Buy a burger, wrap or pizza and you might be paying for it twice, once with your meal and again at tax time. It turns out that all those stingy wages at fast food joints are being subsidized by government programs to help the poor. I'm not against government assistance, except when it is unnecessary and the result of greed. We have a lot of areas where partnerships between government and industry are already working well. Many sports stadiums were built by public funds to run a private business. All our privately built GPS navigation systems rely on government satellites. One area that we ought not need government assistance is in subsidizing employers who pay inadequate wages thus encouraging inefficient business practices.
So much for the arguments by fast food employers against raising the minimum wage. They too are the beneficiaries of government assistance. Fast food franchisees may take home $300,000 to $1,000,000 a year. What does not make sense is that in order for them to do so, we are subsidizing their employees instead of them shouldering the responsibility of paying members of their own community a livable wage.
Greed only hurts the greedy in the long run, because eventually there is no longer a middle class left to buy their goods and services. Low minimum wages are a part of short-term thinking. Higher minimum wages maintain a healthier middle class, and thus a healthier economy. I hear some argue against higher minimum wage levels, but those countries which do have them also have a greater sense of equality.
Should we be proud that America has a greater number of super wealthy than any other country on earth or should we be ashamed? There were times in our country's history when the difference between wealthiest and the not so wealthy was only about double or triple the income level. While lazy people simply do not deserve to be rewarded, most people who are poor are not lazy. That is a myth. It may be perpetuated by greedy people who love that a CEO can earn 300 to 600 times what a fast food worker earns. Such an income difference is not fair or healthy for the ecnomy. It is gross excess and there is no excuse for it.
Hard work and honesty ought to be rewarded. But many who earn grossly excessive incomes are not much different in work ethic than those who earn a bare minimum. In a bizarre twist on the entitlement mentality, some wealthy people claim that they deserve their wealth—they are entitled to it—even if the public purse has to support their lack of care for their own valuable employees. Nobody deserves to live in gross excess while others struggle to survive.
James warns the wealthy: "Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the innocent one, who was not opposing you."
Wake up wealthy people! Give to the needy before you go down in history as just another greedy fool!