What’s wrong with having a minimum wage? I need to live too! Why to some people insist that I should be paid f***-all for my work?! So – do we or don’t we need a minimum wage?
Why would a minimum wage be bad? What’s so wrong with ensuring that everyone can make a decent living? Wouldn’t you rather make MORE money than LESS? Do you want to live like third-world slave labor? Isn’t the minimum wage a social victory and proof that our economic and political system really works? “Minimum Wage” is a fabulous populist idea – but the question is: does it work and does it achieve its stated objective?
- The trouble is… it SOUNDS good. If you don’t take the time to consider the consequences of a government-enforced minimum wage law, you’ll miss the bigger picture. A minimum wage means that if YOU want to hire me to work for you and I offer to do it for two bucks and hour – you’re NOT ALLOWED to hire me. Even though we both agree.
- The common view in support of the minimum wage is that if the wicked capitalist was allowed to pay you “anything he likes” – he would. And you, poor thing, would be “forced” to accept. This is a fallacy which is disproved not only by history but also by logic. The employer will always pay what the market price is. He has no choice. The employee will always be paid what the market says is fair. He too has no choice, except to improve his skills so as to enter a more lucrative market. By forcing the employer to pay more for work which is not worth that kind of money, you effectively CREATE unemployment and PROTECT those already employed (as long as they’re part of YOUR union).
- The minimum wage law is also another example of aggression against the individual. And not merely the capitalist who is forced to pay more, but also the worker who is not allowed to compete with other workers by charging less.
Politically speaking, this is almost a lost cause. Minimum wage laws are here to stay – at least until something changes at the top. Economically, however, the minimum wage is one of the CAUSES of economic stagnation and unemployment. This is not even a controversial point anymore, thank goodness. If you care about the well-being of your nation as a whole – and your own rights in particular – you can only answer this question in the negative. NO we do not need it!