Minimum Wage

The Minimum Wage Is Terrible for America's Most Vulnerable Workers

Like so many well-intentioned policies, it hurts the people it's supposed to help.

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In his autobiography, "Up From the Projects," the late economist Walter Williams explained his move away from the belief that minimum wages help the poor. His change of heart on the topic began when one of his UCLA professors asked him whether he cared more about the intentions behind the minimum wage or its effects.

Williams devoted much of his professional career to studying minimum wages and documenting their negative effects, particularly on young Black people. While Williams had the good sense to learn that good intentions alone are insufficient to produce good public policy, many others have failed to learn this lesson.

The latest illustration is an attempt to jack up the minimum wage to $15 per hour as part of another COVID-19 relief bill. Rep. Ro Khanna (D–Calif.), recently declared on CNN's "Inside Politics" that small businesses wouldn't struggle under a federal mandate to pay employees $15 an hour, even during a recession. To support his claim, he pointed out that Target and Amazon, two of the greatest beneficiaries of the lockdown, raised their lowest hourly wage to $15 voluntarily. He later asserted that he doesn't want small businesses that are underpaying workers and that $15 is very reasonable. How he knows this is a mystery, but this arrogance demonstrates an ignorance of basic economics.

Walter Williams summarized the general position of economists on this issue in an article titled "Minimum Wage, Maximum Follies." He wrote, "While there is a debate over the magnitude of the effects, the weight of research by academic scholars points to the conclusion that unemployment for some population groups is directly related to legal minimum wages. The unemployment effects of the minimum-wage law are felt disproportionately by nonwhites."

Minimum wages reduce the employment of low-skilled workers—a group disproportionately represented by immigrants, inner-city minorities, and young people. Some workers lose jobs altogether, while others see their hours reduced. This doesn't mean that there are no beneficiaries of higher minimum wages. Economic theory predicts that some workers who are currently employed will retain their jobs with no reduction in hours, even after the minimum wage is increased. For those workers, the increase means higher take-home pay, although the jobs themselves might become more demanding or less secure.

So, what do we know about raising the federal minimum wage to $15, even gradually? In theory, we know a lot, but the empirical evidence is limited since so few states and localities have tried it. There are, however, some noteworthy attempts to get a good grasp of what might happen.

First, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that a $15 minimum wage by 2025 would eliminate 1.4 million jobs over that period. The CBO also forecasts that this increase could decrease business income, increase consumer prices and tap the brakes on the economy.

Second, economists at the University of Washington studied the employment effects of Seattle's move to gradually increase its minimum wage to $15. Seattle, already a high-wage city, first raised its minimum wage to $13 in 2016 and hiked it to $15 in 2021.

Summing up the findings in Seattle, Michael Strain writes in Bloomberg: "The economists found that this led to a 9% reduction in low-wage jobs. The pay increase it generated didn't make up for the reduction in employment, and earnings fell for low-wage workers overall. The economists' subsequent research found that the gains from the higher minimum wage accrued to more experienced workers." As I noted, there are some winners (those who are already relatively better) and some losers (those already worse off).

In a recent Twitter thread, one of the authors of the study, Jake Vigdor, noted that the following pattern emerges for employers dealing with higher labor costs: "1) Don't lay people off 2) Cut back hours 3) Cut back hiring 4) As workers quit, restore hours for those who remain." He also warns that the negative employment effects are somewhat understated in the study because it ignores "a subset of the workforce: those who didn't have jobs at baseline, before the wage increase."

Workers who didn't have a job at the time of the increase and won't get one after may pay the steepest (and unseen or overlooked) cost of the minimum wage. As Williams explained in his autobiography, "Early work experiences not only provide the pride and self-confidence that comes from financial semi-independence but also teach youngsters attitudes and habits that will make them more valuable and successful workers in the future."

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  1. “Like so many well-intentioned policies”

    Only the useful idiots are well intentioned. A lot of the people pushing this have very ill intentions.

    1. And is there any chance that one of these articles about minimum wage in Reason makes the libertarian argument that government doesn’t have the authority to set a minimum wage, regardless of the effects of the policy?

      1. Thirteenth Amendment

        Section 1: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

        Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

        1. Slavery and involuntary are key words that make your post irrelevant.

          1. Well golly as long as you can wave your arms and pretend that Congress does not have the authority to legislate MINIMUM terms and conditions.

            Your particular branch of ‘libertarian’ – no doubt part of the whole Mises/Paul/Republican/Rockwell/ancap/propertarian/etc wing – is fucking appalling.

            You offer absolutely NOTHING re a POLICY debate over —- what is economic liberty. To you the debate is over because – words. How in the fuck has liberty been so diminished that assholes like you can pretend it’s nothing but a claim over words.

            1. So slavery and involuntary aren’t key words? Or their meanings don’t matter?

              Sorry your post was filled with so much irrelevant bullshit I seem to have missed your actual point.

              1. Of course you missed the point. Deliberately. Like your crowd always does. Labor markets are always free markets. Especially at the bottom.

                1. By crowd you mean:

                  “Mises/Paul/Republican/Rockwell/ancap/propertarian/etc wing”?

                  How does this support whatever point you’re trying to make?

                  1. Because the sad reality is that every single one of them heads down that path of rationalizing slavery.

                    1. Ah, and paying people more and more money that is worth less and less is ….. the path to freedom? How many Zimbabwe dollars do you have sewn into your bed bug infested mattress? How much monopoly money is too much?

                    2. “Because the sad reality is that every single one of them heads down that path of rationalizing slavery.”

                      JFree most be a troll. Or s/he posts here in the hopes of proving there is no such think as peak stupid.

                    3. That’s a stupid thing to say.

                    4. Y’know, everywhere I see this three-letter word “sad,” I find I’m dealing with one kind or another of statist – someone who thinks the “right” laws, or electing “the right kind of people” to office might make things right.
                      Nothing about the word or its meaning. It’s just where I tend to find it.
                      Watch for it. See if it isn’t so. Or has been.

                    5. I called sarc sad, and I’m the one arguing against minimum wage, but interesting idea, I’ll keep an eye out.

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            2. “How in the fuck has liberty been so diminished that assholes like you can pretend it’s nothing but a claim over words.”

              How the fuck can assholes like you even say the word “liberty” while arguing that Congress has infinite authority to do whatever it wants under the guise of fighting “slavery”? Deluded fucking cunt. Drowning would be too kind for you.

              1. Ooh – a resident klavern commenter wants to yap about specifically how to organize a lynch mob. Yes I’m sure drowning would be too kind. How about a rope? And a tree. Oooh ooh. Will that work? What a fucking surprise.

                1. You really think you’re some sort of virtuous antebellum abolitionist, don’t you? Step out of your time machine and you’ll realize quite quickly that you’re a fucking idiot without a clue.

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        2. Slavery is when you can’t quit a job without people hunting you down and forcing you to return, dumbass.

          -jcr

        3. Are you trying to argue that federal government does have the authority to set a minimum wage (presumably because voluntarily agreeing to work for a wage that someone else thinks is ‘too low’ is slavery)?

          Or are you trying to argue that government does not have the authority to set a minimum wage (because that compels the employer, who is also a citizen protected by the Constitution, to do uncompensated work)?

          Both those arguments are pretty stupid. My conclusion, therefore, is that the 13th Amendment is not a valid authorization for a federal minimum wage.

          Notably, precisely no one hangs their hat on that justification. The legislators involved all point to the Commerce Clause as justification for their authority to pass a federal minimum wage. I think that argument is also wrong but it’s at least coherent.

          1. Of course the federal government has the AUTHORITY to determine the minimum terms under which labor is exchanged in an economic world where ‘commerce’ exists. That is the fucking POINT of the 13th amendment. It is not some post-facto invention/revisionism.

            In 1858, Senator John Henry Hammond of South Carolina made his King Cotton speech. Directly in reference to whether Kansas should be allowed to decide whether slavery was allowed/not there. Directly comparing ‘southern slavery’ with ‘northern slavery’ (wage labor). Lauding the southern system because it allowed the higher classes to progress towards civilization while the lower classes would take care of the mud-sill of the house. Threatening secession/war where the South would triumph because cotton is king in economic terms.

            The issue was a directly explicit foundation of the Free Soil Party (the precursor part of the Republican Party that actually did have a stance against slavery). EVERY politician understood the issue here – that slavery is about the liberty of labor – and there are plenty of those pre-civil war speeches online.

            It is mind-blowing how ‘modern libertarians’ have managed to completely ignore economic liberty in their desire to suck up to propertarianism advocated by billionaires.

            Yes – interstate commerce is an authority. Because selling labor across state lines is a thing. But that particular authority could easily be tilted into supporting slavery (southern or northern). And in fact DID tilt that way before the Civil War and said tilt was in fact the causes of the Civil War.

