Does the left hate the poor? The Minimum Wage Harms the Most Vulnerable


#1

The Minimum Wage Harms the Most Vulnerable - Reason.com

Wages are not set by fiat, even in the U.S. economy, which is severely distorted by government privileges. Wages, rather, are determined by supply and demand. If the price of unskilled labor rises, why wouldn’t employers buy less? No employer could long pay a worker more than the value he produced for the firm. That’s why economic theory and empirical observation tell us that an enforced minimum wage destroys jobs, degrades the quality of other jobs, and prevents new jobs from being created.

If the advocates of the minimum wage really cared about people with low skills and low incomes, they’d support elimination of the myriad government barriers to entrepreneurship and small-business formation, which keep people down. These include occupational licensing, restrictions on street peddling, and zoning, all of which make it tougher for people living on the edge to start up modest businesses and hire people in a similar predicament.

It’s no coincidence that these government barriers to self-employment exist: Established firms, which are always well-connected to the governing elite, dislike the free-wheeling competition that would grow out of a laissez-faire approach. It threatens their dominance.

The failure to move against these poverty-sustaining interventions indicates either that the self-styled champions of the poor are ignorant of economics or that they are poseurs. Let’s not forget that the biggest boosters of the minimum wage are the leaders of organized labor, whose members’ incomes are far above the minimum. Before we assume the motive is humanitarian, let’s recall that such legislation was first proposed years ago by people who wanted to exclude their competition—particularly blacks and women—from the marketplace.

Economist Russ Roberts points to another bad consequence of the minimum wage:** It “encourages exploitation” of workers by creating a “reserve army of the unemployed,” since a legislated minimum creates a labor surplus.**

The lefties are ignorant or they really are determined to keep the poor down.

Please, lefties and conservative supporters of this ridiculous interference in the market (who somehow consider yourselves capitalists and free marketeers), please defend the minimum wage. Please address the concept of supply and demand for labor and the impact of price controls on it. Or better yet, stop defending it and ask your legislators to get rid of it.


#2

Yes the Left “Hate the poor”, and “The Environment” and “The Animals” and “The Blacks” and “Women” and “The Children” and “Hispanics” and prosperity in general for anyone but themselves.

We are decades of years and mountains of evidence as to the actual results of their concepts that they claimed would “Help” all of these groups and entities, plausible deniability as to how destructive their ideas are or excuses like “They don’t understand the concept of unintended consequences” can no longer be uttered as a means to mitigate the reality.

The Left know EXACTLY what their ideas are doing and they INTEND for these results to occur because these results (impoverished masses dependent on government) empower the Left come election day.

If Conservatives stopped insisting that it is just ignorance on the part of the Left and started addressing the truth regarding their ideas and motivations we might get somewhere in the fight to abolish this crap, we are losing the war because we refuse to recognize that we are in one regardless of how high the evidence is piled.

This is the GOP’s fault, they temper every clear voice and punish every soul that dares be bold on these issues while pretending to be a home for Conservatism.


#3

The only other excuse if they aren’t actually deliberately doing what they do is ignorance. That incompetence alone ought to be enough to throw these pieces of trash out of office. Then we get conservatives (right here on this board) promoting the exact same minimum wage laws. There is *no *​good justification for supporting this horrible policy, among many others. It’s a travesty.

I assume for the rank and file voters, including the conservatives, it’s just plain ignorance.


#4

I am glad you spelled “conservatives” with a small “c”, I call these people “Establishment GOPers”


#5

The right are not on the side of the working class. Apparently Conservatives have no issue for having the working class work for slave wages. $3 an hour? 40 cents an hour? You name it. Heck move all of our industry to third world countries so they* can* pay slave wages. The right is against minimum wage because it limits EXPLOITATION. their aim is to keep America, The Home of The Exploited. Let’s start a movement, that all public officials forfeit all salaries, bonuses, royalties, campaign contributions and donate them to Social Security. in my opinion, all public officials should work for the public for free.


#6

The Democratic Party hates the idea of people being prosperous.


#7

Exactly, prosperous people do not need or want the Extreme Left micromanaging their life from cradle to grave and prosperous people take care of their own responsibilities.

Personal Responsibility and its ensuing prosperity is the mortal enemy to every Communist/Socialist concept.


