The Minimum Wage Debate
Few things should tell a person just how bought and paid for elected officials are than the current minimum wage debate. Somewhere, somehow there must be an on-line auction selling the votes and souls of elected officials. It won’t do any of us much good to find it since we couldn’t afford the opening bid. It is difficult to admit being born a Republican in this day and age.
The “quick fix” for the economy is to raise the minimum wage. It is a band-aid but it will provide a short term bump for retailers and auto repair shops. Since I unfortunately own a Buick Rendezvous I’ve had to develop a close personal relationship with repair shops in general. All of them are seeing an upturn in business right now. If you still listen to local radio stations or see the occasional television commercial you are seeing a big push for “use your tax refund to fix your ride” type commercials. The average age of vehicles on the road in America is currently 11.4 years. That’s the average which means each time you see a shiny new ride drive off a lot there is a big number of cars north of 12 years old to go along with it. We aren’t just talking old Jeeps people keep around because it is a Jeep thing, it includes the grocery getters.
There was a time when a large number of American trade-ins were shipped to other countries. That time has basically passed. Oh, some of the high end luxury rides still fall into that category, but fewer than you think. Unless there was something collectible about the car, vehicles north of 10 in age seem to mostly go to the crusher.
Sadly many American brands don’t make it a decade. If they were to offer the same 10 year/100,000 mile warranty KIA and others offer we would have to bail them out again. When you look at the average age of vehicles on the road it is pretty easy to see why companies offering a 10 year warranty standard move to the top of the shopping list.
The era of trading vehicles every few years is over. Many kids today are opting to get a license, but not a car. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. According to the current poverty guidelines poverty income for a family of 4 is just under $24K. Take a look at current new car prices.
It’s tough having been born a Republican. I certainly can’t vote for any of them today. The party which gave tax breaks to companies who off-shored American jobs. The party who cut food stamps. The party which slashed mental health care back in the 70s. The party which had the audacity to put forth as a potential leader someone who directly off-shored American jobs.
Perhaps it is time they learned what is good for business isn’t generally good for America. It’s a lot like medication. A little cures a problem but a lot is an overdose.
The short term boost is to raise the minimum wage, but the long term fix requires passage of the Ethics in Income Act. Search this blog to read about it. Since both business and political leaders seem to be born void of ethics we must legislate ethics for them.