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Commentary: Answer to Progressive Democrat letter to the editor

Lee Purrier challenged letter writers from the far conservative right wing of the Republican Party to provide an easy-to-follow path to Conservative approaches for critical issues. He pointed out that if you wanted to know what a Progressive Democrat believes you could watch Robert Reich’s "Ideas to Save the Economy" video series with subjects such as Health Care, Education, Immigration, Climate Change, Medicare, Social Security...etc.

Not knowing where to send him for an easy path for Conservative issues I looked up the Reich videos. I found these short videos on the MoveOn.ORG website. I watched the first three of these videos; Fight for $15, Help Working Families, and Expand Social Security. I came up with some puzzling economic dilemmas while watching these videos.

First - If you make the national minimum wage $15: 1) people in the central U.S. will seem to have a greater financial benefit than those on the east and west coast where there is a higher cost of living. 2) Those who pay for the services or products of the higher minimum wage employees will have a decrease in earning power - now is that fair? 3) Wouldn’t it be more fair (using the same logic) if the minimum wage was set at $30 for married people so that both spouses would not have to work. 4) Of course employers would have to pay employees for full employment for the year, 40 hours a week 52 weeks a year, otherwise it really isn’t a living wage if not fully employed. Doesn’t seem too well thought out!

Second - In Help Working Families: 1) Reich says universal child care should be a right paid for by employers for those with children. 2) This would mean those without children would cost the employers less and he/she would tend to keep costs lower by not hiring people with children. 3) This same principle would apply to parental leave and reduce hiring of parents. Doesn’t seem too well thought out!

Third - According to Reich, expanding social security by removing the $118,500 cap for those paying into Social Security would make the social security system solvent indefinitely. 1) Isn’t Social Security based on the amount of money you pay in? 2) Wouldn’t there be an increase in the amount of benefits for those who pay at these higher incomes. Doesn’t seem too well thought out!

It seems to me that the good intentions of politicians to help the less fortunate has unintended consequences that allows the lazy people (who did not study and learn in school and do not want to work the long hours it takes to earn their way) to become a class of people who do not take responsibility for their own actions (or inactions), and then complain that those of us who have kept our nose to the grindstone owe them something.

It also seems to me to be very confusing to try to make everything fair for all people in the U.S., unless of course the real intent is to have socialism instead of capitalism as a guiding way of distributing money throughout our country.

If being progressive means that more should be taken from those who have earned more so that they can claim they have helped someone in need with someone else’s money then I am glad I am not labeled progressive and I wear the title conservative as a badge of honor.