Sunday, August 17, 2014

Three Things Liberals May Be Right About

So, you've been waiting for this, huh?
Have you?
Well, yes -- it's true. Liberals are actually right about some things.
Here are three of them:

1) The minimum wage needs to be raised.
We don't think there's any question about this. We're not saying you have to double or triple the minimum wage. But it needs to be raised. If you want people to actually work and feel they are accomplishing something and actually getting ahead and actually getting a chance to live a decent life, you have to pay them more, at a minimum. Otherwise, where's the incentive to work at all? The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. That's too low. States are free to set the minimum higher and Washington DC seems to be the highest at $9.50 per hour. Maybe the national minimum wage should be set somewhere between the two, Will a higher minimum wage raise prices? Most likely it will. But we're betting it won't be that bad and we're willing to pay somewhat higher prices. It's time to raise the minimum wage.

2) Beyond a certain point, something must be done about astronomical annual incomes.
Oh, we know this is a touchy one with confirmed free-enterprisers and those who hate class warfare -- and we count ourselves among those on both counts. But, really -- no matter how much money a corporate exec may take credit for in terms of profits for his/her company, does the CEO really need to be paid $140 million? Really? Because that's what the highest-paid CEO made in 2013. And we're not just talking about CEOs here (Oprah Winfrey, by the way, made $165 million in one year). So, we're talking about anybody who pulls in a stratospheric annual salary -- let's say over $25 million. OK, after you've passed that level, you have to either donate a certain amount above and beyond that (let's say 30%) to charities or good causes or you have to turn it over to Uncle Sam, earmarked for a pre-determined good purpose like health research or education or transportation but not as a form of income redistribution. Just an idea.

3) The militarization of the police must stop.
As a general rule, turning excess military equipment over to local, county or state police departments is a bad idea and represents a growing threat to our rights and civil liberties. It's downright scary. And, libertarians agree with liberals on this and the libertarians are right as well. We do not need militarized police forces. If necessary, the excess military equipment can be given to the National Guard. That's what the Guard is for. Exceptions? Yes, in some extraordinary circumstances. The New York City Police Department, for example needs this kind of equipment and training, for obvious reasons. And there may be some other exceptions. But, generally - no. No more militarization!

These are three thoughts, with some suggestions for change.
Because once in awhile (just every now and then) they are actually right about a few things -- or, at least they give us something to think about, in a good way.

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