            FAR more substantial – because it underlies a particular POLICY advocacy (that one might call ordoliberal to ensure that labor markets are also truly free markets not rigged/cartelized markets that can in fact lead to slavery because that’s where they DID lead before the Civil War) – is the 13th.

            Modern ‘libertarians’ who simply stick their fingers in their ears yelling ‘lalalala I cant hear you’ about the economics of slavery – are utterly repugnant frauds.

            1. “That is the fucking POINT of the 13th amendment. It is not some post-facto invention/revisionism.”

              Yes, it is.

              It is revisionism by communist idiots that do not understand economics, or the concept of a limited government.

            2. That is utterly incoherent. You seriously think that citing the rationalizations of a southern defender of slavery counts as a legitimate interpretation of the 13th Amendment? Particularly when that rationalization was delivered 7 years before the 13th Amendment?

              As Brian says below, your attempt to compare minimum wages to slavery is offensive to those who suffered actual slavery.

              1. You seriously think that citing the rationalizations of a southern defender of slavery counts as a legitimate interpretation of the 13th Amendment?

                It most certainly counts as a contemporaneous take on the economics of different human labor systems.

                The Senator from New York said yesterday that the whole world had abolished slavery. Aye, the name, but not the thing; all the powers of the earth cannot abolish that. God only can do it when he repeals the fiat, “the poor ye always have with you;” for the man who lives by daily labor, and scarcely lives at that, and who has to put out his labor in the market, and take the best he can get for it; in short, your whole hireling class of manual laborers and “operatives,” as you call them, are essentially slaves. The difference between us is, that our slaves are hired for life and well compensated; there is no starvation, no begging, no want of employment among our people, and not too much employment either. Yours are hired by the day, not cared for, and scantily compensated, which may be proved in the most painful manner, at any hour in any street in any of your large towns. Why, you meet more beggars in one day, in any single street of the city of New York, than you would meet in a lifetime in the whole South.

                It is not his observations of the South that matter. It is the observations (false or not) of the NORTH that matter.

                1. You are still citing a southern apologist’s misrepresentation of what was happening in the north. That is not a valid source of interpretation of the meaning of the 13th Amendment.

                  1. And you are avoiding what is actually being said about comparative economics of labor systems in favor of an argumentum ad hominem.

                    I suspect you will persist in sticking your head up your butt that slavery has nothing to do with labor because – that’s you libertarians do. So – back to ignore.

                    1. I’m ignoring it because it’s nonsense. Regardless of who said it, it’s a misrepresentation of the labor conditions of the pre-Civil War north. And it is utterly implausible that something said 7 years before the drafting of the amendment in question can be used as any kind of controlling interpretation of what that amendment means.

                      And, yes, I will persist in using logic and reason rather than emotion and irrationality. Not just in things to do with labor, either.

                    2. Regardless of who said it, it’s a misrepresentation of the labor conditions of the pre-Civil War north.

                      Well I know that most of the crowd of libertarians above doesn’t do anything empirical but hey here’s a truly libertarian take by Wendy McElroy on the Homestead and Free Soil movement

                      One of National Reform’s slogans became “Vote yourself a farm.” In the 1848-49 session of Congress, reformers managed to get a Homestead Bill onto the floor but it was ultimately killed. Free-soilers simply encountered too much opposition from the pro-slavery South that correctly viewed the Bill as an attack on its “peculiar institution.” After all, if ownership derived from mixing your labor with the land, then the slaves were the ones with valid title to many plantations.

                      The Homestead Act has been called a cynical wartime measure. Undoubtedly, part of the impetus behind it was merely a desire on the part of Republicans to ensure continued support from the powerful free-soilers. Moreover, there is also no question that the Republicans wished to seize a golden opportunity to have the issue of the extension of slavery de facto settled in their favor. Both motives lend credibility to the charge of cynicism. But opportunistic politicians cannot be credited with passing the Homestead Act in anything but the proximate sense. The Act was actually passed by decades of reform agitation, and through the persistent working class demand for land and economic independence — a demand based on natural rights and the American ideal of prospering through labor.

                      Golly you mean a government massively tilted the labor markets towards small-scale yeoman farmers. Providing a huge exit opportunity to leave crowded cities to ‘go west young man’. So they don’t have to work their entire life to get nowhere in a hovel. A fuckload bigger impact than some tool advocating minimum wage. And it nothing to do with slavery at all. No sirree bob.

                      So many of you apologists are clowns. Who only use ‘liberty’ to piss on what it actually means.

                    3. “…So many of you apologists are clowns. Who only use ‘liberty’ to piss on what it actually means…”

                      As opposed to bloviating ignoramuses? Who imagines ‘liberty’ comes from government regulation?

        4. Comparing minimum wage laws to slavery is offensive to people who’s ancestors experienced actual slavery.

          Now go cancel yourself.

          1. It’s offensive to rational thought.

        5. You’re argument rests on pretending that slavery and involuntary mean something that they don’t. But redefining or obliterating the meaning of words and concepts is typical of Marxists.

      2. “The Minimum Wage Is Terrible for America’s Most Vulnerable Workers”

        But importing millions of illegal migrants is just peachy for America’s Most Vulnerable Workers.

    2. A lot of the people pushing this have very ill intentions.

      Such as?

      1. Amazon and other large companies that compete with small businesses. Any congressman that knows the economic effects but supports it anyway because of their donors. Unions. The congressman/woman (forgot who it was specifically, don’t feel like looking it up) that said small businesses that can’t afford to pay workers this much should go out of business anyway.

        Now you try. I bet if you think hard you can come up with a couple examples.

        1. Now let’s watch him do the Jeff shuffle into some irrelevant semantic “argument” that makes no fucking sense before disappearing for the day.

          “Like, what IS reality though?”

          Him and Tony get raped here so much. They must really hate themselves.

          1. Fuck off. You have nothing intelligent to offer.

            1. Tell me again about how a President can be impeached, but not removed from office.

              I love listening to your lectures, professor.

              1. **convicted**

        2. Amazon and other large companies that compete with small businesses.

          I’ll agree that a lot of them virtue signal about “helping poor workers” in supporting a $15 minimum wage when in reality they want to drive smaller companies out of business and grab more market share for themselves. But I’d question whether this is motivated by “ill intentions” or whether they simply want to grab more market share for themselves. Is it “ill intent” to want to expand one’s market share?

          Any congressman that knows the economic effects but supports it anyway because of their donors.

          Which one(s) support the minimum wage *solely* because of donors? I see a lot of them support it because it is what their constituents want. Populism cuts both ways you know. I can criticize the mob for supporting a bad policy, I can criticize the politician for bowing to the pressures of the mob instead of trying to lead them in a more positive direction (although that would make me an “elitist” according to Ken), but I don’t think it is an “ill intention” for a politician to want to serve one’s constituents per se.

          Unions.

          Actually, a high minimum wage takes away a big rationale for unionization: low wages. I don’t see immediately how it would be considered “ill intent” for a union to support higher minimum wages. Maybe it is more of a trust issue, see below.

          The congressman/woman (forgot who it was specifically, don’t feel like looking it up) that said small businesses that can’t afford to pay workers this much should go out of business anyway.

          But this is no different than the congressman/woman who says that if a business cannot afford to hire only American workers, then they should go out of business anyway. Or any congressman/woman who says that if a business cannot afford to do X, then they should go out of business anyway. There is a very long list of X’s out there that lots of politicians, and people, want businesses to accomplish. Is that phenomenon a sign of “ill intent”? Or is it a sign of distrust? A lot of people don’t trust businesses to “do the right thing” and so they want the state to force businesses to do so, whether it is paying workers a “living wage”, or “acting patriotically”, or what not. Saying “I don’t trust you” is not the same as saying “I hate you”. Having businesses serve as instruments of social policy is a bad idea in general, but I cannot say that it is a sign of “ill intent” towards the business to want to do so.

          1. Of course. Unless politicians and their donors come out and tell small business owners to die and go bankrupt, they have good intentions.

          2. For the record, this entire scrawling response is one long “What IS reality, though?” freshman year philosophy nonsense.

            “What does it really mean to have an ‘ill’ intention?”

            This is what you always fucking do, you waste of fucking air. You don’t have any points to add other than to argue pedantically about semantics.

            1. So…unsurprisingly, you have no counter arguments

              1. There was no “argument” to begin with to which a counter was required.

              2. He argues against people, not ideas. So he will never provide a counter argument. All he has is attacks on the person making the argument.

                1. You argue against people all the time, and then cry about it when your shitposting gets you justifiably roasted by nearly everyone in these comments.

                  You are broken beyond repair.

                  1. This is really all sarc does at all anymore. He’s such a fucking hypocrite it’s ridiculous. The other day he called me stupid, then tried to pretend he wasn’t calling me stupid, just my point. Then he cried some more.

