Dave Glubetich: Vote for ‘common sense’
I believe in common sense. I use it whenever possible. However, when it comes to governing, most of our politicians prefer other means, totally ignoring the truths of common sense. The most preferred methods are “whatever our party decides” and “do what my donors want.”
But this doesn’t protect us from unintended consequences that usually follow a breakdown in common sense. Unintended consequences can be compared to tsunamis. They come out of nowhere, are powerful and catastrophic. I’ve experienced two in my lifetime. Many reading this article probably experienced the last one … the devastating housing crisis a few years back, when lives were uprooted and often destroyed when the real estate market crashed.
It was blamed on the “bad banks that needed more restrictions.” But that isn’t what happened. A tsunami was unleashed when millions of poorly qualified people were encouraged to buy homes with little money because “it’s a good thing to participate in the housing market as an owner rather than a renter.”
Yes, it is. But when these buyers weren’t really qualified using long-standing bank requirements, can it really have good results? Common sense tells us it wouldn’t. But politics trump common sense. So bad decisions eventually led to unintended consequences and millions lost their home and even their livelihood.
The Democrats, however, are a party that doesn’t seem to bother with common sense. It’s whatever their bread and butter supporters — mostly unions — want. For example, most Dems are backing a national minimum wage of $15. They call it a living wage. Sounds nice and fair?
But common sense tells us that it’s a destructive concept, that if ever put into play, would destroy jobs and put many small businesses “out of business.” It would create a tsunami worst than the recent housing debacle.
With upticks in the California minimum wage we’ve already seen a number of well-loved, long-time businesses in Nevada County close their doors. Owners lost their life dreams and employees lost jobs they needed.
And it’s going to be a lot worse. As of January 2020, the California minimum wage jumps from $12 to $13 per hour for businesses with 25 employees or less. It applies to the pricey Bay Area as well as Nevada County.
Whether you like it or not, or even consider it fair, there is a pecking order. Jobs that require little experience and education pay the least. And jobs that few are capable of doing or require college degrees (like those in the medical industries) bring the best pay. This cannot be altered by misplaced laws like minimum wage.
What might be acceptable in Walnut Creek (where the cost of living index is 153.4) is not fair in Grass Valley where it’s 103.5, just a smidgen over the national average of 100.
I find it hard to believe that many Democratic presidential candidates are pitching for a “national living wage” of $15 an hour. That may fly in New York or California, but what about other states, like Texas and Idaho where the minimum wage is $7.50 an hour?
A national $15 minimum wage would destroy economies, families and social order. A burger flipper shouldn’t be making the same pay as police and firemen.
Such a law would create a tsunami (from unintended consequence) that would hurt everyone as it would fuel the fires of inflation. Many desperately needed jobs would vanish. Senior citizens on fixed incomes would be hit the hardest and won’t be buying many McDonald’s hamburgers for $14.
Common sense wasn’t to be found in any of the recent Democratic presidential debates. Their “wish lists” consist of things only their hard-core supporters want. None pass a common-sense litmus test.
Among the “wants” were wealth taxes, Medicare for all, elimination of coal and gasoline production, free college tuition and for the government to provide a $1,000 monthly income for everyone. One candidate wants the government to relocate the people of Paradise to avoid future devastating fires caused by climate change.
I suppose the relocation idea would also apply to Grass Valley and Nevada City too.
Almost every one of these ideas would bring unintended consequences and devastating tsunamis. If the Dems can’t figure this out, then we voters must step in and do it for them.
Dave Glubetich lives in Penn Valley.
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