Federal Minimum Wage Rate Reduced To Button
Washington, D.C., March 22, 2015 -- Despite stiff opposition from Democrats, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives today approved a measure officially reducing the federal minimum wage rate from $5.15 per hour to one button.
While individual states will still have the right granted by President Clinton to set their own minimum wages higher, no state will henceforth be required to pay workers more than the newly mandated button.
"I see this as a victory for the working classes," Sterling W. Wingtips, a non-partisan economist with the American Foundation for a Healthier Oligarchy (AFHOL), said.
"Most respected economists agree that any increase in the minimum wage has the short-term effect of increasing unemployment. Conversely, reducing the minimum wage to the more acceptable level of one button should have the opposite effect of reducing unemployment, perhaps eradicating it altogether. Plus big employers like Wal-Mart and McDonald's will have more profits to take home, which stimulates the gold-plated bathroom fixture industry."
"That will be a great service to the economy," he continued, "until, of course, the increased demand for labor outpaces labor supply a few weeks later, leading to rampant inflation joined by a production glut followed by recession or a depression. Particularly if we close the borders. But I think that's all a small price to pay if we can demonstrate that, for the sake of keeping unemployment down, a living wage is something no employer should be forced to provide in a free market, even when not providing it eventually leads to massive unemployment, especially when it might chip away at short-term corporate profits. We're not going to live forever, anyway. See?"
The federal minimum wage rate of $5.15 had been in place since 1997. Over the past two decades its purchasing power in 1996 dollars has fallen to $3.14, or roughly 40%.
"But a mere 40% reduction in the minimum wage over 19 years isn't going to solve our unemployment problem," Mr. Wingtips said. "That's why the House was so wise to drop it down to one button. Once this legislation kicks in it will be time to fasten your seatbelts and get ready to watch the economy take off."
According to Rep. Wilton Barnacle Ponderous IV (R-OK), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Centralizing Capital, the definition of "one button" and the frequency with which it should be paid are fully open to interpretation by employers.
"Just like the earlier minimum wage of $5.15, the one button wage is a baseline," he said. "Employers can choose to pay a big, shiny button, or a little plastic linty button like you sometimes find in the back pockets of used pants. They can also pay monetary equivalents rather than actual buttons--say, twenty-two cents per weekend, a dollar per car produced, and so on. Market forces will determine which form of salary incentive, if any, works best for the bottom tier of workers."
Despite the federal wage legislation, states will still be permitted to set individual minimum wages, Mr. Ponderous said, but legislation is currently in committee that will seek to overturn that law.
"I think the expression is, 'An ebbing tide beaches all boats,'" Mr. Ponderous said, "and that's the way I think it should be. How would it feel for a cleaning service in, say, New Jersey to be paying $8.75 an hour, which I think is their current minimum wage, when they look over at Texas and see that cleaners there are getting one button, even though they're both charging their customers the same rate of $28 an hour? I think the New Jersey employer's going to be pretty annoyed to see all that potential profit going down the toilet with the Scrubbing Bubbles."
"And, much more importantly," Mr. Ponderous explained, "the Texan's going to have a hard time holding on to their staff when the staff realizes they can move to Jersey and make $8.75, or stay in Texas and make a button. We've got to legislate against unfair market forces like that for the sake of preserving a free market unfettered by federal legislation."
By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor
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