                    1. Well, when he tried to go all zen on everyone by pretending he was above reading our comments, it lasted all of a day. The guy cannot resist.

            2. For the record, your posts are a waste of electrons.

              What do you do here on a daily basis? Stir up shit, use racial slurs in an ‘edgy’ way, and hyperventilate about the gulags that you just know are right around the corner?

              You’re just a right-wing narrative pusher. Conservatives are the perpetual victims, Biden and the Democrats are totalitarian monsters who want to throw anyone who dissents into gas chambers, blah blah blah. Every story is an excuse to push the same tired narrative. Doesn’t that get old after a while? You’re just Jesse with better grammar and more racism.

              1. Yea, but what are “electrons,” really? And what do we really mean by “victims,” and “conservatives”? Sure, these are interesting words, but what do they really mean in the context of government mandate wages?

              2. You never see him or his girlfriends respond to what someone says. All they do is argue against the person. It’s really tiresome. I wish they’d find a nice house that’s on fire and take a nap on the couch.

              3. “All they do is argue against the person.”

                “I wish they’d find a nice house that’s on fire and take a nap on the couch.”

                LMAO

                You’re retarded and beyond help.

          3. Hint: Union salaries go up when minimum wage does.

          4. Dude, you don’t get it. People with good intentions support Trump and Republicans. Everyone else has bad intentions. They’re evil. It’s the only possible explanation. There’s no room for debate or exchange of ideas. Just name calling, because that’s what you do to people with bad intentions.

            1. What does it really mean to “get it,” though? You know? Let’s talk about that for an hour.

              1. I would but you don’t talk. You call people names like a child. Fuck off.

                1. I thought you didn’t read my posts? Lie to us some more, asshole.

                  1. “I thought you didn’t read my posts? Lie to us some more, asshole.”
                    Unfortunately, there is no “ignore user” button on this forum so everyone is forced to read the stupid shit you post here. every. fucking. day.

                    1. Sarc said he ignored and flagged many of the regular commentators here. Even made a big show about it for attention. Now, slowly but surely, he’s responding to everyone whose posts he said he doesn’t read.

                      And he’s responding with his typical whining about people not posting about the topic, while not actually posting about the topic.

                    2. Or, you know, you could just ignore the things I write instead of making a big fucking production out of it …. exactly like Sarc.

                      How many fucking socks do you have anyway?

            2. Hey look, sarc’s back to posting bullshit.

              I liked it better when you just ignored the rest of us, you sad, broken, drunk.

          5. Regarding unions, in CA at least unions have sought exemptions for minimum wage increases for unionized jobs. This gives them another means to strong-arm small businesses into signing exclusive contracts with the unions and thus netting more money for the unions themselves. My experience working as a low-skill part time worker at a union shop, is that the union doesn’t actually care about you, since you (and your dues monies) are considered fungible

          6. “ Is it “ill intent” to want to expand one’s market share?

            Would you ask that question if Amazon wanted more market share by killing their competition with handguns?

            Ok, now do killing their competition with regulations.

            Geiger is right.

            1. Killing with regulations isn’t any different, they are just using the government’s guns rather than buying their own

          7. Using government force to put your competitors out of business is ill-intentioned.

            Many union contracts are “Minimum wage plus X”.

            As for Congress, you pointing to other behavior that could be described as ill-intentioned doesn’t mean this isn’t.

            You appear naive about what drives a lot of people in congress.

            1. Jeff understands all of this perfectly well, he just does not want to go on the record as openly supporting the use of government force to clean out the competition. This is what he does every time he volunteers his thoughts on any subject. He endorses an authoritarian position on any number of topics (in this case, minimum wage laws) in the name of “liberty,” and when he gets called out for his authoritarianism, he dives head first into a semantic dissertation.

              His position amounts to something along the line of:

              “Well, we cannot know for sure what is in the mind of a politician and, since we can only observe their actions, we must presume them to be good people, with good motivations, no matter how bad their actions are …. because — you know — politicians deserves our unconditional trust …. because liberty.”

              1. Unlike you, most people actually do mean well.

                1. Most people? Maybe. Politicians? I think not.

                  1. Even politicians. You see, most people aren’t miserable cunts who exist to hurl insults to people they’ve never met. The problem with politicians is that economic ignorance is a requirement for the job. Which makes me wonder how AOC got her degree. Probably involved lots of blowjobs.

                    1. How do you square:

                      Statement 1

                      “You see, most people aren’t miserable cunts who exist to hurl insults to people they’ve never met.”

                      with …

                      Statement 2

                      “The problem with politicians is that economic ignorance is a requirement for the job. Which makes me wonder how AOC got her degree. Probably involved lots of blowjobs.”

                      ?????

                    2. Unlike your posts on this forum, that comment was neither directed towards her personally, nor it is something she may possibly read. But I think you knew that. You’re just arguing in bad faith as usual.

                      There’s your scratch, puppy. Now you can go back to fucking yourself.

                    3. Saying AOC sucked dicks to get to where she is wasn’t directed at AOC? You are completely delusional and disingenuous, as usual.

                      “Now you can go back to fucking yourself.”

                      What happened to not arguing against the person? LOL

                      So broken.

                2. This is when it’s fun to argue with you morons. You’re so dead set on disagreeing with someone, that we’ve cornered you into saying that most politicians are honorable and just trying to represent their constituents, and not out for power and graft.

                  Good to know that’s your stance.

                  1. LOL

                    Tony, chemchaff, Jfag and sarc are the newest, coolest bloc of progressive libertarians. Which, when you think about it, really makes you appreciate the work OBL puts in. Underrated genius.

          8. “But I’d question whether this is motivated by “ill intentions” or whether they simply want to grab more market share for themselves. Is it “ill intent” to want to expand one’s market share?”

            If they want to expand market share by driving out their competition with 15 dollar min wage, yeah, I would call that ill intention.

          9. I agree with three of your four points.

            1) Many large businesses generally do not have problems with all the laws, rules and regulations. They can afford it and their smaller competition can’t. In fact, they often help write these laws.

            2) Most politicians simply want to buy votes or raise money to buy votes.

            4) Most politicians are stupid.

            I don’t agree with the point on unions.

            3) Unions have traditionally been behind minimum wages. It keeps those willing to work for a lower rage out of the market. It helps keep union wages high and even raise them.

            1. “Unions have traditionally”

              History is to be learned from. It’s not there to pretend that what is happening now is the same as it was previously.

              Unions “traditionally” existed for the benefit of their members. Today, the pipe fitters union endorsed Biden, and he signed an executive order day one that got several thousand of them laid off. And the union leadership either knew this would happen or should have and endorsed him anyway. Why would they do this?

              Members of the union had money taken out of their paycheck that was given to a party that wanted them to lose their jobs and become more dependent on government.

              All that aside, as has been already mentioned, many union contracts are tied to minimum wage.

              I respect your nostalgia for the good unions did 50 years ago, and respect that some small unions are still beneficial to their members, but on a federal level, unions are just another corrupt special interest.

      2. “Such as?”

        The “Progressive” eugenicists who invented the minimum wage in the first place. They were originally quite honest about this; they _intended_ to put those they considered inferior – including blacks as well as “morons” and “cripples” – out of work, under the impression that this would stop them from breeding. That is, they expected that the “inferior” people would otherwise be like the white English middle-class and delay (forever) starting a family until they could support it (never).

        Modern leftists follow the same program, but lie about it’s intentions. It’s no longer eugenics they want to accomplish by putting people out of work (which never worked), but they still want to increase the minimum wage and put voters out of work to make them and their children helpless and dependent on government welfare.

        And companies like Amazon would like a high minimum wage to put small competitors out of business. The big companies are going to automate as much as they can anyhow, so they’ll have a smaller and more skilled workforce, nearly all of whom would get $15/hour or more anyway.

    3. The policies are proposed and enacted by people with selfish/evil intentions, and supported by chumps who have “good” intentions (taking money from people who have earned it and giving it to people who have not).

    4. If someone has already made this suggestion I apologize in advance, but it seems to me the logic of this is obvious. Unemployment is much too high and increasing the minimum wage will increase it. Therefore if we reduce the minimum wage then unemployment will be reduced. We could eliminate unemployment completely if we paid no cash wages and provided the workers, and their dependents the essentials of life directly. Of course we would need to provide accommodation, perhaps attached to the place of employment. If we locked them inside the accommodation when not working it would likely also reduce the crime rate dramatically.
      I’m surprised no-one has tried this before.

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  3. Landlords love the minimum wage because they can almost immediately hike rents. That plus inflation eats up a lot of the supposed benefit for poor people. In fact the hikes aren’t pushed by the needy but their ‘advocates’, who have ulterior motives. For example, increased unemployment causes greater crime requiring more policing and government control.

