Saturday, 1 February 2014

A retarded argument for no minimum wage.

There are many arguments for abandoning minimum wage laws, not that any I've seen have merit, still some have less merit than others while they are offered with varying degrees of eloquence by variously articulate prognosticators.

But few have been so spectaculary poorly conveyed, revealing just how hideously exploitative and supericilous such argument often are as that price moment when CEO Peter Schiff was asked by Samantha Bee "Give me a picture of a person who's work is worth  $2/hour?"

“You know someone that might be? Maybe someone who is – what’s the politically correct word, you know, for mentally retarded,” Schiff said. “I believe in the principles this country was founded on.”
“I’m not going to say that we’re all created equal,” he said. “You’re worth what you’re worth.”
Given the number of minimum wage jobs in an economy, and the high productivity  in advanced economies a living wage of US$10.10 or even US$15/hour, is unlikely to be a huge burden on a well run business, if it is, it shouldn't be a business.

In fact, it is not controversial in economics to say that raising minimum wages up to the poverty line creates more jobs, by increasing demand, because poor people and the almost poor people spend almost all of their income. Something, Mr Schiff ignored in his analysis.

Consider also that prices are not dependant on the intelligence of the buyer. And perhaps the argument appeals those hoping to hire those believed to be too slow to know when they are getting the short end of the stick or have the resources to get redress if they do figure it out.

Additionally, the inarticulate manner in which he conveyed his position perhaps indicates that he is by his own argument doing work that is worth $2/hour.

Simply put, the end-minimum-wage narrative is retarded in that it is regression, pushing economic regression. If they get it, look out for the maximum wage movement. Think that's ridiculous? It gets worse in the 19th century such laws did exist, on the hypothesis that if working-classes were paid too much they would demand changes that would challenge the ruling elite.  To some minds, the 1960s demonstrated that hypothesis, and neoconservativism is this architecture of their solution, and then we got Reagan and it started to turn to cr8p from there.

See also
    Raw Story

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