#8

[quote=“OldStyleBlues, post:5, topic:38536”]
The right are not on the side of the working class. Apparently Conservatives have no issue for having the working class work for slave wages. $3 an hour? 40 cents an hour? You name it. Heck move all of our industry to third world countries so they* can* pay slave wages. The right is against minimum wage because it limits EXPLOITATION. their aim is to keep America, The Home of The Exploited. Let’s start a movement, that all public officials forfeit all salaries, bonuses, royalties, campaign contributions and donate them to Social Security. in my opinion, all public officials should work for the public for free.
[/quote]The left and its conservative allies are for minimum wage *because *it exploits the poor. Either that or they’re just stupid. They lie to people like you to convince you that the exploitation is fair and necessary. Minimum wage does not limit exploitation. It increases it. The minimum wage *is *a tool of exploitation. The “right” that wants to end it (really the only ones who want to end it are people who actually believe in free markets not corporatism) wants to end the political and economic exploitation of the poor. This piece comes from the left sort of, OSB. I first saw it shared by Bleeding Heart Libertarians, left libertarians. RET tends to dislike this writer, but RET believes in free markets. It’s an odd combination for a a “right” “exploiter” like RET to go along with an article like this, dontcha think? Carefully consider what Richman wrote. Study some economics, supply and demand in particular. See if you can keep believing the lie.

Incidentally, i think it’s a great idea having public officials work for free. We wouldn’t have anyone “running” things. This is almost one of the best things that could happen to the United States right now.


#9

OSB, all you’ve done is make a claim that the right opposes minimum wage to exploit the poor. How so? Please support your claim with some kind of fact instead of appealing to emotion over a $3-per-hour wage. You haven’t actually argued against Richman’s claims, mine or RET’s. Richman explained clearly how the minimum wage exploits the poor. You haven’t explained how a free market exploits the poor.


#10

If the minimum wage is so helpful in combating poverty and exploitation, why not just do it right and raise it to $20 per hour right now, OSB? Let’s all make what the lawyers make and pull down $100 per hour! End the exploitation of the poor and middle classes.


#11

Dog crap. It’s the left that is pricing American labor out of the world market and making it less productive as well. The term “labor union” has to a large degree become a lie, because it’s all about money and little about labor.


#12

[quote=“Rightwing_Nutjob, post:9, topic:38536”]
OSB, all you’ve done is make a claim that the right opposes minimum wage to exploit the poor. How so? Please support your claim with some kind of fact instead of appealing to emotion over a $3-per-hour wage. You haven’t actually argued against Richman’s claims, mine or RET’s. Richman explained clearly how the minimum wage exploits the poor. You haven’t explained how a free market exploits the poor.
[/quote] Standard Republican policy: Pay the lowest possible wages (with no benefits) to increase corporate profits (to pay excessive CEO salaries), while squeezing consumers as much as possible to maximize those profits, and lobbying congress for tax rates that disproportionately tax the poor and middle-class at a higher rate than the very wealthy are obligated to pay. Then cut public education so that only the wealthy have access to the best schools, keeping the rest of America “dumbed down”…just like the Southerners were doing in 1860 before the American Civil War. If anything but, the Republican party has been mostly anti-worker and pro-corporation for their entire existence (with the exception of Abe Lincoln, before he was assassinated just after the Civil War ended in 1865.)
After Republicans and Tea Partisans took control of the U.S. House in the 2010 elections, we heard that Republicans in the new Congress would focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs.” But that hasn’t been the case, unless the jobs in question were those of trans-vaginal ultrasound operators. Other than that, there was a lot of talk about abortions, birth control, cutting government jobs, cutting taxes for the rich, de-funding Planned Parenthood and busting up labor unions.
Republicans, like employers (those noble “job-creators” vexed by bureaucracy and regulation), don’t like or respect average American workers (or women) very much period. Just ask anybody in the South. In the South, white Republican politicians don’t like anyone else except for maybe other white Republican politicians.


#13

[quote=“OldStyleBlues, post:12, topic:38536”]
Standard Republican policy: Pay the lowest possible wages (with no benefits) to increase corporate profits (to pay excessive CEO salaries), while squeezing consumers as much as possible to maximize those profits, and lobbying congress for tax rates that disproportionately tax the poor and middle-class at a higher rate than the very wealthy are obligated to pay.
[/quote]I got a tax cut from President Bush. I’m poor. What you describe here is standard Democrat philosophy too. The fees and taxes I pay have increased under Democratic leadership. The incentives for economic development in my state come from a Democrat government. Republicans support the minimum wage. The only reason you’ll see an argument about Obama’s proposal is because Obama wants to do it.

[quote=“OldStyleBlues, post:12, topic:38536”]
Then cut public education so that only the wealthy have access to the best schools, keeping the rest of America “dumbed down”…just like the Southerners were doing in 1860 before the American Civil War. If anything but, the Republican party has been mostly anti-worker and pro-corporation for their entire existence (with the exception of Abe Lincoln, before he was assassinated just after the Civil War ended in 1865.)
[/quote]Minimum wage *is * anti-worker. You’re right. Anyone, including Republicans, who support it are anti-worker.

