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posted: 2/12/2014 5:00 AM

Minimum wage laws run counter to capitalism

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From the American Heritage dictionary of the English language: capitalism; an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.

In this definition, note the words "privately owned" and "free market" and think about our government ordering privately owned businesses to pay employees salaries, not based upon the worth of the work done, but rather what politicians deem to be proper. That is the condition under which we live because of government-mandated minimum wages.

In a capitalistic society, minimum wage laws should not exist. A major tenet of capitalism is competition. In a free market, businesses should compete with each other in order to get good employees to work for them. If a person is offered a job paying $2 an hour he or she can reject it and apply elsewhere for employment.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and many politicians are suggesting it be raised to as much as $15 an hour, not because they know the value of employees to companies, but because they know the value of the employees' votes.

If the government is allowed to dictate minimum wages, what can prevent them from mandating maximum wages? People who know they can enter the workforce at $15 per hour and eventually rise to $20 per hour, for instance, would not have to worry about working hard and doing a good job in order to someday make $50 an hour, because the government knows what is good for you.

So you see, the government should stand aside and let businesses do what they do best, make money and put people to work for wages the free market deems appropriate.

Gene Maril

Arlington Heights

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