The unintended pun in everyday life.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Political Pun-entary

Regular readers of The Unintended Pun Forum will not be surprised to learn that I am not a fan of minimum wage laws. As with most do-gooder government intervention, forcing employers to pay a minimum wage has had not only unintended consequences, but to have had the reverse impact that its orignators wanted. Before any further comment, let me present today's pun-entary, which when analyzed to its core, provides all the comment needed.
After a months-long search, my son recently obtained a minimum wage job working at a nearby grocery store. As part of his in-processing, he was required to provide his Social Security card, to prove to the company that he is an American citizen.
April 9, 2012 As my son described this process, he said, with sarcasam in his voice: "Paying somebody $7.75 who isn't a citizen would be un-American."

Besides being a nice pun, this statement covers so much ground, and provides subtle and profound political commentary that you'll rarely find in the mainstream media. It gets at so many things in America today that are indeed un-American, that so many Americans just accept as "American":
  • It gets at the illegal immigration problem--are illegal immigrants "taking" jobs from American citizens, or just doing jobs that Americans wouldn't take anyway, and therefore just making life more pleasant at an inexpensive price?
  • It reminds us of one of the core beliefs that founded this country: "Don't Tread on Me"--and yet forcing employers to pay a certain wage, regardless of the employee's skill or experience is a great example of treading.
  • It hints at how entwined the government is with companies--they have to follow so many regulations, becoming part of the bureaucracy and essentially agents of the state in enforcing those regulations, or face fines and penalties if they don't enforce them.
Then, to move beyond the pun-entary a little: Minimum wage laws actually raise unemployment and decrease the incentive to work--as I have read in the on-line pages of The Daily Reckoning, to get rid of unemployment, you only need to do two things:
  1. Get rid of minimum wage laws.
  2. Get rid of programs that provide incentives to not work.

Please share your Pun-entary, or any other Unintended Puns. There's nothing better than a good commentary, especially when told in the form of a pun.