Republicans are cutting education? Not in my state. The federal government isn’t involved much, and it needs to be involved less. Republican politicians are pro-public education. They look at me funny when I say abolish it.

[quote=“OldStyleBlues, post:12, topic:38536”]
After Republicans and Tea Partisans took control of the U.S. House in the 2010 elections, we heard that Republicans in the new Congress would focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs.” But that hasn’t been the case, unless the jobs in question were those of trans-vaginal ultrasound operators. Other than that, there was a lot of talk about abortions, birth control, cutting government jobs, cutting taxes for the rich, de-funding Planned Parenthood and busting up labor unions.
Republicans, like employers (those noble “job-creators” vexed by bureaucracy and regulation), don’t like or respect average American workers (or women) very much period. Just ask anybody in the South. In the South, white Republican politicians don’t like anyone else except for maybe other white Republican politicians.
[/quote]Why are you talking about Republicans? I thought Democrats were all about helping the little guy out. Still waiting. The economy still sucks, and milk is getting expensive. You’re talking about one side of a Congress full of people who support minimum wage. Yes, they’re anti-worker. They’re anti-poor. Nothing you’ve said here addresses the minimum wage or supports your claims that it’s somehow helpful rather than harmful to the poor.


#14

[quote=“Rightwing_Nutjob, post:13, topic:38536”]
I got a tax cut from President Bush. I’m poor. What you describe here is standard Democrat philosophy too. The fees and taxes I pay have increased under Democratic leadership. The incentives for economic development in my state come from a Democrat government. Republicans support the minimum wage. The only reason you’ll see an argument about Obama’s proposal is because Obama wants to do it.

Minimum wage *is * anti-worker. You’re right. Anyone, including Republicans, who support it are anti-worker.

Republicans are cutting education? Not in my state. The federal government isn’t involved much, and it needs to be involved less. Republican politicians are pro-public education. They look at me funny when I say abolish it.

Why are you talking about Republicans? I thought Democrats were all about helping the little guy out. Still waiting. The economy still sucks, and milk is getting expensive. You’re talking about one side of a Congress full of people who support minimum wage. Yes, they’re anti-worker. They’re anti-poor. Nothing you’ve said here addresses the minimum wage or supports your claims that it’s somehow helpful rather than harmful to the poor.
[/quote] Everyone should have the opportunity to earn a decent wage. No American should be compelled to work at a rate that, assuming full-time labor, every weekday, all year long, amounts to the $10,712 that the current minimum wage provides. This is equally as true for a middle-class youth working to raise money for college as it is for a single mother supporting a family. The minimum wage is not just about helping the impoverished. It is about fairness, the value of work, and the opportunities that work provides. Furthermore, no employer should be allowed to unreasonably profit by exploiting the lack of negotiating power of low-wage workers. The free market fails to set a fair price when one side holds all the bargaining chips, this is why laws exist against monopolies. If only one supplier supplies a good, it can charge more than the good is worth because the purchaser is powerless to obtain it elsewhere. Low wage workers are in the opposite position of the monopolist. They lack the skills that command higher wages, but, because they need to work to survive, they cannot withhold their labor from the market. The monopolist can set the price at almost whatever level it wants, while the low-wage worker must take almost whatever is offered for his or her labor. Minimum wages exist for the same reason that laws against monopolies exist,they deal with situations in which the market fails to set fair prices.


#15

[quote=“OldStyleBlues, post:14, topic:38536”]
Everyone should have the opportunity to earn a decent wage. No American should be compelled to work at a rate that, assuming full-time labor, every weekday, all year long, amounts to the $10,712 that the current minimum wage provides. This is equally as true for a middle-class youth working to raise money for college as it is for a single mother supporting a family. The minimum wage is not just about helping the impoverished. It is about fairness, the value of work, and the opportunities that work provides. Furthermore, no employer should be allowed to unreasonably profit by exploiting the lack of negotiating power of low-wage workers. The free market fails to set a fair price when one side holds all the bargaining chips, this is why laws exist against monopolies.
[/quote]How is it fair when minimum wage harms the poor and limits their power? Creating a surplus of workers by artificially increasing the price of their labor gives the other side the bargaining chips.

If $9 is a just wage, why not make it more just and increase the minimum wage to $20 or $100?

Also, they are not compelled to work for anyone except under the constraints of a labor surplus created by minimum wage.

