Soaking in Tokyo
Pass the Blood

Helping the Poor?

John Wixted so wants to support a minimum wage (via Instapundit). Do read the comments especially the ones by La Mano, an employer.

A couple of posts of mine on this topic:

1. Is the minimum wage good?

2. Exploiting the poor. I highly recommend this one:

One of my uncles was the manager of a factory in Karachi, Pakistan. On a few occasions, my mother told him to take me there, so that she could have some peace of mind at home. I was 10 at the time.

My uncle took me to the factory, left me with the workers on the ground floor and went to his office. I was fascinated with the workings of the machinery. Various ingredients were mixed in a sealed-off room, then the end result was put in countless tiny cartons with a capacity of 250ml each. Then, the small cartons moved along a metal line of narrow width. Soon, they went into a chamber which miraculously attached straws to the cartons. Sometimes, the chamber missed a few packs. It was my "job" to pick up these neglected cartons and move them back.

The workers were amused by my presence. One of them was a young teenager. He worked side by side with his dad.

"Why do you work here?" I asked.

Here's what I said in the comments there: "If it were possible to legislate higher wages, then we'd have solved the problem of poverty."


Josh Scholar

Don't so impressed with people throwing around simplistic principles as if the economy were a machine that can be optimized by turning every possible knob as far as possible to an extreme.

It isn't. Of course it IS possible to spend a higher proportion of profits on workers, and some cases doing so is an insignificant cost to a business, while being quite significant to a poorly paid employee.

There are both ethical and structural problems to the way the global economy is working, and we need more intelligent analysis than knee jerk reactions that always pull to the right or always pull to the left.

David Boxenhorn

I'm sorry, Josh, but your fact-free assertions are the knee-jerk reactions. Isaac is the one explaining himself here, not you.

However, there is one area where businesses do have an unfair advantage over most employees, that could result in exploitation: Businesses usually hire many people, while employees only work for one employer. Therefore, the employer is likely to understand the market much better than the employee. That is something the government might work to address - making the free market freer.

Josh Scholar

I'm sorry, Josh, but your fact-free assertions are the knee-jerk reactions. Isaac is the one explaining himself here, not you.

As I said before, anyone can just site a principle with the simplistic assumption that it's the only one that applies. I do get tired of the right's economy-nerd assumptions that the economy can be explained and perfected with only one or two principles.

David Boxenhorn

Instead of telling us how tired you are, Josh, perhaps a better way of winning minds would be to demonstrate where Isaac's claims are wrong.

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