Monday, 24 October 2011

The minimum wage

There is an excellent, concise and complete deconstruction of the nonsense that is the minimum wage here.

Instinctively, even lefties know that the minimum wage is a crock of shit, because no-one is calling for a national minimum wage of £1000 per hour, which would make us all "rich".


Kingbingo said...

The minimum wage will be £1,000ph before long if Mervyn King is left in charge of combating inflation.

dangph said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tuesday Kid said...

Sorry obnoxio, but that guy and his argument are full of shit, as I tried to debate on his wall before he started deleting my posts telling him why he was wrong.

What a cunt?

Bayard said...

(not to mention all the other regulations which make hiring costly and risky).

And the Labour Tax, aka employers NI contributions. Not that I disagree with Mr Libertarianview, but the above is far more responsible for unemployment amongst the low skilled.

Steve said...

Thanks for the link although it is not quite a complete deconstruction. As well as fuelling unemployment, the minimum wage pushes up the next wage tiers, increases inflation and tends to leave the minimum wage earner no better off.

"The idea of a minimum wage appeals to those on the left with no understanding of business or economics."

Largely true but there is an alternative. I call it the Brown model. It goes like this: the Liebour party gets most votes from the poor and unemployed. It would therefore be stupid of Liebour to reduce the numbers of the poor and unemployed. Now here is a likely measure that makes us look good to while improving our electoral prospects by creating more poor and unemployed.

There are many other ways by which they do this.

MCPlanck said...

No, that was a ridiculous argument. I just left a post explaining why, but now I see that Tuesday Kid has already attempted to interject reason to no avail.

So here's my post, for your perusal (the TL;DR version: paying people not to kill you is a really good investment!):

You've completely missed the point of the minimum wage.

What are you going to do with members of society that you have deemed completely unproductive? Let them starve? Guess what - they won't starve quietly. They'll kill you and take your stuff.

Now, sure, because you're a super-competent uber-libertarian Master Race type, you'll be able to defend yourself. But realistically speaking, you don't live in a Jon Woo movie. Sooner or later one of the bad guys will get lucky and you'll be dead.

So now we see that the minimum wage is the price people charge to play nice with society. And guess what? The more stuff you have, the bigger share they want. Why? Because they can.

You get what you pay for. If you want people to behave a certain way, you have to pay them to do it. Civilization is a certain kind of behavior, so to get people to play along, we have to pay them. Frankly, it's been worth it: the more a society pays people to behave, the better the place to live (Sweden); the reverse is also amply demonstrated (Somalia). It even turns out that paying your neighbor a healthy wage for doing nothing more than refraining from violence makes you so productive that you're better off than you were before.

The minimum wage is the price we pay people to not kill us. Paying that wage is way cheaper than maintaining the kind of police state necessary to avoid paying it. "Millions for defense but not one penny for tribute" sounds great, but in real life it doesn't work so well. Especially when that tribute acknowledges basic facts like your fellow human beings have intrinsic worth, and your productivity is partly due to their existence.

The rest of your article is full of simplistic bullocks, but really, it doesn't matter. The central point you've missed is that people have options, and one of those options is to bash your face in, and you can't expect public morality to defend you while you simultaneously dodge your moral duty to the public.

English Viking said...

Tuesday Kid,

Dead right.

I tried too, but he's not having it.

The minimum wage rapidly becomes the maximum for millions.

The setting of wages is none of the Gov's business.

The setting of corporate taxes is.

I thinks taxes on businesses should rise and fall depending on the ratio of their profits to wages.

Why should a company make billions a year, paying the people that make it fuck all?

English Viking said...

Fuck me - Obo modded me.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

" you can't expect public morality to defend you while you simultaneously dodge your moral duty to the public"

What moral duty? My moral duty is to pay people not to kill me? You have a very dim view of people, and you're probably quite a nasty piece of work, yourself.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Fuck me - Obo modded me."

Sorry, I have 2 week modding switched on, otherwise I get a zillion spam posts. :o(