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It’s no secret that the Chamber of Commerce is about to spend $50 million to defeat Tea Party candidates in GOP primaries all across the fruited plain. The reason? Tea Party folks are dead set for a secure border and dead set against amnesty.
Corporate America is all about amnesty and ramping up the flood of low-skill workers across our borders. Why? They want cheap labor. They need workers willing to work for minimum wage.
Why can’t they hire Americans for these jobs? The answer in one word: welfare.
Welfare benefits are so high now that the unemployed can rake in more income sitting on the couch playing XBox than working for a living. An American can generate more money from welfare than from working a minimum wage job in 35 states. Why work?
Amnesty proponents drone on about “jobs Americans won’t do.” In fact, there are no jobs Americans won’t do. But there are jobs Americans ON WELFARE won’t do. And that’s the rub.
The average American on welfare has a vehicle, a big screen TV, air conditioning, a refrigerator, cable or satellite, a computer, internet access, and more living space than middle-income Europeans. The primary health problem of the poor is not hunger but obesity. In other words, by any measurable standard, they are not poor at all.
We just commemorated the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty. While the popular meme is that poverty won, the absolute reverse is true. Poor Americans on welfare have a lifestyle the rest of the world can only envy. It’s time to declare that the war on poverty is over, that poverty lost, and that it’s time to dismantle the engine of war, the welfare state.
What will people on welfare do as benefits are gradually withdrawn and lowered? They will go to work. The book of Proverbs puts it this way: “A laborer's appetite works for him, because his hunger drives him on” (Proverbs 16:26).
The response from leftists is that those who want to reform welfare lack compassion. But welfare robs people of self-reliance, dignity, self-respect, initiative, discipline, character and the satisfaction that comes from work. What is remotely compassionate about any of that?
We have 92 million Americans who are employable but who are not in the workforce, while 100 million Americans are drawing some kind of government assistance. We now have more people on some kind of welfare than we have working full time. This is obviously unsustainable. The last thing we need is to legalize 12-20 million aliens who have no right to be in this country let alone work in it and import another 30 to 40 million aliens, the bulk of whom who are destined likewise to become wards of the state.
We need not only to dismantle the welfare state, we need to eliminate minimum wage laws. Minimum wage laws hurt the poor, the very people we are told they’re supposed to help. A worker who can only offer an employer $6 worth of labor an hour is not going to get hired by an employer at $7.25. He’d go out of business in a hurry with those kind of hiring decisions.
So by minimum wage laws, the low-skill worker is priced out of the job market altogether and can never get his foot on the bottom rung of the ladder of self-sufficiency. He becomes abjectly and soul-crushingly dependent on government handouts for the rest of his life.
There will always be a minimum wage: the minimum amount of compensation a worker will accept to go to work. A worker has no rational reason to get a job when he can get paid more not to work.
We will continue to get ceaseless cries from big business for amnesty until we do two things: dismantle the welfare state and eliminate the minimum wage. The solution is not easy, but it’s simple. The alternative is to continue our economic death spiral until we augur in.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)