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Thread: Minimum Wage

  1. #21
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHBowden View Post
    How does it help ever?

    I drive a 1995 Mitsubishi Mirage with about 315K miles on it. Suppose I'm having difficulty selling it at $2,500, and buyers are purchasing similar clunker vehicles for $1,500. Using the reasoning of mental giants such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or Barack Obama, we could help me out be making it illegal for me to sell my car for any amount less than $8,000 dollars. Which is absurd -- if anything, this makes it more difficult to sell my automobile! If I have no buyers at $2,500, why would I have any buyers at $8,000? (IRL my automobile is not for sale at the moment. )

    The same reasoning applies to labor. We don't make it easier for people to get hired by making their skills more expensive, that is, by making it illegal for people to sell their labor under a specific wage.

    Circulating money is easy -- just print it! But that is not the point of economic activity. We ought not to lose sight of the free movement of goods and services.
    You example has the ratio too high: the Minimum wage is not going up 533 percent nor 320 percent. Apples and Oranges.
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  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHBowden View Post
    The same reasoning applies to labor.
    You see that's where you're wrong, there's no moral or other equivalence between selling your car and selling your labour or time.

    Its not a straight comparison of one commodity with another and that's the reason why no laws controlling he sale of either fast moving consumer goods or consumer durables exist and labour laws do.

    Its not class struggle or caprice on the form of government that the distinction exists, although you can beg to differ as I appreciate you're coming from a very different perspective than I would and I respect that.

    Not only is it morally bankrupt to treat human resources the same as any other resource, wearing it out, riding it until it breaks, using it up and tossing it aside like so many batteries, it's also extremely bad as a business model and very unlikely to result in optimal allocative efficiency in an economy.

  3. #23
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHBowden View Post
    How does it help ever?

    I drive a 1995 Mitsubishi Mirage with about 315K miles on it. Suppose I'm having difficulty selling it at $2,500, and buyers are purchasing similar clunker vehicles for $1,500. Using the reasoning of mental giants such as Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or Barack Obama, we could help me out by making it illegal for me to sell my car for any amount less than $8,000 dollars. Which is absurd -- if anything, this makes it more difficult to sell my automobile! If I have no buyers at $2,500, why would I have any buyers at $8,000? (IRL my automobile is not for sale at the moment. )

    The same reasoning applies to labor. We don't make it easier for people to get hired by making their skills more expensive, that is, by making it illegal for people to sell their labor under a specific wage.

    Circulating money is easy -- just print it! But that is not the point of economic activity. We ought not to lose sight of the free movement of goods and services.
    In theory, let's say several companies pay their employees $7.00 an hour. then, suppose all but one business decides to start paying $2.00 and hour to it's employees, while one continues to pay $7.00 an hour. Assume all other factors are equal for the sake of argument. We can presume that the ones only paying $2.00 an hour will profit more, and probably have and advantage in outcompeting the one that pays $7.00. With it being clear that having to spend less money on employees is better of for the business, they will all aim to pay their employees less and less, until they are paying people as little as is needed for them to sustain enough of a life to come back to work.

    That would be unfortunate for workers, would it not?

    I suppose you might say that people could vote with their feet, and instead maybe they'd all migrate to seek employment from the one that pays $7.00 an hour. Well, first of all, by your reasoning, the company could not afford to hire all of those people, leaving the rest with no choice but to go with the two dollar compaines, ultimately still probably supplying them with enough workers to out compete the cost-inefficient seven dollar company. Secondly, we have the wonders of oligopolic behavior to worry about. If every business realizes they benefit from paying their employees nothing, than they may decide that it's better for all of them to agree to not try paying better than one another.

    This is at least one reason for enforcing a minimum wage.
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  4. #24
    mountain surfing nomadic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    I don't think that's true, I haven't met any decent model of unemployment that doesn't depend at least quadratically from min. wage (first min. wage too low, opportunity cost of leisure is higher for the worker, then min. wage too high, opportunity cost of not producing is higher for the firm). Raising min. wage during a recession is just a populistic maneuver.
    yeah, but the opportunity cost during a recession and the opportunity cost during an uptick in the economy is not the same. traditional economics looks at this opportunity cost as frozen in time or constant. This assumption is dangerous, as the set of policy options become much greater when you realize that opportunity costs are not constant throughout stages of the business cycle.

    Btw, I don't know if this minimum wage raise was initially enacted during the recession. Most of the time, these legislative bodies say "We will raise the min wage in 3 years" and three years later, it just happens (without any knowledge of the current economic condition). So the mechanism for adjustment to economic ebb and flow is so broken in legislative government, it is ridiculous at times.