    However I don’t blame them or politicians. I blame primarily the business owners who refuse to fight in enemy territory online and instead cowardly think they can change minds by railing about “Taxation is theft” here in their safe space. And yes they complain that they don’t have the time. But first of all many restaurants had tons of time during lockdowns, and secondly they will have tons of time if they are bankrupted by these policies.

    Now prove my point by spending the rest of the day responding with relentless excuses for why you shouldn’t have to fight (e.g. it wouldn’t make a difference anyway, bureaucrats will fine your business, etc):

  4. Libertarians oppose the concept of state-mandated wages for its citizens.

    And the minimum wage is indeed a state-mandated wage.

    1. Not exactly. Minimum wage is a prohibition of employment for anyone who’s not capable of earning the cutoff price.

      -jcr

  5. Name one Biden executive order, or one current Democratic initiative that is not terrible?

    Yes forced labor, ethic cleansing and murder are now “cultural differences”! These are the people that want to ban free speech and remove certain words from the language.

    1. I’m not sure Biden can name one of his executive orders. Much less pronounce it without slurring his words.

  6. The minimum wage is also terrible for Charles Koch, the billionaire who funds Reason.com. Mr. Koch prefers to hire foreign-born laborers (especially Mexicans) and pay them substantially less than $15 / hour. In fact in the ideal Koch / Reason libertarian world we’d have open borders and an unlimited influx of Central and South Americans willing to work for like 3 cents per day.

    #BillionairesKnowBest

    1. I had an idea you’d chime in and bring up your favorite guy Mr. Koch. Koch Industries is a private company with many divisions, but they do employ many unionized workers. Georgia-Pacific is one of their companies. Pretty sure those Georgia-Pacific employees in the USA – about 30,000 of them, make decent wages.

      1. OBL is a parody commenter.

        1. And very consistent with his/her parody.

    2. “The Minimum Wage Is Terrible for America’s Most Vulnerable Workers
      VERONIQUE DE RUGY”

      But not as bad as mass immigration.

  7. Like so many well-intentioned policies, it hurts the people it’s supposed to help.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions and when you’re far enough along the road that you can see the gates and the flames, smell the smoke and the sulfur, hear the cries of the damned, you have to know where you are. At that point, if you’re still urging the paving crew on, you can be presumed to no longer have good intentions.

    1. The intention is to expand the permanently unemployable underclass.

      When will the Right stop playing along with Left’s pretense that they just can’t see the obvious and inevitable consequences of their policies?

      Davis’ Razor
      Predictable and predicted outcomes of an action that benefit the actor are *intended*.

  8. No one has ever been able to explain to me, even insufficiently, why if a $15 minimum wage is good a $1000 minimum wage wouldn’t be better. All you ever get is stammering and “well, that’s just crazy” but there is never even an attempt to explain why.

    1. I get explanations, but they amount to “People who understand money should hate themselves because inflation exists.”

      Of course, when you point out that that’s a moral reason not a logical/fiscal one and that there are religions, like fundamentalist Christianity and Islam that say things like “Don’t charge interest to natives and fellow believers.” suddenly their morals go flexible and they start trying to cobble together a logical reason from the arguments that they just tore down to reach their initial conclusion.

    2. A $15 min wage will give those workers a chance of earning enough to survive on without putting significant pressure on inflation. A $1000 min wage would cause inflation.

      1. So, a magic number has been found!

        1. Yes, this. Or some technocrat got some old stats and data and put them into a formula he pulled out of his arse and came up with that number.

          1. It’s not out of his ass. $15/hour equals UBI proposals. That’s not a coincidence.

            Imagine trying to run a small business when the government is already paying everyone not to work more than what you would pay an entry level position.

            Some of us will buss our tables more than we already do. We’ll order from a kiosk. We’ll go to a window for our food instead of having a waitress bring it to us. Most of the people that did these things for us will be dependent on government. Do you think this isn’t important because it’s minor inconveniences?

            The ruling class will eat at places that the people that do all these things for them will still be there. Possibly paid for with our tax dollars.

      2. Both wage rates cause inflation, as you concede. Inflation, as you obviously understand, reduces a worker’s purchasing power. So, unless you are prepared to explain why inflation is a good thing, the distinction you are making is immaterial. Paying people more money that is worth less make no sense.

      3. A $1000 min wage would cause inflation.

        And? When a poor person’s $10 turns into $1 and my $10,000 turns into $1,000, my $9,000 loss is clearly greater than their $9 loss. Set the minimum wage at $10 Centillion and then we’re all a lot closer to being equals.

        1. Wow then it’s great that we’ve had zero inflation all this time that the minimum wage has stayed the same. /s

          It’s almost like your whole argument is crap.

      4. “A $15 min wage will give those workers a chance of earning enough to survive on…”

        Except for the ones who get laid off or replaced by robotics.

        1. Naturally, there will have to be legislation to punish the fat cat business owners that refuse to pay their valued employees more money. And, naturally, there will have to be legislation to punish the fat cat business owners that try to raise the prices of their products or services. And, naturally, it just makes sense to nationalize the assets of every fat cat business owner and distribute them to the people in equal measure.

          The endgame is always the same; the window dressing on the lies is the only thing that ever changes with these communist motherfuckers.

  9. Yes the minimum wage is horrible for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that it tries to dictate to everyone, in so many diverse work environments, what the wage should be. There is no way that any law could dictate such a thing with any sort of rigor. Cue Hayek.

    But it is honestly not enough to be just against the minimum wage. A lot of people support it because they think it does help people at the lower rungs of the economic ladder. We liberty-minded people can’t spend all our time just bashing the minimum wage. We have to provide a vision for those people out there, who do genuinely want to help people, that is an alternative to the status quo, not just criticism of the status quo. As we’ve seen time and again, people will choose a well-intentioned bad idea over a non-idea time and again.

    1. “A lot of people support it because they think it does help people at the lower rungs of the economic ladder.”

      Minimum wage just removes some of the bottom rungs of the ladder.

      1. Right, but that’s not what a lot of people think. They THINK instead that it moves up the bottom rungs of the ladder.

        So my point is that we can’t just say what we dislike about the minimum wage. We also have to propose an alternative vision that would accomplish what they think they are trying to accomplish in the first place. And we have to do it in a way that is easily visualizable.

        1. Ok.

          Enlighten us.

          What is your alternative vision?

        2. Good luck with that. Propose a lower minimum wage or eliminating it entirely and the emotional reaction is deafening. “YOU WANT SLAVE LABOR! YOU HATE THE POOR! YOU WANT PEOPLE TO STARVE TO DEATH! YOU’RE EVIL!” Try to explain rationally to people that allowing employers and employees to negotiate wages allows people without skills to gain skills and earn a better wage, and you get the same emotional reaction.

          You can’t reason someone out of a stance they arrived at by emotion.

          1. You can’t reason someone out of a stance they arrived at by emotion.
            Absolutely correct.

          2. Hey! That is NOT enough. You are doing exactly what Professor Jeff just counseled us NOT to do. You are just knocking the minimum wage as being bad policy, and explaining why it is bad. That is not going to cut it!

            1. When you smell the ripe aroma of me taking a shit, that’s the signal that I’m interested in your opinion. Until then fuck off.

              1. You should consider seeing a gastrointestinal specialist, and a psychiatrist. Eating your own shit is not healthy, or attractive.

                1. Haha, I forgot we caught sarc forgetting to switch from his squirrel sock.

                  1. Today it seems that he’s back in the classic sarc persona of the offended, but well-meaning libertarian that can’t figure out why people pick on him.

                    Sarc has all the telltale signs of being a school shooter.

          3. Try to explain rationally to people that allowing employers and employees to negotiate wages allows people without skills to gain skills and earn a better wage, and you get the same emotional reaction.

            It’s only because what you were just offering there is palaver not anything ‘rational’. The RATIONAL would be understanding the circumstances under which there is no ‘negotiate wages’. But where one side of that merely has to take it.

            The very assumption there – that markets are always free and competitive – is a real mental problem for many who seem to love the label ‘libertarian’.

            There are plenty of countries that in fact don’t have a minimum wage. That don’t NEED a minimum wage because they instead try to either a)create a true free market for labor at the bottom rungs or b)create an overt minimum standard of living (by their standard) that is not restricted to what an unskilled illiterate can ‘negotiate’ against someone with far more economic power.

            Libertarians offer – crickets. And bluntly undermine liberty because of that failure to engage.

            1. So, your proposed solution to ensure a free market is …. minimum wage mandates?

            2. They offer starvation and death to anyone who can’t get a better job. That’s the libertarian solution.

        3. The alternative vision is that you work low paying job temporarily until you earn more money. Practically no one in the country works for the minimum wage full time. Only 2% of workers earn the federal minimum wage.

