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Here’s a deal for President Obama and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley: the Republican Party will support both of your proposed hikes in the minimum-wage both nationally and in Maryland, if you agree to support a series of economic policies which will return us to vibrant economic growth. Deal? Granted, I cannot speak for the entire body of elected Republican officials, but I am so confident that a philosophical change in direction will result in strong economic growth, that it will render the President’s arbitrary $1.75 increase in the federal minimum-wage and the Governor’s $2.75 state-wide increase, insufficient to keep pace with the free-market wage increases resulting from the new growth-oriented legislative orientation.
These two PhD level politicians have mastered the art of the political shell-game and they have determined that a new target of opportunity is needed to distract from the recently announced return to negative quarterly growth rates and Maryland’s mass-exodus. A minimum-wage fight is one they relish as any political fight on the issue puts the finishing touches on their paint-by-the-numbers, political self-portraits as defenders of the economically disadvantaged. Why give them this fight and allow them to continue flying this false flag? Republican economic policies already support healthy wage growth for all Americans, the core difference being that these big government politicians support wage increases by fiat while we support greater wage increases through robust growth.
For a real-world example, one only needs to look northwest from Maryland and the cavernous halls of Washington D.C. There, in North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields, an economic explosion so profound is occurring that in some areas, the unemployment rate has fallen below an incredible two percent and low-skilled work wages have risen to over $60,000. This is not a talking point but an economic reality, and with the United States and Western Maryland floating on a sea of clean-burning natural gas and middle-class families struggling, politicians had better start leaving their luxurious offices and feeling our economic pain.
We are currently entangled in the worst economic recovery from a recession in American history and wages have suffered as a result. We have been down this road before and the solutions are obvious. Sustained wage growth is only possible through investment and the resulting productivity enhancements which result from it, not from a printing press. Government bureaucrats may insist that they can manufacture value and productive workers through legislative or monetary magic, but the supporting evidence is damning. Deriving more economic output from better quality inputs has always been the engine that drives wage growth and arguments to the contrary are typically ideological and not based in sound economics.
Sending a bold, pro-growth legislative package to the President and Maryland’s Governor, including tax-code reform which eliminates loopholes in exchange for lower marginal rates, dramatic cuts in our confiscatory corporate and our investment-hindering capital gains tax rates, and regulatory reforms which encourage energy production for our abundant natural resources, and offering it as fair trade for our support of a minimum-wage hike is an economic victory for the country and my home state.
Why? Because, while the President’s economic game-plan has produced disastrous results, a change in direction using the aforementioned template will ignite an economic tsunami waiting to reach the shore and will render arbitrary legislative minimum-wage hikes insufficient to meet what is sure to be a resurgent demand for labor and an explosion in wages.
The President and Maryland’s Governor may cynically support this minimum-wage hike in a struggling economy to further divide the country into a fictitious caste-system, but our economic package will render their arguments nonsensical. After all, who wants to fight for a minimum-wage which is lesser than a labor-hungry market wage? If these two blame-first, lead-last politicians want to continue to play politics with American economic security and stability then we should take the gloves off and force them to the bargaining table. We will trade you, maximum economic growth for your minimum-wage, you pick.
Tags: Barack Obama, economic growth, Martin O'Malley, minimum wage
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