a lifetime.
The 1960s were a search for instant gratification. We would have a Great Society by willing it. Actually, good times often seem good at the time, but different the next day. That next day is now.
Reprinted with permission of WORLD Magazine.