22 February 2013

Minimum Wage Follow Up: Exploitation

Also from yesterday's post:
I find supporters of the minimum wage selfish. Yes, selfish. Minimum wage proponents want to help low-wage workers but they aren't interested in doing it themselves. They're being generous with other people's money which isn't generosity at all. The employer paying someone $7 is at least giving him $7. Obama wants him to have $9. But what is Obama paying him? Nothing. Why is it the responsibility of the guy who's already paying him something to pitch in even more?

There are millions of people who want Mr. Low Productivity Worker to have $9, but they sure as shit don't want it to be their $9 he gets.

Not only do they want to shift the responsibility of getting Mr. LPW $9 away from themselves, they aren't even content to shift that responsibility onto society as a whole. No, they want to shift the responsibility onto the one entity who is already doing more to help Mr. LPW than anyone else.
I'm getting dizzy from the cognitive dissonance required to make sense of this. The best I can figure is that Mr LPW's employer should be responsible for providing the extra money because he is the one "exploiting" Mr LPW.

But surely Mr Obama wants Mr LPW to have a job, right? Obama is a politician, and I don't think I've heard a politician open their mouth since 2008 without hearing about how important — and imminent — "more jobs" are. So who's exploiting Mr LPW more: the guy who's paying him $7.50 an hour to do a job, or the guy who isn't paying him anything at all? Shouldn't we be going around to everyone in the country who's not employing people and excoriating them for exploiting workers by only offering to pay them the scandalously low wage of $0/hr?

Maybe the guy who owns the Auntie Anne's franchise is only paying his pretzel twister $7.50, but I'm not paying the pretzel guy anything at all! When should I be expecting the pitchfork-and-torch-wielding proletariat mob to come knocking on my door for exploiting the poor pretzel maker?

How is it that we're supposed to skip from "no job" — which everyone agrees is bad — to "good job" with no stops in between? What fairy dust is going to make this possible? Or is this one of those petulant things where if you can't have exactly what you want you'd rather have nothing?

That's what this is about, isn't it? It's better to have no job at all than one which doesn't pay what Mr Obama wants it to pay? I didn't think that would be the answer, because that opens up a whole bunch of doors which lead to very sticky wages and voluntary unemployment and so forth, and I didn't think Obama wanted me peaking down those corridors.


  1. The system of wages we're used to can't survive. As more and more things get automated, we're going to have to switch to some style of civilization where a "job" is no longer the norm.

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