"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, December 14, 2012

Krauthammer on the Hypocrisy of "Choice"

In an article today about the Michigan right-to-work legislation, Charles Krauthammer makes an essential point about the hypocrisy of the left:

President Obama railed against the Michigan legislation, calling right-to-work “giving you the right to work for less money.” Well, there is a principle at stake here: A free country should allow its workers to choose whether or not to join a union. Moreover, it is more than slightly ironic that Democrats, the fiercely pro-choice party, reserve free choice for aborting a fetus, while denying it for such matters as choosing your child’s school or joining a union

To me the hypocrisy of Democrats' position on choice extends further.   Consider the minimum wage.   Democrats like the minimum wage, not because it provides a baseline so that workers can obtain a "living" wage to support their families, but because it limits the competition of low-wage workers and protects jobs for the Democrats' unionized constitutencies.   In other words, it's not about actually providing a minimum wage to workers, but about shutting people out of the workforce by overpricing them.   (This is basic economics, by the way... if you raise the price of something, the demand for it goes down.   If you raise the price of low-skilled work, the demand for low-skilled work goes down.   The victims are not the low-skilled workers being exploited by unscrupulous robber barons who pay them pittances to work; the victims are pow the low-skilled workers who don't have jobs at any wage, who are instead now exploited by the government welfare bureaucrats.)   But what happened to freedom of choice.   If a free man chooses to work for another free man for $6 per hour, or $5 per hour, because he'd rather have $200 in his pocket at the end of the week, and would rather have a job than not have a job, what business is it of the government's to tell him he can't do that?  

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