          We really shouldn’t be required to solve every non-problem a progressive comes up with just to convince people to not create horrible policies. Isn’t that the media’s job? If they’re not going to do it, and they’re not going to listen to us show them how to do it, then the world’s just going to keep being stupid anyway.

          1. People seem to think that there is no economic mobility. As if minimum wage earners are stuck there for life. They’re not. Once they gain some skills and experience they earn more. It’s a starting point, not a living wage.

          2. Thank you. I don’t need to propose another government policy to point out that an existing government policy is un-libertarian and immoral because progressives and economically illiterate people are screeching about it.

    2. “But it is honestly not enough to be just against the minimum wage.”

      Tell us, Jeff. What should we be FOR?

    3. We liberty-minded people can’t spend all our time just bashing the minimum wage. We have to provide a vision for those people out there, who do genuinely want to help people, that is an alternative to the status quo, not just criticism of the status quo.

      See my comment above. There’s nothing stopping private individuals or churches and religious organizations from providing cost-free services or interest-free loans.

      There are something like 1M homeless people in the US and something like 81M people voted for Biden. If you double the homeless population to include people who don’t eat on a daily basis or don’t receive medical care and halve the Biden voters to exempt people who (aside from the ones who don’t exist, are dead, or don’t have a physical address) didn’t vote for Biden to help the poor and homeless, it’s still something like a 20-fold excess of people who want to help the homeless and feed the starving to the homeless and starving. If the remaining 40 million Biden voters gave 1/20th of their income to the homeless and starving, the numbers should come into parity.

      1. who want to help the homeless and feed the starving to the homeless and starving.

        One of the few times I’m thankful for a lack of an edit button.

        1. That too would be a modest proposal.

    4. You either have minimum wage or you don’t. There’s not much room for an alternative vision which involves zero regulation.

      The idea is that if an employee only offered 3 dollars a hour, no one would take it. Market forces would settle on a figure and employers would be compelled to pay them.

      In practice though, it won’t always work out. A few companies dominate the market place, and if they decide that their min wage should be 5 bucks an hour, then that’s the end. Some mom and pop businesses might offer higher wages but they’ll be snapped up instantly and their business has little chance to expand.

      A Reason government would respond to a public outcry with “Tough luck, they’re private companies”. Sure enough, but it’ll be hard to run a society in which companies basically behave like twitter – they can do whatever they want and change TOS or standards as they see fit, and the consumers have no recourse to being fired, disciplined, or docked pay despite having done nothing wrong.

      The best solution is perhaps a flexible contract model, in which employers can apply for reduction in salaries or relief if they can meet certain standard, just like someone applying or unemployment or a landlord who has to make deals with tenants who have trouble making rent.

  10. “Like so many well-intentioned policies, . . . ”

    It amazes me that a PhD could imagine these policies are well intentioned.

  11. Well-intentioned like a car salesman and the finance guy bending you over….but you got the payment you wanted right!?!?? Doesn’t matter that the interest rate is 20+% and everyone including you knows you are getting fucked.

    1. I sold cars for a short time. What a great education on finance, after market bumps, insurance, sales, money, and meeting expectations.

      1. Likewise. I don’t trust any salesman after that. In fact, if I think I like them, I trust them even less.
        It also completely eradicated my faith in my fellow man’s ability to manage their money wisely.

  12. “one of his UCLA professors asked him whether he cared more about the intentions behind the minimum wage or its effects.”

    What is this thing called “effects”?

    1. That professor was forced to apologize and resign.

  13. Why is that guy packing dryer lint into the dough?

    1. Because it kills fewer babies than melamine.

  14. My minimum wage experience was long ago in high school, $1.60 !! For a landscape company. I wanted more and asked for raises once a month and generally got them by doing the work, staying late arriving early. My wages after 5 summers were over $5 which was good to buy a car, go to Europe and pay for some education. 60 hour work weeks also helped. And, Yes, I have retired early!

    1. Yep. That’s how it’s done.

    2. Work harder than everyone else and keep asking for more. Worked for me back then too, though I barely doubled the minimum wage in a year.

  15. “Let’s use taxes to make cigarettes more expensive so people will buy fewer of them! People buy less of something when it’s made more expensive! Yeah!

    Let’s use taxes to make imports more expensive so people will choose cheaper domestic goods instead! Yeah!

    Let’s raise the price floor on labor so employers will hire fewer unskilled workers or find automated alternatives! Because people buy less of something when you make it more expensive! Yeah!

    Oh, wait. Labor is different. Laws of economics don’t apply to labor.

    Let’s raise the price of energy so people will use less of it! Save the planet! Yeah!

    I said shut up about labor! That’s different! Seriously, shut up!”

    1. Don’t forget: “Let’s create policies to keep home values high!”

  16. To the modern Leftist, the unemployment that comes along with a minimum wage hike is a feature not a bug. The minimum wage was originally a progressive idea (back then progressives weren’t leftists) to shove aside the lower classes. It went hand in hand with eugenics. It was explicit in their literature.

    (Actually, it was an early Jim Crow tactic, to keep the freed slave unemployed. It was successful, so the progressives ran with it).

    But then the unions picked up on it. A minimum wage works against competition with organized labor. It pushes up the wages of those who are secure in their employment by preventing the hiring of the unemployed. The explicit purpose was job security at the expense of the non-union worker.

    The leftist know this too. The leftists wants employed union members, because they are on the leftists’ side. The leftists also want unemployment, because they can point and say “capitalism did this to you!” Hell, the Neo-Leftist Republicans want a minimum wage for the same reason: To keep the lower class immigrants and minorities unemployed.

    It’s the liberal who is naive. In their zeal to help the poor they got bamboozled into thinking a minimum wage would help the poor. They think this because the let the mainstream media think for them. It’s a vicious cycle.

    But make no mistake, the explicit purpose of the minimum wage is to keep less desirable workers unemployed.

    1. I seriously doubt there are people who intend to create unemployment with minimum wage. They are either blinded by their intentions or willfully ignorant of basic economics.

      1. I see little distinction between willfull intent and willful ignorance, especially when you consider or start plumbing the depths of exploiting or utilizing willful ignorance to avoid acknowledging willful intent. When you divest yourself of the intelligence that would make you more capable than a rabid dog, you don’t get to suddenly reclaim it when people start treating you like a rabid dog.

    2. The minimum wage was originally a progressive idea (back then progressives weren’t leftists) to shove aside the lower classes. It went hand in hand with eugenics. It was explicit in their literature.

      (Actually, it was an early Jim Crow tactic, to keep the freed slave unemployed. It was successful, so the progressives ran with it).

      Maybe a POV/contextual/orienteering-without-true-north sort of thing, but when you say “weren’t leftists”, I think you mean “weren’t classical liberals”. Admittedly, society in general was more left-leaning in a lot of ways then than it is now, but they were still pretty left-leaning even then.

  17. The Minimum Wage Is Terrible for America’s Most Vulnerable Workers

    But it makes proggies with trust funds feel good!

  18. It’s pretty terrible to be making minimum wage too and not being able to do jack shit. Not really living let alone money left over to make a better lot in life.

    I’m sure the anarchists here would love to eliminate it and not give a flying fuck when the wage drops to $3 an hour for those jobs. It’s the conservative mantra- “fuck you, got mine.”

    1. So, to follow up your post, you’re going to post your tax returns showing how much you gave in charitable donations this year, right?

      Didn’t keep a dime of the stimulus money because the poor needed it more than you, right?

    2. Businesses need to turn a profit to survive. You can’t turn a profit by paying people more than they produce for the company. The problem with minimum wage is that if you lack the skills and experience to produce enough value for your employer to justify them paying you that wage, then you’re not getting the job. Without the job you don’t gain the skills and experience to earn a better wage. It’s pretty evil when you think about it.

      I’m sure the anarchists here would love to eliminate it and not give a flying fuck when the wage drops to $3 an hour for those jobs.

      What’s better? Getting paid $3/hr while gaining the skills and experience to demand a greater wage, or sitting on your ass because you nobody will hire you?

    3. ” It’s the conservative mantra- “fuck you, got mine.””

      Compared to the lefty shit’s mantra: “fuck you – I’ll take yours at gun point”.
      Fuck off and die, slaver.

    4. The minimum wage should be $0.00/hour. Just like people that went out and worked to get Joe Biden elected POTUS got paid.

  19. In this country, there are many jobs that do not pay well enough to meet basic living needs. These jobs are not primarily populated, nor intended for just entry level or teens. These are normal adults just trying to work to survive. Low wage jobs are not going away, and there will always be someone to needs to work them. We as a country have three choices:

    1. Raise the minimum wage and require employers to provide basic benefits.
    2. Provide those workers with government assistance to make up the difference.
    3. Decide that we as a society just don’t care and that those workers must suffer for the rest of us.

