APPEL: Report From The Trenches – Equal Pay And Minimum Wage

Today, we were treated one of the most devastating bits of political theater to date in the Louisiana legislature.

The governor attended the Labor Committee hearing to support several far left-wing feel-good bills. In particular he pleaded passionately that we pass the Equal Pay bill and the Minimum Wage bill. The deleterious effects of creating a statewide Minimum Wage are already well settled, leading the way with job losses among the very people that such a bad idea purports to help. Therefore let me focus on the other equally anti-economic growth bill.

Aside from the fact that his arguments concerning Equal Pay are based upon phony statistics, the real tragedy is that the bill in question would, if passed, produce the exact opposite effect from that that he and his allies are claiming to promote.

First let’s look at the statistical felony that the governor repeatedly commits; the statistics that he quotes purporting to show a huge discrepancy between men’s and women’s pay are probably correct but they justify a totally different argument than that for Equal Pay. He cites a difference in pay for all categories of jobs combined, when all men’s and all women’s pay are added together and compared. This has no relationship to Equal Pay for equal jobs between the sexes and fails to account for the types of jobs traditionally occupied by the two sexes or the value of an individual worker to a business. In other words they are voodoo statistics that are widely reported by the media without a challenge to their applicability or validity to this argument!

That being said, what these statistics do scream is that incomes in Louisiana are terribly low and that jobs that are occupied by most women are even lower than those occupied by men. There are many reasons why the difference in pay between the sexes is so but it is not my intent herein to delve into one reason or another. What is my intent is to make clear that in general incomes are too low period and the governor’s misguided efforts will create obstacles to economic growth and result in a contrary effect.

The governor’s efforts to try to conceal what is nothing but a vestige of class warfare as perpetuated by the Left by promoting it as some form of phony equity is a pure political ploy that will only help his many lawyer friends. In real economic terms, the only way to close a pay gap is to raise wages in general by creating economic opportunity and by encouraging women to enter fields that traditionally reward workers with higher pay.

That is the opposite of what will happen if businesses would be forced to negatively react to these onerous new regulations.

There is no circumstance in which government can impose its will upon citizens or businesses without a corresponding loss to the private economy. And the only outcome of such a loss is the depression of everyone’s standard of living as the economy declines. Remember a simple rule; business votes with its feet. When by government edict we take away freedom from businesses and when we create a high potential for litigation against businesses, businesses react by declining in size or moving!

If you don’t believe me let’s look at the flip side of what is being proposed. When President Trump took office his first efforts were to lower taxes and, perhaps more importantly, to eliminate government regulations hampering the freedom that business needs to grow and create prosperity for all. Now what has been the result of the President’s effort? Bingo, in little over a year jobs are blooming and salaries are growing. The American spirit is amazing and productive, but only if government stays out of the way.

The Declaration of Independence promises that we Americans are entitled to expect “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” It does not suggest that only by depriving business people of the Liberty to create and operate their own businesses we can guarantee Happiness for those who work for them. It doesn’t intimate such a nonsensical notion for a reason. Two hundred years ago the Founders knew that it takes Liberty, Freedom from government interference if you will, to build a great Nation and a prosperous economy. They knew that because they had lived for generations under the yoke of a monarchical regime that provided almost no Liberty. They literally voted with their feet when they embarked to America to build their new economic lives based upon Freedom from government. That understanding is still true today.

So now when Governor Edwards tells us that some of us will be better off if, by government edict, we just override a subset of our fellow citizens’ Freedoms he doesn’t understand why our Founding Principles were so emphatic in the defense of Liberty. Or worse he has let his own personal politics get in the way of what is best for our people.

So let me make this clear to our governor. If we really want prosperity for our people we must get government off of their and our businesses’ backs. Let Freedom shine and all will be so much better off!

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