Why Not Set A $500-An-Hour Minimum Wage?

February 25, 2013

When Bob Cousy retired from the Boston Celtics after leading his team to five consecutive championships, he was earning $35,000 a year.  LeBron James raked in $44.5 million last year.

That’s 127,143% more than the Celtics point guard made.  And King James has won only one championship.  Even taking 50 years of inflation into consideration, that’s a mind-boggling differential in pay.

Yet we would consider it grotesque for the federal government to jump in and insist that the Celtics contribute millions in back pay to the Cooz … or demand a reduction in compensation for LeBron.

Pay for athletes is, of course, determined by market forces.  Basketball has become a much bigger business than it was in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s when Bob Cousy played.  Based on the revenue he generates for the Miami Heat, LeBron earns his pay.

So why should compensation on the other end of the spectrum be determined by the government, instead of by market forces?

In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour – in an effort to help boost the economy!

While retailers and others who employ minimum-wage workers have to suffer through an economy that’s slogging along with almost no growth, President Obama wants them to share more of their revenue with the unskilled folks who sort their inventory, work the cash registers and post on Facebook during work hours (when they’re not talking on their cell phones).

The rationale is that putting more money in the hands of those on the lower rung of the social ladder will increase consumer spending.  It’s the same rationale President Obama has used for endless unemployment compensation, food stamps for all and other programs that hard-working taxpayers pay for.

So how has that worked out?

Maybe President Obama proposed increasing the minimum wage because the issue polls well.  You think?

But it’s one more insult to small businesses.  If the minimum wage is increased, many will decide that it’s no longer worth being in business.  They will close down or lay off employees and the net result will be fewer jobs.

If increasing the minimum wage is such a good idea, why not just pass a law that sets the minimum wage at $500 an hour?  We’ll all be rich, so we’ll be able to spend more money and stimulate the economy – and we’ll be able to pay more taxes, so we’ll have more money to pay for even larger government programs.

It’s a good thing President Obama doesn’t read my blog.  He might steal my idea.

Comments

NBA does have a "minumum

NBA does have a "minumum wage" - it's $1/2 million/year.

NBA's Minimum Wage

You've just hit on a solution to our economic malaise.

We need to file a suit against the NBA for discriminating against those of us with no athletic talent.  The NBA will have to show that there is no "disparate impact."  It won't be able to, so it will have to start hiring old, non-athletic guys like me for $500,000 a year.

Hopefully, I'll be drafted by the Celtics.

 

 

 

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