Over the past few months, Senator Sanders and other democrats in Congress have been stepping up their attack on big business, and with Senator Sanders’ new bill, it steps up the assault on corporate welfare in America. While there may need to be a solution to low wage workers and the assistance they receive from the federal government, targeting big business won’t solve the issue; it will only make it worse.
Recently, Sanders introduced the Stop BEZOS Act, which stands for “Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies.” While it sounds like a strange name for a bill, the name serves a purpose by zeroing out Jeff Bezos, which is where the acronym of the bill comes from. Senator Sanders wants Amazon and other large corporations to pay their employees fair wages and to get the employees off of government welfare by taxing these companies a dollar for every dollar the employees take in government welfare. While this sounds like a noble cause, there are several issues with this proposal.
The biggest issue is one of economic concern, which Senator Sanders seems to overlook quite often. The base pay for an employee at Amazon is $12 dollars an hour, which surpasses Walmart’s base pay of $11 and the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Making $12 per hour is not terrible, as described by Senator Sanders, and it is actually pretty decent compared to fast food or other retail distributors. Senator Sanders’ bill tries to address a problem involving welfare by taxing companies more, but a real solution would be to get rid of welfare and decrease business taxes so that the company could give more to their employees. It worked in the case of Walmart, as they raised their minimum wage to $11 due to the Trump administration’s tax cuts.
While some companies may not give their employees raises if they get a tax cut, generally tax cuts will still help with economic growth. Another concern of the bill is a concern that is already present in the low-wage market, and that is the introduction of Artificial Intelligence into the workplace. We’ve already seen this in chains such as McDonald’s and could very well see this in many more workplaces. If Senator Sanders’ bill is approved, then many companies may just lay off employees and convert to a more AI friendlier workplace.
This new bill also poses a new question: How far will the government go to intervene in the private sector? While the government does set a federal minimum wage, the government does not generally dictate what a company pays its employees past the minimum wage. With Senator Sanders’s new bill, if passed, government would indirectly be setting a new wage for large corporations, which is a violation by the government into the private sector. If Senator Sanders and his democrat colleagues wanted to end welfare abuse, then they should look at cutting welfare such as food stamps and housing out of the federal budget all together. The employees who work at Amazon and other large corporations were never forced to work at these businesses, and because of the large economic growth in the past year, they have many more job opportunities available to them.
While this bill has yet to pass, as it was just introduced by Senator Sanders and his colleagues, it poses a danger to the free market society and to capitalism by introducing government into the everyday affairs of corporations, big and small. As we have seen in the past, Senator Sanders and his ideology have put capitalism at risk by having it governed by the bureaucracy that is the federal government. By putting more regulation upon the private sector, it will only slow the growth of the economy, therefore hurting workers of all backgrounds.