Predictably, the Left is holding protests to raise the minimum wage. There is furor over the Burger King merger with Tim Horton's. As hamburger flipping is pretty much the only career opportunity for large segments of the American population, the state of hamburger franchises and minimum wage are big issues.
Burger King is engaged in a type of merger called a "tax inversion." The headquarters of the new company will be in Canada which has lower corporate taxes than the US. Most the employees will be in the United States which has a lower income tax.
Conservatives use the merger to point out that high taxes drives corporations from the US. Progressives are inflamed by the fact that companies react to taxes and are demanding new regulations. Unfortunately, when one is in a low margin business like hamburger flipping, the tax burden makes a huge difference.
The effect of the tax burden becomes more pronounced on learning that Burger King is majority owned by Brazilian investors. Burger King sales have been stagnant in the US and booming abroad.
The other strange thing I learned was that this merger was arranged by Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway and that Buffett, who is a major supporter of Obama, is the primary benefactor of the tax inversion.
The billionaire arranging the merger is a hyper-progressive who is closely knit with the Obama Administration. There is an interesting pattern. The people who are most adept at playing the system are self identified as progressives. Joseph Kennedy made his billions by stock manipulations. George Soros made his billions by manipulating currencies. Madoff was a progressive. The derivatives and mortgaged backed securities that crashed the economy were the brain children of various progressives.
More often than not, one finds progressives behind the financial manipulations that progressives want to cure by government regulations that never actually manage to solve any of the problems.
But lets get back to BK. Apparently, Tim Hortons is a huge donut chain in Canada. They tried a merger with Wendy's and are now eying this merger with Burger King because they want the relation to launch an international expansion.
I admit that the BK/Tim Hortons merger is a good move. I lament that the small Main Street businesses that I love are doomed to failure under the yoke of unrestrained taxation and regulatory burdens. I see no fault in the company's that flee the US because of our oppressive business culture.
On this Labor Day, I am simply left with the uncomfortable knowledge that, if our government continues its destructive path of destroying American businesses, that labor will suffer the fallout and that if we really wanted to help the poor we would move beyond these absurd little protests about the minimum wage and enter a more substantive discussion about the nature of poverty.
Poverty is not simply the lack of jobs. Poverty is the result of the lack of ownership.
By definition, a poor person is a person who owns nothing. A rich person is a person who owns a lot.
A person could be slaving away 100 hours a week at a job and still be poor if that person is prevented from building ownership in his career.
The increasing gap between the rich and poor is the result of concentrated ownership. The annual Labor Day protests divert attention from the fact that it is the distribution of ownership and not the size of wages that matter.
The meat of this post will sound strange:
Meat of this Labor Day Post
The economy is a product of the human mind. The economy that we see is influenced by the economic theories developed at our elite universities.
The modern economic theories flowing from the universities see mankind simply as labor. The idea that human beings are primarily labor is found at the heart of both Conservative and Marxian thought.
Historical Note: Modern Conservatives defend "capitalism" as it was defined in Marx's "Das Kapital." Because conservatives defend capitalism as Marx defined the term the conservative economic view is surprisingly similar to the Marxiann view.
If there were people who were authentically interested in reducing the gap between rich and poor that group would do well simply by starting a conversation that viewed people as something greater than just labor. Imagine a conversation which saw all people as spiritual beings living in a material world.
Imagine a conversation that envisioned each person as a whole being with a body and soul looking at this great universe from different points of view. If such a conversation existed, such a conversation could solve problems that the annual protests about minimum wage cannot.
BTW, I guess I should mention. The conservation that I wanted to have about health care for the last six years actually begin with the radical asssertion that individual humans are whole beings that matter and that health care should be applied to the whole being and not just to classes of people.
So, once again, I find myself back imagining world in which people could actually talk to each other about issues. Unfortunately, I live in a conservative state where discourse is suppressed and ideas are are all succinctly silenced.