    Make your choice.

    1. 1. Raise the minimum wage and require employers to provide basic benefits.

      The minimum wage is zero. The legislated price floor for labor means if you can’t earn (Yes I know “earn” is a yucky word because it means workers have to actually do something more than just show up) that wage, you get nothing.

      2. Provide those workers with government assistance to make up the difference.

      This may come as a surprise, but there is this thing called private charity. There are plenty of churches and other charitable organizations that will help people out with the basics. One must humble themselves and ask, but it’s there.

      3. Decide that we as a society just don’t care and that those workers must suffer for the rest of us.

      Or maybe these people can improve their skills portfolio and earn themselves a better wage.

      1. 1. Your response makes no sense.
        2. Charities do not have the resources to provide housing assistance, medical coverage, and enough food assistance to all that need it.
        3. There are not enough well paying jobs to cover everyone.

        1. 1. The minimum wage is zero. As in no job. If someone can’t actually earn the legislated minimum wage they remain unemployed. Their wage is zero.

          2. Government has no resources at all. All it has it takes by force. And even then it can’t provide everything for everyone.

          3. There’s not enough of anything for everyone who wants it.

          “The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

          ― Thomas Sowell

          You seem to have mastered the first lesson of politics. I suggest you learn some economics. Here’s a great place to start. https://fee.org/media/14946/economicsinonelesson.pdf

    2. In high school I worked at McDonalds with a guy who was in the Guinness Book of World Records for flipping burgers. He was on the slow side, but he was good at the job. He was also a millionaire. He lived in a small apartment, rode a bicycle, didn’t have cable or anything like that (this was pre internet and cell phone), put what he didn’t spend into company stock, and was worth millions.

    3. 4. Decide that we care about those people, and make sure that we have a robust economy that offers entry level positions along with opportunities to increase skills and earn more money.

      The good things about option 4 are that it doesn’t increase unemployment, doesn’t devalue people as worthless dependents, and isn’t inhumane.

      1. That is a long term solution that everyone can agree with. But what do we do until then?

        1. Get started on doing it.

        2. Here’s a question I have for you: why didn’t any of your options include a long term solution that everyone agrees with?

    4. “Make your choice.”

      Make a choice between three options offered by a lefty econ-ignoramus, not one of which adds to the welfare of humanity?
      Fuck off and die, slaver.

      1. Do you have another workable option?

        1. Yes. Learn how to do a job which makes more money.
          When was your brain removed?

          1. And what if you can’t? Just starve?

            1. Starve, or figure out a way to live on less. Unlike progressive leaders, I have lived next to honest and desperately poor people, and they become very creative in finding ways to meet their needs with less cash.

              But when the government started paying people for being unemployable and helpless, they got what they paid for…

    5. I’m only paying someone if I accept the value of their offered goods and services. It isn’t my responsibility to subsidize a poor work ethic, bad skill set or low value product.

    6. Please sign and make viral all over the World the petition for both safe and affordable public bus service and transportation for Detroit and everyone. There is no reason to tax someone for a ride to work. If the job does not pay enough for a fare ride, then it costs too much. http://savethefueltax.org

  20. I live in Florida and the $15 minimum wage made it on the ballot last November. I was a little surprised it passed. It will be interesting to see how it plays out – I think it hits $15 by 2025. A big part of Florida’s economy is dependent on tourism – so restaurants and lodging (hotels/motels) will certainly be impacted significantly. I have a client that has several McDonald’s restaurants – and they start new employees (without experience) at $9.50 now. I asked her if hamburgers were going to get more expensive – and the answer, of course, was “yes”. She also shared her concerns about her longer term employees that had earned promotions and raises. How will those employees feel about the new crew members starting off at a wage that took them years to get up to? The cost of living in Florida isn’t very high compared to much of California, or Seattle, or NYC. Like I said – it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

    1. She also shared her concerns about her longer term employees that had earned promotions and raises. How will those employees feel about the new crew members starting off at a wage that took them years to get up to?

      Yeah, that pisses people off. They’re going to want raises.

      1. And the longer term employees that had earned promotions and raises will _need_ further raises – just to not fall too far behind inflation.

    2. “…Like I said – it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”

      Go long robotics.

      1. Yep – Bezos plans to install lots more robots, so the $15 minimum won’t be much of burden.

  21. It’s estimated that a single person can live on ~$23,000 on average in many places in the USA.

    That comes out to ~$10.50/hour.

    The average minimum wage in the US is $11.80.

    The current minimum wage in the US is $7.25.

    This is a non-problem.

    1. *The current federal minimum wage in the US is $7.25.

    2. Even assuming your numbers are correct, then there are still many people who are on the below average side. What about them? Average still means that half of those are doing worse.

      1. I’ve had minimum wage jobs before. At the moment my personal income is almost twice the median family income in my state. Low wage jobs are meant to be a stepping stone, not a career.

        1. My last minimum wage job I had when I was around thirty. I was still in college and there was a place where the wait staff made bank. I wanted in. Unfortunately there weren’t any openings. So I got myself in the door working minimum wage as a cook, and when there was an opening on the floor I took it.

          Minimum wage is a stepping stone. It’s the bottom rung of the ladder. The higher it gets, the harder it is to reach.

          1. But that’s not how it works anymore. It’s not just diseased teenagers at fast food windows, it’s grandmas. That’s the whole point.

            At any rate, robots are going to take all of these jobs anyway, so we’re going to have to figure out something a lot more radical than merely keeping the minimum wage indexed to inflation.

            1. You’ve got the cause and effect backwards, Tony. Robots are expensive. I mean they’re really expensive. I’m sure a lot of these employers would rather hire diseased teenagers than spend tens of millions of dollars on developing machines to do their job. But when the minimum wage is higher than what a diseased teenager can produce for the company, the kid picks at his pustules at home instead of the break room.

              1. You’re making the case for how the minimum wage motivates innovation. I knew you’d get it! Government motivates innovation in the market, where otherwise stagnation could be perfectly profitable. I want robots instead of teenagers serving my hamburgers.

                Obviously it’s quite a hand wave to say that the only reason we don’t have robots is because we’ve hit the sweet spot of low wages for workers. Robots get cheaper. Shall we continue paying workers less and less so that we have humans doing jobs robots could do perfectly well, for some reason?

                Why don’t we cut out all these complications and just write a check to business owners for their moral excellence, merely for existing?

                A minimum wage to an employer is simply an environmental condition. They also get roads and an educated workforce for free, so it’s kind of a wash.

                I believe our goal as a species should be to end the practice of making humans waste their lives doing crap jobs for peanuts, but that probably makes too much sense for a market cultist.

                1. I believe our goal as a species should be to end the practice of making humans waste their lives doing crap jobs for peanuts, but that probably makes too much sense for a market cultist.

                  Sorry dude but magic doesn’t exist. Markets aren’t fair. But they are just. I’ll take justice over fairness, because you can’t have fairness without deliberate injustice.

                  1. How on earth are markets just?

                    1. “How on earth are markets just?”

                      If they aren’t, nobody would trade.
                      Lefty shits have yet to offer an alternative in which both parties to a trade are in free agreement as to value.

                2. Tony just admitted that he wants to put the less desirable workers out of work, just as the long dead racists and “Progressives” who invented the minimum wage intended. It’s so refreshing to see a leftist being honest!

            2. “But that’s not how it works anymore…”

              We’re supposed to take the word of an econ-ignoramus here?

            3. Also, the reason it’s grandmas not diseased teenagers is that the minimum wage is higher than what they’re willing to pay some kid with no skills or experience. They hire grandmas instead. Again you’ve got the cause and effect backwards.

      2. Average still means that half of those are doing worse.

        I think you meant to say, “Average still means that half of those states have lower minimum wages.

        What about those states? I think those states need to look at what they’re doing in terms of my option number 4 above and get on it.

      3. Here’s a question you might want to ask: do democrats have another workable option for that small portion of people rather than a one-size-fits-all policy across the entire USA that increases unemployment, devalues people as worthless dependents, and isn’t humane?

        Have they even tried?

  22. “…Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., recently declared on CNN’s “Inside Politics” that small businesses wouldn’t struggle under a federal mandate to pay employees $15 an hour, even during a recession. To support his claim, he pointed out that Target and Amazon, two of the greatest beneficiaries of the lockdown, raised their lowest hourly wage to $15 voluntarily…”

    Yep, those small businesses aren’t hurting at all.

    1. The Rep also said that minor league sports teams were not impacted by the covid lockdowns stating that the New York Yankees made money last year.

  23. How is it “well intentioned”? Practically every objective analysis shows this will hurt the people it is “supposed” to help. It’s insanity.

  24. Wal-Mart is calculating in government safety net benefits in its low wages. No employer can maintain a workforce that can’t afford food, but if they can outsource half that cost to the government, it’s win-win.

