Kristin Bell Begging for Tuppence: The falsehood of a living wage

It was nearly unbearable to watch all the idiots crying in front of Wal-Mart on Black Friday 2014 protesting in favor of a “living wage.” The radical concept of inconveniencing shoppers trying to impose an unrealistic minimum wage reminded me of the absolutely preposterous video done by Kristin Bell from Funny or Die mimicking Marry Poppins. In a parody the Disney character (played by Kristin Bell) she quits her job because the Banks family won’t pay her more money. According to Bell’s character she is struggling to make ends meet at $7.25, the federal minimum wage, pleading for a $3 raise. Bell, who is a young talented kid ignorant about basic economic concepts, has swallowed the socialist notion of a minimum wage without any critical thinking espousing the same stupidity as the Wal-Mart protestors who are attacking the shopping giant with a contentious desire to unionize those employees.

Rightly, Reason Magazine answered Bell’s video with a Mary Poppins satire of their own against the federal increase of minimum wage laws. The unintended consequence of increases in minimum wage is that the money has to come from someplace—business owners are in the business to make money, and wage increases cut into their profit margins—which determine whether or nor they wish to involve themselves in the risky business of operating a money-making enterprise. If employees become too troublesome and desire more money than they are worth—a smart business owner to maintain their interest in a business must replace those employees with something more reliable—like a machine.

Already in manufacturing 3D printing is threatening to remove many delicate manufacturing jobs that would have before been done with a punch press or plastic injection machine. Even fast food restaurants are nearing a phase where they could be almost completely automated. The only reason they presently aren’t is because wage labor is still cheaper. But at a $15 dollar rate—nobody will bother—they’ll just buy the machines and cut the cry baby employees. Machines don’t unionize and they do what you tell them to—and they don’t have unrealistic expectations regarding personal value.

Ironically Bell in her video complains that Social Security and other taxes are removed from her check before she sees much of the money and this is why she needs more money—well—welcome to the club. Anybody who works sees this theft of their weekly paychecks with a wealth redistribution scam that favors the lazy and unmotivated. But it was the same progressives who are behind this minimum wage increase who voted for all those stupid “society” projects like Medicare, Socialist Security, and a progressive tax system. Now they want more money on their weekly paychecks to pay for the stupid things they voted for which is utterly ridiculous. It was progressive mismanagement which caused this issue of depleted personal revenue.

The protestors who want to shut down Wal-Mart are utter idiots because if they eventually are successful society will lose the stand-alone stores that are quite a community asset for those who have them. People won’t rush out to a store with a bunch of radical union protestors to buy their cloths and milk. If it becomes too much of a pain in the ass, they’ll just order what they need online and have it delivered to their house. Twice over the Thanksgiving holiday recently I sat in the comfort of my chair at home next to a roaring fire—sipping on a Mello Yello, watching football, and ordered items from my iPad. Two days later those items arrived on my front porch. All I had to do was open my door to retrieve them—that is my concept of shopping. Occasionally my wife drags me to Wal-Mart which has value because I don’t have to wait for the shipping of the item—as Wal-Mart has already done that part for me. That is what the brick and mortar store offers—immediate gratification. But if that experience isn’t gratifying—and cheap—people will reject it.

Consider when we go to the bank these days to get money—so we can go shopping. I used to hate going through the window talking to a person who sometimes gave me back the wrong amount of money. I much prefer the ATM because in 20 years of using them, they have never miscounted my money and are dependable every time—the average transaction time is 4 minutes—then I’m off onto something I would rather be doing. Progressives would argue that what we are losing is the human contact which makes us all sensitive to each other’s needs. But that squishy sentiment isn’t often the reality. Unless the person working with you is pleasant—I’d rather deal with a machine. For instance, going to the license bureau is always unpleasant. There you have a bunch of unhappy government workers who know you can’t go anyplace else—and that you have to do what they say. So they take their time, are often cranky, and have no fear of competition. If the minimum wage activists get their way with Wal-Mart and McDonald’s what we will end up with is a bunch of grumpy nags bitching about everything asked of them—and nobody wants that.

Just the other day my wife and I were going through the McDonald’s drive thru picking up some McRibs and the people working the window were nice on both the money end and the push-out window. It was actually a pleasant experience to receive my food from a real human being and it made me want to order again a few hours later, so my wife and I went back up for dinner to get more food. But that’s not always the case—sometimes people who you know don’t want to be there are at the window and you can’t wait to get your food and be off and away from them. They are the kind of people who clock into their time clocks at the last possible moment and leave as soon as possible when their shift is over. You can always tell a bad worker because they are the type who stands at a time clock wanting to leave the moment they can. Their behavior carries over into their productive output. It gives them away on sight—you can tell who they are by their body language. Those people are not worth $15 dollars an hour. They are not worth a mythical “living” wage as determined by a bunch of knuckle dragging progressives. They are lucky to have a job at all, and if Wal-Mart and McDonald’s have to pay those types of people more money, they are better off investing in a machine that will do the work more reliably, and cheaper. Because the goal of every business is to MAKE MONEY—not give things away for free.

The Kristin Bell Mary Poppins character is far different from the Walt Disney version. The Disney version might be worth a few more dollars for what she brought to the table but the Bell version is the kind of baby sitter who brings over her boyfriend the moment the parents leave the house. When the parents return they find that Bell has wrecked their house with a rave party complete with drug paraphernalia strewn about and the kids out cold from intoxication. Then Bell gives the parents a bill saying that she’ll sue them if they don’t pay her $15 per hour instead of the $7 they agreed on since her boyfriend wrecked her car leaving that house intoxicated, since the parents would be responsible for what happens at their house. Then Bell would complain and protest about how greedy the parents were because they still refused to pay, or hire her for another night. After all, she needs money—so somebody owes her some.

Human beings can be better than a machine to deal with, but only under certain circumstances, and none of those circumstances are brought about with an increase in the minimum wage. Such an increase doesn’t just impact jobs on the bottom end, but raises all wage levels with artificial inflation which is why people support such a stupid proposal. People, who currently make $15 an hour which is a good wage, would want to be compensated at $20 because some fast food worker is now making what they once did. And if they don’t get it, it’s better for them to quit the harder job so they can make milk money at a $15 wage at Wal-Mart. Only people who don’t understand how money is made and why businesses do anything support a minimum wage increase. Those who do understand find the proposal reprehensible—because they know that the unintended consequence is what the video from Reason Magazine revealed. Machines are more reliable when the expectations of employees are too great. When humans become a pain in the ass, they will find themselves jobless in a hurry—and Kristin Bell’s Mary Poppins would find herself begging for a tuppence within a few days of walking out on employer with her broken umbrella and terrible attitude. Because nobody wants to deal with a bitch like that—the money just isn’t worth it.


Rich Hoffman

Visit Cliffhanger Research and Development


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