Government should not control commerce

The federal government has no constitutional authority to be involved in the daily operation of businesses beyond securing the individual inalienable rights of employees. Jobs, pay, and benefits are not inalienable rights.

The so-called “Commerce Clause” (COTUS Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 3) delegates to the Legislature authority “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States,” i.e. between government entities, not within private enterprises. Nowhere is it delegated authority to mandate wage rates or work rules. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments clearly prohibit the federal government from presuming any authorities not specifically enumerated.

Despite administration pronouncements to the contrary, they have no lawful or moral authority to establish a minimum wage or to establish criteria for compensation rates based on hours worked beyond what they require of businesses doing commerce with the government directly. Rationally these should support established free market rates, not establish or promote higher compensation for government projects.

There is good reason that government is denied authority over private commerce; they have absolutely no accountability for the consequences of their commercial decisions. There is only one reason that government involves itself in these compensation issues — to curry political favor from ill-informed voters.

Bureau of Labor Statistics data demonstrates that the average loss of jobs in the year following each of the 26 increases in the minimum wage since 1945 is nearly 1 million. Politicians only promote the higher wages, not the job losses that they cause. Jobs lost are not just those at the bottom of the ladder because compensation throughout the enterprise is derived from some multiples of the minimum. Jobs are lost when the cost of labor exceeds its value to the enterprise.

Increasing compensation by government mandate is dangerous when competitors are not bound by the same rules.

That’s why so many American jobs have been sent elsewhere over the past 40 years. Government mandates will never bring them back.

Only successful competition in commerce can do that.

Frank D. Banta

Newnan



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