Category Archives: Legislature

Minimum wage?

A bit of background information on myself: I was born in Malawi (to South African missionaries), and spent my formative years there. I moved to South Africa at the age of 12, but still visited my folks in Malawi regularly over the years.

Malawi HungerMalawi is one of the top ten poorest countries in the world, so growing up I saw a lot of real poverty. Malawi is a country where, if the rain does not fall at the right time of year, then people literally die of hunger. It’s not even like they can beg for food from other people in the village, because no-one has food. In times of hunger, people would swarm in masses to the local missionaries, NGO’s, churches ect. in search of work. They will be willing to work a full day, doing anything required, if that means that they can feed their family a single meal at the end of the day. Now people like my parents, were forced to make extremely hard decisions in those times. Helping everyone was impossible, but how many people can you help with what you have?

Most of my reasoning on this topic stems from my actual experience in life. Growing up with extreme poverty around me, and later, working off study debt and starting a business venture with zero capital.

When it comes to the topic of minimum wage, those in favour (of the concept/law) tend to take the moral high ground and make those opposing it out to be cold-hearted oppressors, who only want to empower the rich at the expense of the poor. The problem is that, if you do not actually sit and run all the real-world scenarios through your head, you will probably tend to agree with those in favour of a minimum wage.

So let’s try a real-world scenario:
Imagine that you have R150 at your disposal, and there are 10 starving people outside your door, all of them are willing to clean your house/garden/car – if you can pay them – so that they can buy food. You are faced with a choice: Will you pay one person R150 to clean your house, and let the others starve? Or will you hire all of them, break the work up in smaller pieces, and pay each one of them R15, so that they all can eat something that night?
If you are pro minimum wage, then you will choose to help just one person, and let the other 9 people starve. How could you!?
Who has the moral high-ground now?

For minimum wage to work, the employer needs to have unlimited funding at his/her disposal, so that the only reason why he will stop hiring people, is because he does not want more expenses, and wants to maximize his profit.
But do all employers have unlimited funding? Or do they stop hiring because they can’t afford more workers? With 60% of our economy comprised of small businesses, I highly doubt that we have a market where employers have unlimited funding. So the only thing that a minimum wage law does, is to cut the amount of jobs. The facts speak for themselves. South Africa is loosing tens of thousands of jobs per year, due to forced wage increases from unions in the various sectors.

Mine workersSo what about the worker? Is it right to assume that they will rather die of hunger than work for what the employer is willing to pay? Are you in their shoes? It is very important to note at this stage, that the people who are protesting for higher minimum wage, are employed themselves. What about those who are not employed? What about those who lost their jobs due to the increase in minimum wage?

I can go on and on with the implications of all this: The entitlement mentality that flows from it, the decay of working ethics and even the complete collapse of an economy in the long run. In fact, I have been writing and rewriting this article over weeks, but as I try to write this blog for casual readers, I decided to rather leave it at that, the core principle.

Julius MalemaMinimum wage is an utopian concept that is incompatible with human nature and a real economy. It would have been nice if no-one had any lack, but due to human nature, this is not attainable in this world. You can’t force financial equality through government intervention, it will never be sustainable.

I will put it to you that citizens should rather be encouraged to help others from their abundance (earned through hard work), rather than being “forced to share”, as our hot-headed red beret puts it.

Deuteronomy 15:11 – “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.”

For further reading on this topic, I really suggest this insightful article by Temba A Nolutshungu about the origin of the minimum wage laws in the world.

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Why you don’t have to vote for the DA (Democratic Alliance): Part 1

I initially attempted to write this in one post, but then I realized it might be a bit much for the casual reader. So this is a two part series which consist of two posts:

  1. Why you don’t have to vote for the DA (Democratic Alliance): Part 1
    In this part I address the common misconception that conservatives have in believing they have to vote for the DA, and that this is the only option.
  2. Why you shouldn’t vote for the DA (Democratic Alliance): Part 2
    Here I get down to the flaws of the DA and their policies, and why no conservative should vote for them.