    Nothing in traditional economics allows for any digestion of anything I just said. Yet you know it is probably true. Traditional economics is flawed. Traditional economics looks at modern day economic situations and says "This does not fit our mathematical model, so it must not exist". WTF??? If our academia is not flexible to seek the truth (even if it means acknowledging that their own philosophy is flawed and does not fully explain modern day economics), it is society that suffers. For me, that is what the West Coast School of New Economics stands for. To seek the truth no matter what the pedagogues that latch on to their tenure say, who say that the truth doesn't affect them, because they already have tenure and stability.

  5. #25
    Senior Member JHBowden's Avatar
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    Not only is it morally bankrupt to treat human resources the same as any other resource
    Lark, it is morally bankrupt to put people out of work via minimum wage laws while pursuing self-congratulation as a basis for economic policy.
    Apples and Oranges.
    Spamtar, my reasoning applies in the marginal case. Apples and Apples. If we increased the minimum wage to $25hr, ceteris paribus, we would create more unemployment than $20hr, but less than $30hr.

    Magic Poriferan, that companies want to pay workers as little as possible is true, but trivial. Workers would also like to make as much as possible. It doesn't look like you understand the price mechanism. Software engineers make more than janitors because of factors completely unrelated to greed, which is a constant anyway. I wonder how Lark in particular explains this, since he believes labor is not a commodity.

    Workers need to be exploited. Just as the environment needs to be exploited. I'm not certain who started this idea of exploitation being an evil, though I like to blame Kant.

  6. #26
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHBowden View Post
    Magic Poriferan, that companies want to pay workers as little as possible is true, but trivial. Workers would also like to make as much as possible.
    And I've already pointed out that this is irrelevant if all businesses concerned have formed an oligopolistic agreement to pay equally little, because there will be no employers to offer higher paying opportunities for workers to turn to.

    Quote Originally Posted by JHBowden View Post
    It doesn't look like you understand the price mechanism. Software engineers make more than janitors because of factors completely unrelated to greed, which is a constant anyway. I wonder how Lark in particular explains this, since he believes labor is not a commodity.
    This is like a non-sequitur. I did not talk about different pay for different kinds of labor. I did not introduce the subject of people being paid for different kinds of work on purpose. In fact I said "Assume all other factors are equal for the sake of argument" in bold, just like that. I did that for a reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by JHBowden View Post
    Workers need to be exploited. Just as the environment needs to be exploited. I'm not certain who started this idea of exploitation being an evil, though I like to blame Kant.
    Marx would say exploitation is bad, but Marx would agree with Kant on very little. No particular person started the idea that exploitation of people is bad. The idea started as soon as people started being exploited. It is as old as the existence of chiefdoms. Generally speaking, being exploited by people with more power is not fun.
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  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHBowden View Post
    Lark, it is morally bankrupt to put people out of work via minimum wage laws while pursuing self-congratulation as a basis for economic policy.Spamtar, my reasoning applies in the marginal case. Apples and Apples. If we increased the minimum wage to $25hr, ceteris paribus, we would create more unemployment than $20hr, but less than $30hr.

    Magic Poriferan, that companies want to pay workers as little as possible is true, but trivial. Workers would also like to make as much as possible. It doesn't look like you understand the price mechanism. Software engineers make more than janitors because of factors completely unrelated to greed, which is a constant anyway. I wonder how Lark in particular explains this, since he believes labor is not a commodity.

    Workers need to be exploited. Just as the environment needs to be exploited. I'm not certain who started this idea of exploitation being an evil, though I like to blame Kant.
    Erm, I've not a clue about what self-congratulation has to do with anything, not for the first time I feel like you're talking about something else, to someone else. Perhaps your filters are interfering.

    Considering greed to be the only factor in productivity or labour is a little one dimensional and last century to say the very least, perhaps we should ditch all the typologies on the forum and replace it with a single one selfish, what do you say?

    Anyway, its not a trivial point and I didnt suggest that labour was not a commodity but that it couldnt be treated as akin to a motor car.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by JHBowden View Post
    Workers need to be exploited. Just as the environment needs to be exploited. I'm not certain who started this idea of exploitation being an evil, though I like to blame Kant.
    I dont know what kind of a sub-dom complex you have to have to say that and like it.

    It doesnt even appear like you're making an argument about utility, pareto optimality or allocative efficiency its like some kind of reverse marxism.

  9. #29
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Whoa, where'd this question of "need" even come from? The only things we truly need are to eat, fuck, and love one another. Everything else comes down to choice.

  10. #30
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Whoa, where'd this question of "need" even come from? The only things we truly need are to eat, fuck, and love one another. Everything else comes down to choice.
    If you're going to be that reductionist, who says we need to love each other?
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