By Robert Arnott
…. Consider Emily, a high-school dropout with no experience and no skills, looking to reset her life by earning her GED and seeking her first ever job. Suppose an employer would be happy to try her out at $1/hour. Is it fair to require the employer to pay $8/hour, give or take, for an untested employee who has never had a job? No. Will she get any offers at $8/hour? Probably not. Is it fair to deprive her of a chance to garner her first-ever job, perhaps locking her into permanent unemployment? No.
Is it fair to ask her to support herself on $1/hour? No. Instead of forcing a reluctant employer to pay Emily more than she is worth, suppose her paycheck includes $1/hour from the employer and $7/hour from the IRS. She’s still taking home the minimum wage. Will she care that $7 of her hourly wage comes from the IRS? No. As she develops skills and demonstrates a strong work ethic, she’ll command a higher wage – if not from her current employer, then from a new employer! With each raise, the subsidy from the IRS drops; she keeps perhaps 70 cents of each dollar raise. A flat tax. In time, as her skills improve she’s making enough to pay taxes, instead of collecting a negative income tax subsidy.
Can we find employers willing to hire 30 million people for $1/hour, wages that rise as the job skills improve? Of course we can. As these low-wage employees learn skills and earn raises, tax revenues will grow, the costs of our social programs will decline and long-term liabilities for entitlements will fall. No doubt there would be a lot fewer bitter unemployables, too. Plus, with opportunity, we will see the occasional meteoric rise from the mailroom to the corner office. ….
Subsidized wages. How many ways could this possibly go wrong?
1) No show hires where subsidy is split.
2) Ghost employees.
3) Non-working family and friends employees.
4) Wages never increased by employer, employee replaced if term of subsidy is exhausted.
5) Welfare recipient part-time employment scams by employers.
6) Fraudulant job training programs and 501(c)3 scams out the wazoo.
7) Previously unpaid paid apprenticeships and internships becoming for pay.
Does Robert Arnott honestly believe that there wouldn’t be Reverend Wrights out there putting their entire flock on the “payroll”? This would be opening a can of worms that would be impossible to close, and lower wages across the board except for the skilled. This is the “existence stipend” that the Occutards are calling for, a semi-liveable wage for doing essentially nothing. For $8 dollars a day, trash which is two court appearances away from life in prison would end up being “hired” to be the stars of such societal value sites as World Star Hip Hop. As I just said, this would be opening a can of worms that would be impossible to close. Robert Arnott, if you want to propose it, it’s your business, but please, just call it what it will end up being, a reparations program to be used for the final looting of what used to be the United States of America, because subsidizing that first job at a fast food restaurant ….. oh my god this is the proposal of the collapse of a country, of falling prices, of stagnant wages, of a collapsing GDP, of corporate earnings being taxed at 100%. This is proposing the imploding world of Atlas Shrugged on steroids.