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As Long as We Remember...

March 9, 2018

Sanctuary Sanctimony

Ken Kellar

Where to begin on Sen. Ron Young’s sanctimonious, dishonest, confused and dangerous bigotry where he favors one demographic at the expense of another?


Maybe I’ll start with Senate candidate Craig Giangrande’s straightforward approach to life and government. “Government doesn’t always have the answers” or something to that effect. That was Mr. Giangrande’s espoused philosophy at a recent fundraiser for his District 3 challenge to incumbent Senator Young.


Mr. Giangrande and his family sell food to people for more than it costs them to make, that’s the essence of business. People want his burgers and fries more than they want the dollars in their pockets, and a mutually agreeable exchange occurs with both parties satisfied. One gets money, another a tasty burger.


Mr. Giangrande conducts a similar trade with his employees. The employees value their wages more than their time, so a free market exchange occurs where Mr. Giangrande pays over 400 people for their time. His employees give their time in order to get money. Both parties benefit.


To do well in business, Mr. Giangrande probably finds the best deals he can on potatoes and beef. Various producers compete through quality and pricing to gain Mr. Giangrande’s business. Similarly, Mr. Gaingrande also has to compete to acquire workers. If he offers too little, he can’t attract or keep employees. If he offers too much, he can’t make a profit and his businesses die.


It’s a constantly changing environment with myriad variables changing all the time. A businessman has to stay on his toes to keep the whole complex thing going.


Life is much simpler for current Senator Young. He has returned from a mountain where the burning bush of socialism spoke to him and inscribed the perfect wage on a stone tablet, $15. $15 for maybe three years now is the perfect wage. Perfect in Manhattan, as well as Charleston, West Virginia. $15 dollars per hour, perfect in the most expensive city to the least expensive city.


Senator Young sanctimoniously demands a living wage for all workers. Did he demand a living wage back in 1970 when about all fast food workers were teenagers making a few extra bucks for their weekend date or their first car?


You see the fast food industry emerged through a business model that relied on transient employees. The restaurants were designed to be staffed by low skill employees. A kid could get up to speed in one shift. How much pay could a kid demand when he could be replaced within hours? Not much.


The model was win, win, win. Kids had a source of employment, business owners had a ready supply of affordable labor, and customers had hot, quick, cheap food. Employers offered just enough pay to attract high school students. Chemical plants offer chemists much more than a burger flipper wage, but it is still just enough money to attract and retain the chemist. That is Business 101. The skills generally drive the wage rate.


Kids didn’t stay in those fast food jobs long. They moved on to skilled jobs directly, or, after college, to where they could demand and receive much higher wages. It was a beautiful, harmonious flow. Fast food jobs and the like were a valuable steppingstone for many highly successful careers.


Then the effect of unfettered legal and illegal unskilled adult immigrants started taking place by pushing out the high school kids. Why? Several reasons come to mind. An adult might be more mature and reliable. More flexible in work hours. So out went the high school kids and in came the “working poor.”


This broke the harmonious cycle. Rather than being a steppingstone on a long and fruitful career, fast food jobs became the permanent job for unskilled parents, many of them simultaneously collecting welfare.


Worry about your kids getting hooked on drugs? Drying up kids’ employment opportunities sure didn’t help the situation. Wonder why they can’t keep a job after college? The lack of teen work experience might be a contributor.


Senator Young wants to double down on the negative impact of illegal immigration on our youth’s employment, and the ability to find a job at a decent wage. He supports sanctuary legislation to maximize the number of desperate illegal immigrants who drive down unskilled wage rates. He then declares the resulting wages as immoral and supports legislation to dictate wages employers must pay regardless of the realities of the market. It’s a vicious and totally unnecessary cycle.


Step by step Mr. Young and his ilk have harmed us and our nation with their folly and presumption:


He has denied our youth their traditional temporary teen employment opportunities though unfettered immigration.


He has caused and supported the placement of unskilled adult immigrants in low wage jobs increasing the demand for welfare funding.


He demands businesses pay what the government dictates, not the market, regardless of the business consequences.


Senator Young and his cohorts are those dangerous statesmen and senators Adam Smith wrote of in 1776:


“The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it.” (Book 4 Chapter 2 Paragraph 10)


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