[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Wednesday, 2013-11-20

My opinion on the “minimum wage”

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 22:02
Monopoly money

Would a “minimum wage” be necessary in a libertarian society? No, it wouldn’t. But we do not live in a libertarian society. We live in a society where corporate interests are capable of distorting the market at the expense of human beings who wish to support themselves by earning an honest living.

Many, many people have erroneous beliefs concerning a “minimum wage”. It is true that a higher minimum wage would raise the cost of some items — but only those items which are currently manufactured or provided by people who are currently being paid less-than-subsistence wages, and only as much as the cost of that labor contributes to the cost of those items or services.

In reality, raising the minimum wage to a level that would actually permit a human being to survive through honest work would be a very small net loss to people who are currently paid more than the proposed “minimum wage” (whatever wage that may be), and a significant net gain to those those are currently being paid less than that amount. Yes, it is a transfer of wealth, but it is a countermeasure to the existing transfer of wealth that permits large corporations (not people, not small businesses — corporations, large ones) to use their economic power to artificially suppress wages.

No, a “minimum wage” would not be necessary in a libertarian society, but while we work toward that goal, let’s make sure that people suffering under the current far-from-libertarian regime can trade their honest labor to support themselves. When we do have a libertarian society, and a minimum wage is a quaint historical curiosity, then we can (and should) get rid of it. Until then, we have much larger problems.

Personally, I think the minimum wage should be raised to $15/hour.