    You can raise the minimum wage and reduce safety net expenses, and choose to take that as an ideological win for yourselves too. You can’t disentangle them. I realize your personal vision of utopia has workers making scraps for backbreaking labor and getting no government safety net, but we’re just not to that ideal situation of lollipops and unicorns and indentured servitude yet, so really raising the minimum wage is the best libertarians could hope for, and you should take the deal.

    1. Just out of curiosity, have you ever had a Wal-Mart employee complain to you about how hey applied for the job at gunpoint and get twenty lashes for showing up late?

      Me neither.

      1. Have you ever met someone who worked at Wal-Mart because they wanted to?

        1. Have you met anyone who worked anywhere because they wanted to?

          1. Me, but only because I’m paid way more than I’m worth.

            The idea that I can be George Jetson and get paid to push a button, while some poor grandmother has to spend 12 hours doing shit work for 1/6th the wages strikes me as fundamentally unjust. But nobody ever said market outcomes had anything to do with justice, except libertarians.

            The minimum wage is a tax. We can be adults about that. If you ask me, I say let the market choose all wages. Do away with the minimum wage. You just have to do the redistribution somewhere else. It hardly matters. It’s just ones and zeros.

            1. But nobody ever said market outcomes had anything to do with justice, except libertarians.

              What you’re talking about is fairness, not justice. Fairness is for children.

              If you ask me, I say let the market choose all wages. Do away with the minimum wage.

              That is very libertarian of you, and I agree completely.

              1. Yeah, fairness is irrelevant until anything remotely unfair happens to you. I’ve been around the block enough to know that the “for me, not for thee” thing is pretty much the basic operation around here.

                Since you believe so much in justice, then perhaps we should shift some public resources to public defenders. Perhaps a whole suite of legal aid for the poor. Or does that extra justice cost too much in fairness for your taste?

                1. Since you believe so much in justice, then perhaps we should shift some public resources to public defenders. Perhaps a whole suite of legal aid for the poor. Or does that extra justice cost too much in fairness for your taste?

                  I’d be down with that. It’s right there in the Constitution. What does that have to do with wages?

                  1. My original question was what does working hard have to do with wages?

                    People being paid starvation wages to do the hardest work is not an arrangement we found written on a stone. It’s just the one the bosses like the best. We can change it because we are beings with agency. And not everything the Waltons want is what’s good for everyone else. The fact that I have to explain this illustrates the ludicrous success of libertarian ideology. “Whatever the Walton spawn want, do that.” The height of moral philosophy I’m sure.

                  2. My original question was what does working hard have to do with wages?

                    What matters is what a person produces, not how hard they work. Someone with a spoon can work really hard at digging a ditch, while an backhoe operator can do it without breaking a sweat. Does this mean the person with the spoon should be paid a ransom while the backhoe operator gets a pittance?

                  3. The Labor Theory of Value has been thoroughly debunked.

                    1. I’m here to debunk the value theory of value. Value is just a sound that comes from our face. It means what we say it means. You can presuppose the moral premise that people should maximize being alive and healthy, in which case value is tied to that, but that simply means there’s a widespread consensus on that premise, not that the thing actually has value.

                      Where wealth goes is entirely the result of how society is arranged by the people in it. There are no unicorns and there is no correct distribution of resources. There’s only lies you tell yourself to justify what you want to believe.

                2. The $0.00/hr min wage also applies to me. I should only get pair wages for my fair market value and not a government mandated number.

            2. The idea that I can be George Jetson and get paid to push a button, while some poor grandmother has to spend 12 hours doing shit work for 1/6th the wages strikes me as fundamentally unjust.

              I see your problem.

              The Jetsons are fictional.

              Now go develop a fact-based concept of justice.

              1. It has literally nothing to do with supply and demand or whether the spawn of Sam Walton can afford their 10th yacht apiece.

                1. I know. I have no idea why you brought up a sci-fi Hanna-Barbara cartoon as an argument for justice.

                  1. But the rational sorting of the market is your argument, Brian. If the market doesn’t in fact reward hard work and ingenuity but rewards bad behavior and negative social consequences, then it’s not doing its promised job. And the market doesn’t have feelings, so we can alter it and not worry about offending anyone.

                    You can offer a laissez-faire market that does good things for me, or your laissez-faire market can screw off. I’m not required to buy into that arrangement. Not unless it’s actually a good one.

                    1. Laissez-faire just means the government enforces property rights, contracts, criminal law (as in stuff with like actual victims and stuff), and provides courts where people can resolve disputes without violence. Otherwise government follows the Hippocratic Oath with respect to the economy.

                      You’re the one who wants to introduce force into the situation.

                      So the burden of proof is on you.

                    2. I really have no interest in what you buy in or not. You don’t really show enough discernment for me too concerned about it.

                      I mean, if the idea of people freely exchanging goods and services just doesn’t make sense to you because Hanna-Barbara, I don’t really know what to tell you.

                    3. “Freely” is doing a lot of work there.

                      In what glorious ways is a Wal-Mart clerk free?

                    4. “In what glorious ways is a Wal-Mart clerk free?”

                      They can leave any time they please, shitstain.

                    5. “…If the market doesn’t in fact reward hard work and ingenuity but rewards bad behavior and negative social consequences, then it’s not doing its promised job…”

                      In fact, it commonly does.

                2. Whether or not the Walton kids can afford X, Y or Z has nothing to do with the minimum wage. It goes up and Walmart cuts staff and finds ways to sell goods with less human labor. If their costs go up, they raise prices. The Walton kids still make money. Maybe more since it puts a greater burden on smaller competitors that don’t have Walmart’s economy of scale working for them.

                  1. Yeah, they raise prices. And guess who can afford those new prices: the people who work at the shop, because they got a raise.

                    Communities get to set the conditions of their own markets. That’s freedom. You’re trying to sell the interests of only one party in the discussion as the only interests that matter. It’s absurd, it’s kleptocratic, and I don’t have to go along with it if I don’t want to, and neither does anybody else.

                    1. “Yeah, they raise prices. And guess who can afford those new prices: the people who work at the shop, because they got a raise.”

                      Lefty shits have no idea how companies set prices; they think they buy something, turn around and sell it for the same amount of money, and profit magically appears. No, shitstain, their raise will not cover the increased costs.
                      The direct cost of their labor (what they take home) doesn’t begin to cover the fully burdened cost, nor the mark-up required to pay the owners the profit they expect. Figure the take-home at $5 will require an increase in product cost of *at least* double that, more often 3-4 times the pocket money.
                      Ford managed to make his arrangement work, since he was at the birth of the assembly line processes; no one is there anymore WRT low wage labor.

                    2. Receiving more money to pay higher prices.

                      Progress!

                3. “It has literally nothing to do with supply and demand or whether the spawn of Sam Walton can afford their 10th yacht apiece.”

                  Shitstain seems to harbor the belief that this comment is other than that of a fucking lefty ignoramus.
                  It isn’t.

            3. “Me, but only because I’m paid way more than I’m worth.”

              Wee can assume shitstain is paid $0.01/hour; far more than s/he worth.

        2. Have you ever met someone who worked at Wal-Mart because they wanted to?

          All of them.

          1. Then think how nice it will be when they can focus all their energy on one Wal-Mart job instead of splitting it between Wal-Mart, Taco Bell, and driving uber in order to feed their children.

            Just how dystopian do things need to get before we have libertarian paradise?

            You need to think more carefully about the things you believe. It’s a recipe for sending as many cents as you can possibly find into the accounts of people who do little for society except “already having money.” You need to pay attention to where the wealth goes in your regime. You can’t just go all the way through this with first principles. Your first principles are designed to transfer wealth that way in the first place.

            1. Really? You still don’t understand the distinction between money and wealth?

            2. All your cites fell off.

              I don’t find your emotional hand-waving very compelling.

            3. The seniors, teenagers and part-time second job supplemental income spouses that work at the local Wally’s are all set.
              Won’t be surprised if this passes that Walmart greeters will end up being a cardboard cutout. The self checkout area would likely get bigger too.

              1. “…Won’t be surprised if this passes that Walmart greeters will end up being a cardboard cutout…”

                Local parking lots have a reasonable representation of R2D2 wandering about with some limited AI.
                Not cheap, but they might well be if the M/W gets high enough.

        3. “Have you ever met someone who worked at Wal-Mart because they wanted to?”

          Has shitstain here *ever* argued in good faith? You know, like not shoving the goal posts or changing the subject?
          Why, no, shitstain never has, since shitstain’s “arguments” are base on his inability to think critically about much of anything, or on outright lies.

          1. You mean like the good faith argument that inflation automatically happens because of a rising minimum wage, even though we haven’t had a minimum wage increase since 2009 but prices have most definitely gone up?

