We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
For the purposes of income, satisfaction, challenge, skill-enhancement, personal growth, relationships, and pleasure, I have been planning and pursuing my life goals for ten years. Like Prof. Boudreaux, I have zero interest in income equality. I want to be prosperous, but I recognize that most people do not if they have to work or plan for it too hard, or take too many risks. I want to support a wife and kids without help, I want to help my parents when and if they need it, I want to keep learning, I want to be my own boss and to learn how to lead, I want my own Conquest, I want a white picket fence, I want a cushion of cash in the mattress, and I want to go places the way Bird Dog does.
Also, I am also entirely opposed to the idea of minimum wage, especially for people under 18 or 20 years old. All it does is to deprive the youth of valuable work experience. Labor is a market, same as cars or arugula. Child labor is a good thing, much better than teen tours. Work never hurt anybody. Not working seems pretty bad for people unless they are Moms raising a young litter.
I think of money as "stored energy". I don't have the energy to start and maintain my own business, etc... so, I working for someone else, I get a little of the owner's stored energy as a salary. They are the ones who are going out on a limb, working long hours, etc. They have the energy to do this, and the profits are their recompense. I don't have that energy, so I get a salary for being faithful and reliable and a good employee (so to speak).
When I was 13 (1956) I began working at the local car wash. A SS number was required so my buddy and I went to the SS office and got consecutive numbers. I don't remember what minimum wage was, around a dollar maybe. But a typical day was 2-4 hours. There were other kids and men there and the boss would have you clock out as soon as the cars stopped coming in. When the rush ended and the chances of more work ended with it I went to the cashier with a time card and she calculated my pay and handed it to me to the penny. I can still remeber my suprise and outrage that SS kept 3 cents of every dollar. My typical earnings on a Saturday or Sunday was $1.50-$2.50. In my entire life I have collected exactly on week of unemployment and I spent years working two and sometimes three jobs. I can't understand those who don't work, I loved it. Well I loved getting paid for it. I would shovel snow in winter, lawns and yard cleanup in the summer and collect newspaper and rags year round. Five cents per hundred pounds of newspaper. Seemed like a lot back then. I think the government went way past what was necessary to prevent "child labor". Children should have the opportunity to work.
My two- and three-year-old grandsons spent an hour or more last week helping us move limbs trimmed off fig trees that have to be removed (I know, I know, it's going to be a difficult process) in order to build a screened porch.
They loved "working together" as the 3 y.o. said, with one holding one end and the other holding the other end of a limb as they carried them to the stack of wood. They were proud of themselves and did not expect to be rewarded. I think they did it for the sheer joy of it.
It's hardwired into humans to want to do meaningful work, but our society seems quite skilled at extinguishing that natural desire.
Our 15-year-old step-grandson wants a part-time job but is having difficulty getting hired no doubt due to the minimum wage law. It's a shame, since he is at an age where the desire for a paycheck is strong.
If teenagers are not allowed to learn important job skills (showing up on time, getting along with colleagues and superviosrs) as well as life skills (budgeting, delayed gratification) what else can we expect from them when they get older, but "Occupy Wall St/etc"??