[quote=“OldStyleBlues, post:14, topic:38536”]
If only one supplier supplies a good, it can charge more than the good is worth because the purchaser is powerless to obtain it elsewhere. Low wage workers are in the opposite position of the monopolist. They lack the skills that command higher wages, but, because they need to work to survive, they cannot withhold their labor from the market. The monopolist can set the price at almost whatever level it wants, while the low-wage worker must take almost whatever is offered for his or her labor. Minimum wages exist for the same reason that laws against monopolies exist,they deal with situations in which the market fails to set fair prices.
[/quote]Demand for labor increases the price of labor. There is no reverse-monopoly in this situation, and the existence of minimum wage prevents them from withholding their labor from the market. They miss out on opportunities to gain skills and improve their value because of minimum wage. The minimum wage is a corporatist’s best friend, and it destroys their means of bargaining with potential employers. It disempowers the poor.


#16

And what makes you think $10,000 per year isn’t enough in a world untouched by minimum wage and other government interventions on behalf of alleged “fairness”?

You have your minimum wage, and funny enough, it hasn’t fixed the problem.

Washington and Oregon have minimum wage that scales with the CPI. They haven’t solved their problems either unless you think $15,000 per year is enough.


#17

[quote=“Rightwing_Nutjob, post:15, topic:38536”]
How is it fair when minimum wage harms the poor and limits their power? Creating a surplus of workers by artificially increasing the price of their labor gives the other side the bargaining chips.

If $9 is a just wage, why not make it more just and increase the minimum wage to $20 or $100?

Also, they are not compelled to work for anyone except under the constraints of a labor surplus created by minimum wage.

Demand for labor increases the price of labor. There is no reverse-monopoly in this situation, and the existence of minimum wage prevents them from withholding their labor from the market. They miss out on opportunities to gain skills and improve their value because of minimum wage. The minimum wage is a corporatist’s best friend, and it destroys their means of bargaining with potential employers. It disempowers the poor.
[/quote] Do you really think that if the minimum wage were somehow abolished that wages would go up? They would be driven down. The minimum wage has been an important part of the U.S. economy for 65 years. It is a statement of how the nation values work, it is a tangible measure of how Americans view employers’ obligation to their workers; it’s an equalizer in a low-wage labor market where workers have little bargaining power, and it is an effective policy that helps low and middle-income families with low-wage workers.


#18

[quote=“OldStyleBlues, post:17, topic:38536”]
Do you really think that if the minimum wage were somehow abolished that wages would go up? They would be driven down. The minimum wage has been an important part of the U.S. economy for 65 years. It is a statement of how the nation values work, it is a tangible measure of how Americans view employers’ obligation to their workers; it’s an equalizer in a low-wage labor market where workers have little bargaining power, and it is an effective policy that helps low and middle-income families with low-wage workers.
[/quote]I don’t know what they’ll do. You don’t either. It is not an effective policy. It is a policy that harms the poor and limits their options. It equalizes nothing. Workers today have little bargaining power because their option to walk away today is limited by the minimum wage.

It appears that you see minimum wage as a success. The highest minimum wages in the country produce an annual income of a little more than $15,000. Some $10,000 isn’t enough, but is this $15,000 enough for a poor family to survive? How effective do you think minimum wage has been in reducing poverty?

Why not set minimum wage at $20 or $100 and equalize everything?


#19

It’s tied in with the cost of living I believe. I also feel that people should strive to do whatever they need to do to rise above minimum wage jobs. Work hard. But at least a company can’t get away with paying a dollar an hour which is an un-liveable wage. I remember around Christmas time McDonalds was urging Franchises to stay open on Christmas but without any overtime, even though they were touting profits in the previous months. Ok so McDonald’s pays crap wages and people take the jobs but then they turn around and refuse to pay overtime for employees who volunteer to give up their holidays so that McDonald’s can make several million dollars. This is a prime example of exploitative corporate skumbaggery. If such a huge company is going to try to get something for nothing from their workers , what kinda shenannigans do you think they’d try n pull off if they didn’t have to pay their employees a minimum amount of money?


#20

[quote=“OldStyleBlues, post:19, topic:38536”]
It’s tied in with the cost of living I believe. I also feel that people should strive to do whatever they need to do to rise above minimum wage jobs. Work hard. But at least a company can’t get away with paying a dollar an hour which is an un-liveable wage. I remember around Christmas time McDonalds was urging Franchises to stay open on Christmas but without any overtime, even though they were touting profits in the previous months. Ok so McDonald’s pays crap wages and people take the jobs but then they turn around and refuse to pay overtime for employees who volunteer to give up their holidays so that McDonald’s can make several million dollars. This is a prime example of exploitative corporate skumbaggery. If such a huge company is going to try to get something for nothing from their workers , what kinda shenannigans do you think they’d try n pull off if they didn’t have to pay their employees a minimum amount of money?
[/quote]/shrug and sigh

Is there a reason not to increase the minimum wage to $10, $20 or $100? Let’s equalize it and stop all exploitation.