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Old 08-01-2019, 01:11 PM
Max S. is online now
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,544
Originally Posted by Scylla View Post
I agree. I made a similar point pertaining to geography earlier in the thread.
If you admit there are location-independent circumstances where people barely if at all make a "living wage", it does not follow that all people can, will, or even ought to sell their labor at market price or relocate for jobs.

Think about it this way. Let's pretend (from here on it's pretend) I have kids who need a roof over their head or CPS will take them away. I don't have enough cash to pay next month's rent and my credit sucks. I also work two full time low-paying jobs and am on all of the assistance programs I can qualify for. We have already acknowledged that this can all happen due to no fault of my own. Charity is an option but let's say I'm an atheist so none of the charities in my area will touch me. I already asked for raises but my bosses say they are strapped, which makes sense because business isn't going well - despite my yearly "raise" my wages are actually going down after adjusting for inflation.

In this scenario I just don't have the luxury of moving or demanding more pay or working harder. If things don't work out, I lose the kids and the last thread of hope and purpose in a dark, cold world. That's not a risk I'm willing to take. I do not feel like I "own my own labor" or that I "can sell [my labor] as I see fit". I don't make a living wage, and I would not go elsewhere. I am a direct counterexample to your post #77.

If you think people can't live like this, you are partially right. Many people are depressed. Some turn to drugs or crime, and some people just break.

We can get to the prevalence of such a scenario later, but I would first ask for an admission that the above is possible. It is possible for people in certain unfortunate situations to make a rational decision to undersell their labor, possibly even below a living wage.