Now there may be some of you who, off the bat, will ask the question: Why do you target the DA? Why not the ANC? My response: Really? There is absolutely no reason to try and explain to any clear-minded person why not to vote for the ANC, the ANC themselves are on the forefront of showing everyone why you should not vote for them. The whole world in fact is asking questions about why SA is still voting for the ANC, so I have no need to go into that as well.

I have observed under some of the most conservative people I know, a trend of voting for the DA. A feeling of hopelessness, the feeling that there is no other option. I believe this is unnecessary and wrong. That is why I would like to address all those conservative people now.

So let me start off by saying this: I support the DA in various areas, but I won’t vote for them. There is a very important difference. If the coach of the national rugby/soccer team chooses a player whom I would not have chosen – were I in his shoes – I would still support that player on game day against any rival. I would also like to cite the Arabic proverb: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. I may not agree with the DA on various issues, but I would rather have them govern South Africa than the ANC, solely based on their better administrative record.

That being said, I will now again address the countless conservatives who have been led to believe that you have to vote for the DA in order to “stand against the ANC”.

The main reason why most people believe that you have to vote for the DA, is because they are the largest opposition party, and they have a good administrative record. They believe that you have to be large in order to stand against the ANC, or else you will not be heard or make an impact. Now there is a very common misconception right here. The problem is that most citizens apparently do not understand how our democracy works, so let me explain the basics.

In all levels of government – municipal, provincial and national – the legislature is made up of a mixture of political party representatives, proportionally to the amounts of votes that those parties received out of the total. The leading party or leading coalition will be the main governing board – the mayor, premier or president – and they choose their main governing team. All legislature made on that level has to be voted on by all parties. So if there is any law to be made in any level of government, the party you voted for will have a say on whether it is passed or not. Your party also has the power to bring a bill to the legislature for voting.

Now some people still don’t get it at this point, so I will further explain:
If the ANC or any other party comes up with some law that will destroy the country, then all the other parties will vote against it anyway, as if they were one party. This is what happened with “The Protection of State Information Bill” for example. So whether the party up there voting is the DA or any other party really doesn’t matter. When it comes to other non-conservative legislature though, like “Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act”, then you would want your conservative party to be voting for your views, and not the DA. So we see here that the “bigger” a party is has no impact on standard legislature in the current political environment, but if there are not enough conservatives voting conservatively, then we will end up with a lot of liberal left laws, which in turn will destroy healthy family/community life and the economy.

So what about who governs? Do you have to vote for the DA in Gauteng in the next election, because they are the only party who has a chance of winning the ANC to govern the province?
What would happen if the ANC got less than 50% of the vote, and the DA got less than the ANC still? The same thing that has happened every time in the past: The DA will form a coalition with other parties in order to be the majority, and doing so, govern the municipality. This is what happened for example in Cape Town in the 2006 municipal elections (and various others) – the DA needed to form a coalition with smaller parties to be able to govern – so they struck up a deal with the ACDP, which was at that time the third largest party. The end result was that the ACDP had the vice-mayor position in the Cape Town, leaving them with more power than even the ANC in the metro.

So we see that any party you vote for will have it’s impact. If you just vote for the liberal left, then that is what you will get – like the (official) annual naked bicycle ride in Cape Town, or our legalized abortion law. If you however vote for the conservative parties, then they will vote for your values in legislature, and be a voice of reason in the decision making chambers.

Any party large enough to have representation, can and will impact South Africa, it is the way our democracy is set up. Our small ACDP has championed the conservative view in parliament, and they will continue doing so. You don’t have to vote for the DA, for any reason, you can vote for your conservative party of choice, be it ACDP, FF+ or whichever may rise in the future.

Stay tuned for my following post: Why you shouldn’t vote for the DA (Democratic Alliance): Part 2

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