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Arthur Schaper: “Raise Up Massachusetts” Brings Bay State Down

Friday, August 23, 2013


“Raise Up Massachusetts” will only serve to bring down workers, businesses, and the economy, according to Arthur Schaper.

Progressive policies abound in the Northeast. Rhode Island is the most liberal state in the union, with Massachusetts close behind. The mantra of the progressive movement argues that the bigger the government, the better the people. Put the right folks in charge at the top in Beacon Hill, and everything will trickle down for the greater good of all. If we can find the best people, those with loftier thoughts and more information than the rest of us average shmoes, then everything will work out for the best, right?


Last week, I wrote about the fatal consequences of a socialized, sharing-and-caring system, where everyone gets what they need and everyone provides for everyone else. Within one year of living on such an immoral system, more than half of the original Plymouth settlement died out. When Governor Bradford instituted private property, and allowed everyone to grow their own food and turn a profit on anything left, everyone lived, survived, and thrived.

Such metrics of "trickle down" work in a free market, where men and women exchange good, services, and ideas free of coercion. A free market forces men and women to compete for the most customers by offering the best product and service at the lowest cost. This argument fails for some people only because fear mongering and envy tends to inspire many government initiatives, often in the best interests of government leaders, and never the people whom they are elected to lead.

When the government gets involved, people get hurt because the government uses force, and never evenly or efficiently. When the government wants to make everything fair and equal, the consequences impact businesses and entry-level workers. Those who create wealth with innovation and investments end up closing their business or moving to another venue altogether.


Notwithstanding the poor record of progressive policies, which really should be called regressive and reactionary, a new liberal-progressive movement in the Bay State called "Raise Up Massachusetts" wants to bring up the minimum wage and grant workers mandatory sick days. Two of the interest groups' grandest supporters (this cannot be good), US Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, believe that allowing the voters to vote up the minimum wage by two dollars over the next two years, then tie future increases to the rate of inflation will help Massachusetts' work get more money for their labor.

Minimum wage laws ensure the opposite, in fact creating a minimum of workers as a diminished number of businesses lay off workers, refuse to offer raises, or raise the prices on their goods. Entry-level employees, youth, and minority workers are harmed by minimum wage laws every time. Businesses cannot afford to take on interns, and then they cannot find well-trained employees because they never learned the basic skills as entry-level workers.

The "Raise Up" still argues for a minimum wage:

The minimum wage in Massachusetts has been stuck at $8 an hour since 2008, yet costs keep rising–and workers are long overdue for a raise. Workers can’t afford the basic necessities, and it’s an everyday struggle to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

Why is living in Massachusetts so expensive? "Mister Governor" Deval Patrick taxes soda, candies, and computer equipment. Massachusetts tax rates are some of highest in the country. Health care costs are rising because of Patrick's price controls. Beacon Hill Democratic Dominance has driven away the incentive for businesses to survive and thrive.

Former Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge could not have said it better:

Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.

Yet government policies that require a minimum wage hurt the strong, i.e. business classes, and the weak: those still looking for a job.

Republican US Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez could have denounced the minimum wage with this argument…

Permission to slack off

As for mandatory sick days, businesses need to decide what they offer their employees. If one company refuses to offer sick days, yet another company does offer them, guess which one gets more applicants? Governments that force businesses to offer sick days create perverse incentives for employees to skip work and still get paid. No productivity, no product, no profit, no workers…that cycle is not good. Most corporations do provide sick days, anyway, but based on a worker's performance.

In no way are handouts, government interventions, and welfare without boundaries and deadlines humane, holy, or wise. "Raise Up Massachusetts" merely promotes the same bring-down regressive-progressive policies which prevent a man from prosperity and good health.

For the record, "Raise Up" claims faith communities among their ranks, and one GoLocalWorcester writer claimed that government subsidies are the Christian thing to do. Men and women of religious persuasion support free markets and free people, not state-sponsored handouts. One Catholic priest, Father Robert Sirico, denounces greed and corporate collusion, yet asserts persuasively that the free market is the greatest engine for punishing greed and graft while protecting consumers. Government ensures the enforcement of contract, punishes fraud, and maintains a stable money supply, provides the roads and fairways for trade, then gets out of the way.


Arthur Christopher Schaper is a teacher-turned-writer on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance. Follow him on Twitter @ArthurCSchaper, reach him at [email protected], and read more at Schaper's Corner and As He Is, So Are We Ministries.


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