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Old 07-26-2019, 06:50 AM
Scylla is offline
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 16,390
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Because people doing the essential work of a society should get enough to live on out of it.


I see why it doesn't work under the current setup. That doesn't mean it's not desirable.

Because you said "People own their own labor and can sell it as they see fit. If it was not a living wage, wouldnít they go elsewhere, thus limiting supply and driving up price?"

That only works (even all other issues about "going elsewhere" aside) if they can go elsewhere and get a living wage job. If there aren't enough such to go around, then it doesn't work that way. The economy as currently constructed only works if there aren't enough such jobs to go around, as you just acknowledged.

Not all jobs can or should pay a living wage, because some arenít meant to and arenít needed to. I worked in a deli after school while in High School, part time. It was a great job a high schooler could get, supplementing the two owners during peak times. If it had to pay a living wage it would likely not have been offered, to the detriment of all. Others work for experience, or to supplement an income or social security, or... because they like it. And, yes, some are working as hard as they can without making enough to live. That is bad. I agree. Can you fix it without causing more damage than you are fixing? Thatís tough, likely not.

If you raise the minimum wage, some of those jobs will just go away, depriving people of work. Some of those jobs will be altered, maybe combined with more skilled jobs or requirements raising the barrier for entry. Then too, what is a living wage. It is surely a different number in a small town in Montana, than it is in San Francisco. It is also a different number for someone on SS, or a single person versus one with a family to support, or a student working part time.

Or all workers the same? Or, are some better than others? Why canít a valuable worker command a higher price? You raise the minimum wage, you are pulling from the pool of cash which could potentially reward quality work, punishing high quality workers and rewarding the marginal.

Raising the minimum wage is making a very arrogant and dangerous statement: that you know better about what a business can afford to spend, and what their labor is worth than the business. You are also telling the worker that you know better what is good for them than they do.

Itís a dangerous thing with unintended consequences.