By Craig Hastings
Remember a couple of years back when there was a big push by the federal government to raise the minimum wage? It started the last couple of years under the Trump Administration and appeared, at least for a while, to be working well. The average household income was reported to have risen by as much as $6000. A pretty good number for sure but would it last? The Biden Administration promised to build on that number in January of 2020. The Biden Administration has failed miserably. The wage hikes have remained stable but the price of consumer goods have skyrocketed. Not only have the prices of everyday consumer goods risen, but some are scarce in parts of the country. Who could have ever predicted a shortage of infant baby formula. New cars couldn’t be purchased because semiconductor electronics couldn’t be manufactured fast enough. Not only couldn’t they be manufactured fast enough, Americans discovered these vital components were being manufactured in Taiwan. Therefore there was no emergency manufacturing fix that could be made with our federal government.
Every American auto manufacturer had and still has new vehicles sitting ready to be delivered but they can’t be because of what should be simple computer components. With new vehicles not being able to be purchased, of course the price of used vehicles went through the roof. What majority of people purchase used vehicles? Low income and average income workers either can’t afford new vehicles or don’t want their budgets stretched to fit a new vehicle payment. This dilemma was the start of many more budget breakers for the low income and average income Americans. Without even getting into the billions of taxpayer dollars being spent (wasted) on the southern border crisis, the average hard working American worker continues to have less money to provide for their families even with the pay increases we’ve witnessed over the past two years or so. So why is this happening?
The American worker has never in my lifetime and probably never will, gain any additional purchase power through any action by Federal or State governments to increase minimum wage amounts. It’s simple math. When American manufacturers and retail sales businesses are forced to pay their workers more money because of some government mandated action to do so, of course they will simply raise their own prices of doing business and pass them on to the consumer. Those same consumers who thought they were going to finally have a little more purchase power because of the smoke and mirrors pay raise their bosses were forced to give them. Only because our government forced their bosses to raise their pay. It’s a vicious circle that has been going on for more than fifty years. I do believe this latest round of you raise me and I’ll raise you game is the worst I’ve seen. Gasoline prices are the highest in history with no end in sight. President Biden blames Russia. Food prices in every category are at all time highs. President Biden blames Russia. In America some food products are scarce or can’t be found at all. President Biden blames Russia. If everything wrong in America is because Russia is fighting a war in Ukraine causing America to spend billions of dollars there, then get the hell out of the war! But Biden won’t get out and nor will elected Democrats and most Republicans support an effort to withdraw support in Ukraine. But why won’t they if it’s breaking the backs of average Americans?
Because these elected officials are not average income Americans. They don’t care if you and I struggle to make ends meet because they don’t and never will have to worry about spendable income. I’ve never been a big believer in conspiracy theories our government might be mixed up in but, this gasoline price craziness has me taking another look. Not only does gasoline continue to rise in price but so have new and used vehicles that burn that gasoline. Adding to these mysterious price increases affecting the gas and oil industry that never happened under the Trump Administration are Democrats making public statements urging Americans to buy electric cars if they’re not happy paying for gas! Now I’m even suspicious. They make no mention in their public statements concerning an infrastructure that doesn’t exist to recharge these electric vehicles once you leave home. And of course they express no concern about the price of electric vehicles nor has there been any information at all about the cost involved in replacing the battery packs in electric vehicles. We are decades away from going completely electric on our highways.
Most of you do know that there are motor fuel taxes built into the price of gasoline that fund building new and repairing old roadways and bridges right? A huge portion of that funding comes from the money you spend on a gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel. So why haven’t your elected officials told you just how they plan to make up this lost revenue once every vehicle on the road is electric? Has anyone told you what the plan is on how to dispose of those gigantic battery packs in electric vehicles? If you don’t think you know, I have an idea. When you replace your $8000 battery pack in your electric vehicle you will also be required to pay a disposal fee. When there is finally an infrastructure to charge all of these electric vehicles all across the country you will be charged not only a tax to recharge your vehicle but you will also pay a charge for the use of the charge port and you will pay a regulated price for the amount of electricity you use to recharge your vehicle. You’ll have too. Electric vehicles will do just as much damage to our roads as gasoline vehicles do and the money maintenance required will indeed come from everyone driving anything on these roadways, using the traffic lights, crossing the bridges, and mowing the grass etc. None of that changes!
I’m not against electric vehicles or hybrid vehicles but, both need to co exist with our current gasoline vehicles. And in time should the American consumer make the decision that electric is best then let that change gradually meld into the traffic flow system we’re using now. Our government has to stop forcing this on the American people or they will forever resist. Let this be the people’s decision to make for each of them on their own. If electric is better it will be obvious to the majority of Americans. Give us the freedom to make our own decisions here without government interference.
(The views and opinions expressed in the submitted columns are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of The Journal.)