            That good faith argument? GTFOH

            1. A implies B doesn’t require not A to imply not B. Learn how logic works.

    2. You know, Wal-Mart employees also calculate government safety net benefits when they negotiate a salary.

      It’s a win-win-win! Isn’t that working as expected?

      If you don’t like it, I’d suggest getting rid of the benefits.

      1. You are subsidizing Wal-Mart’s cheap labor costs. That wasn’t the arrangement. You have a social safety net, you need a minimum wage. You want to do away with the social safety net and minimum wage, then the minimum wage will be the least of your concerns with respect to the coming socialism.

        1. So, in your view, because the government is screwing taxpayers, taxpayers have an obligation to support the government screwing businesses? Why is your solution to government overreach more government overreach?

          You communists are the most dishonest motherfuckers on the planet. Stop playing libertarian, jackass.

          1. I would classify their view as a stupid part of our culture that should be gotten rid of.

          2. The problem is that government isn’t the only institution in the universe that can oppress humans.

            1. It’s one of the most violent and effective at it, going strong for millennia.

              1. Instituted among men to protect us from tyrants, whether they wear a crown or a business suit.

                1. The crown is government. Try again.

                  1. No it isn’t. We have no crowns. We have rule by the people. The people get to tell Wal-Mart what to do, not the other way around.

                    1. “…The people get to tell Wal-Mart what to do, not the other way around.”

                      Yes, they can, by either buying from Walmart or not. Or by buying majority stake in the company.
                      Other than that, ‘the people’ and lefty shits like you get to STFU.

                    2. I’m talking globally and historically.

                    3. But, yes, the people tell wal mart what to do. Every day, millions of times a day, with how they spend their money.

                      That’s much more free and democratic than voting for a representative.

                    4. It’s definitely not.

                2. How do men in business suits oppress people? By providing goods and services and jobs to people? Oh the horror!

                  1. You wouldn’t set foot in a place of business with conditions that existed before the progressive movements of the 20th century secured workers’ rights. Not one foot.

                    1. “You wouldn’t set foot in a place of business with conditions that existed before the progressive movements of the 20th century secured workers’ rights…”

                      Notice how lefty shits never argue facts or reality, but they fantasize some hypothetical and argue against that.

                    2. This is the truth. They won’t hear it. Ever.

                3. “Instituted among men to protect us from tyrants,…”

                  Shitstain here forgets Newsom and Cumo.

            2. What other institutions oppress humans? Seriously. Unless by “oppress” you mean “enter into voluntary agreements that an outsider considers unfair.”

            3. Stick to the fucking fact pattern.

              You are attempting to justify an intrusion by government upon the dealings of a private business — specifically, wages — by pointing out that government has intruded upon the dealings of private individuals.

              Why is your solution to government intrusion, MORE government? That is the question at hand. That is what you have to explain. Stop pivoting to bullshit. You are in a corner.

              1. Oh wow. I’m shocked. Seriously. You made an on-topic post without calling anyone names. Congrats. You’re moving up in the world.

                1. Fuck off, SQRLSY.

                  1. I was trying to give you a compliment, asshole.

                    1. Nobody here is interested in your gay olive branch routine. You’ve fucked up one too many times. If you want to prove how principled you are, go back to pretending to ignore me.

                    2. Oh how I wish there was an ignore function. But since this seems to really bother you, I’ll keep doing it.

                    3. I must admit it was really out of character for you to add something of value to the conversation. Are you sick? Do you have a fever?

                    4. “Oh how I wish there was an ignore function. But since this seems to really bother you, I’ll keep doing it.”

                      So, you don’t really wish there was an ignore function. You post here solely to troll, and then to cry about getting abused.

                      Kill yourself. Your daughter and ex-wife won’t miss you.

                    5. Your making an on-topic comment is extremely unusual, and you accuse me of being a troll? Too funny.

                      Kill yourself. Your daughter and ex-wife won’t miss you.

                      Now that’s more like your usual comments. Personal attacks that add nothing of value to the conversation.

                      That 2:30 comment must have been a glitch. Did someone hijack your account?

                    6. “Oh how I wish there was an ignore function. But since this seems to really bother you, I’ll keep doing it.”

                      “[A]nd you accuse me of being a troll? Too funny.”

                      You take pride in being a worthless, divorced troll. See Exhibit, A – Your own fucking words.

                    7. You take pride in being a worthless, divorced troll. See Exhibit, A – Your own fucking words.

                      There we go! More personal attacks! You must be feeling better!

                    8. You appear take pride in finding some sort of “gotcha” as if it means something. Tell me, are you a law student? Did your professor tell you to find some libertarian forum and practice being an asshole? Because that’s what it looks like.

                      Thing is, when you quote people as if every comment is meant to be serious, grab inconsistencies, and try to smear people with them, nobody outside your little clique of assholes really gives a shit. The only thing you prove is that you’re an asshole.

                    9. I was trying to give you a compliment, asshole.

      2. Wal-Mart is calculating in government safety net benefits in its low wages. No employer can maintain a workforce that can’t afford food, but if they can outsource half that cost to the government, it’s win-win.

        Seriously, you just pointed out that, without am safety net benefits, Wal-Mart would pay people more money.

        Thank you.

        1. Plus, the taxes would be lower, meaning they would keep more of what they earned.

        2. But then we’d have a bunch of people starving to death in the gutters.

          Are we trying to make a decent society or not?

          1. Define “bunch”.

            1. During the Holodomor, people weren’t starving in the gutter. They (the ones who weren’t shot or otherwise executed) starved in the fields, in the street, and in the surrounding wilderness. Part of the problem with starvation is that your organs start shutting down to support your CNS. You think “I can walk to the next town to get food.”, “I can pull up some potatoes.”, or “I can go find some berries.” when, in reality, you’ve only got enough calories to do about half the job. In Xinyang during The Great Chinese famine, people died at the doors of grain warehouses pleading Mao and The Party to save them.

              Agreed that the gutter is just a metaphor but in a society where warm shelter is freely available and a day’s worth of calories can be had for pennies, anybody dying in the gutter is either otherwise incapacitated, making a concerted effort to die in the gutter, or both.

              1. Freely available. Yeah sure.

            2. I’m sure it can’t possibly include all those people you say would have bigger paychecks.

          2. Are we trying to make a decent society or not?

            Society isn’t something that’s “made.” It is a product of human action, not human design.

            1. They’re both true. What we have isn’t the product of a Darwinian process, at least not totally. It’s an extremely complicated design as well.

              And that’s the miracle of being human. We can have any kind of society we want to have. If your pet theories don’t work out, we try new ones. We can do it that way or we can all die on the alter of whatever cult you’re in thrall to.

              The point is we haven’t figured out the best way to live, even if we’ve been trying since Plato. And libertarians for damn sure haven’t.

              1. “And that’s the miracle of being human. We can have any kind of society we want to have.”

                This is the idiocy of the left; “we” can have any society lefty shits will allow at the point of a gun.

                1. If you hate guns so much why do you constantly masturbate to them?

                  1. If you make up such idiotic claims, why do you post them, shitstain?

                  2. Again notice that lefty shits fantasize hypotheticals:
                    “If you hate guns so much why do you constantly masturbate to them?”
                    And then argue against those rather than facts.
                    Ken has shitstain’s number: It’s not simply that shitstain is dishonest, although that’s a constant, it’s that shitstain hasn’t the mental capability to separate his/her fantasies from an objective reality.
                    Yes, we’re dealing with a fucking constant liar, but we have to accept that shitstain is not even aware of his/her lies; momma would have done the world a favor and aborted this pile of lefty shit.

            2. “Society isn’t something that’s “made.” It is a product of human action, not human design.”

              Who are you and what did you do with sarcasmic?

          3. “Are we trying to make a decent society or not?”

            Mussolini asked the same question.

          4. “You can lead a starving man to the gutter, but you can’t make him eat. However, if you throw a bunch of money at him and set it on fire, he’ll be warm for the rest of his days.” – Tony

  25. Yeah, this is why so many immigrants and workers facing the worst racial discrimination are fleeing NY, CA etc for the low minimum wages of the Deep South and the Greater Confederacy.

  26. All of you are wrong. Raising the minimum wage does exactly what intends to do, make liberals feel good about themselves!

    1. It does more than that. It puts low-skilled workers out of their jobs, and reduces the chance of a child raised on welfare ever getting a first job – thus making more people utterly dependent on the government.

  27. The “minimum wage” under discussion has nothing at all to do with the wage paid to low-income workers. It is a trigger for wage increases that apply to SEIU and other union labor, whose contracts specify wages at a set differential above the federal mnimum wage.

  28. How many more thousands of times is this article going to be written?

  29. People who cannot produce 15 worth of value in an hour don’t deserve to have a job.

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