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Jack Hunter: The Conservative War on Drug Prohibition



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I make minimum wage, and I got a pay CUT the last time it was...

...raised. I was making $6.55/hr plus tips. (I deliver pizzas.) When they raised minimum wage to $7.25/hr, my boss decided to drop our pay when we were "on the road" being that when we're on the road we're getting paid tips so he doesn't have to pay us minimum wage then. So now I get $5/hr while on a delivery and $7.25/hr only when I'm in the store.

The result? I make about 40 cents per hour LESS since they raised the minimum wage law.

Also, because of the overtime laws, I can't work more than 40 hours per week. My boss would rather pay someone else than to pay me time and a half for overtime... even though I said I would work for just regular time... he obviously can't do that because of the law.

I also lost 5 jobs over the last 7 years, and an entire career... all because of the government. I was in the mortgage industry and I ended up working for 4 different mortgage companies in my the last 3 years. All of them went out of business. Then I got my most favorite job ever... managing a pool hall (I play pool - alot)... and I lost that job because of the government as well. The billiard hall I worked for had 5 locations. The location in Auburn, AL had to close it's doors because they lost all their business because of the city government. The city of Auburn decided to make the city non-smoking... even in bars. All the customers left and started shooting pool in bars outside the city limits. They closed their doors, and the manager there came to Birmingham and took my place. (He had seniority.)

Needless to say, I don't like the government's intervention into the free market... AT ALL.

A man was walking in the

A man was walking in the forest, when he leaned upon a well.

He started to doze off, and was about to fall into the well, when the spirit of the well woke him up, beseeching him to awaken and continue on his way, as if he fell into the well, the people of the village would curse and blame the well.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Walter Williams - Minimum Wage Discriminatory Effect

Here's a recent Walter Williams column on the minimum wage:
http://www.creators.com/opinion/walter-williams/minimum-wage...

bump

for later

Jackson County Georgia

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
Thomas Jefferson

A good piece, but I'd like to

A good piece, but I'd like to see his evidence that the minimum wage completely fails.

I mean, minimum wage laws might not be the best, but the drug war fails on a much, much larger scale. The drug war fails at the state level, the federal level, it fails in Europe, in Africa, in the US, in Mexico, it fails everywhere.

State minimum-wage laws, minimum wage laws in other countries like in Britain; these have moderate success.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Well it fails in two ways: 1)

Well it fails in two ways: 1) It hampers job growth. If a business needs 10 employees to run smoothly but they can only afford 7 because of minimum wage laws, then that's 3 people who lost an opportunity. Let's not forget that those 7 employees will probably have to work harder (i.e. their schedules won't be as flexible for sick days and vacation days) to make up for the lost productivity. 2) It more than likely keeps those earning minimum wage from getting raises or better benefits. Why should an employer contract with their employees if all they have to do is follow a law that sets artificial wages?

I am not saying that it

I am not saying that it doesn't cause problems. It is just that comparatively, the drug wars are much worse.

97% of Americans make more than the minimum wage. Morever, federal minimum wage is equivalent to 16,000/year in pay. That pay is so low, that I really doubt it hampers much job growth. Someone willing to work for 10,000 or 13,000 a year is better off using his time to find a new job than lose his time making minimum wage.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

You seem to miss the point of the free market.

The free market door swings both ways. Government is not the answer. You said, "Someone willing to work for 10,000 or 13,000 a year is better off using his time to find a new job than lose his time making minimum wage." That's true. And when the employer finds that they are losing employees because they are seeking jobs that pay better, the employer will be forced to increase the wages payed and compete with other employers or go out of business due to the lack of qualified help. Again, government is not the answer, the free market is.

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I think you miss my

I think you miss my point.

Minimum wage is set to so low, that it isnt really hampering job growth. As you said, employees would have to increase minimum salaries anyways to retain their employees. Getting rid of minimum wage is going to do very little to lift us out of this depression.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Sorry, but your wrong, again. Respectfully...

Getting rid of minimum wage would do wonders to get us out of this depression. (That and a solid dollar) If a small business owner all of the sudden found that they could pay fair market wage to it's employees instead of being forced to pay what the government says to pay, then they would have capital they never had before to expand and re-invest in their business. Plus, the ripple effect would flow through the entire market. Prices would drop as wages drop. Businesses would flourish, expand, and build. As their profits go up so to would the environment in which they harvest their work force and there for, so would the wages of the employee. Simple free market principles at work here. Not rocket science.

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" If a small business owner

" If a small business owner all of the sudden found that they could pay fair market wage"

Minimum wage laws are not preventing businesses from paying "fair market wage" to over 97% of working Americans. 97% of Americans are making over the minimum wage.

If prices drop, they would have to drop more than wages drop to make a significant change.

I don't quite get the presumed link between profits and wages. If profits go down, why would workers suddenly demand less wages? If profits go up, why would companies suddenly want to pay more wages?

No, companies may hire/fire people based on profits, but by your logic it shouldn't affect wage levels.

Now if PRICES go up or down, then employees would demand more/less, because they would presumably need more/less.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Yup, I was worried about that.

Sailed right over your head, didn't it? Go back, read what I wrote, think outside of the Government planning box, and get back to me on that one. And NOWHERE did I say ANYTHING about employees demanding lower wages nor did I mention anything about profits affecting a companies desire to pay more. FAIR FREE MARKET. If one company makes the same product as another, then those two companies will compete for employees with the wages they pay thus, an increase in pay.

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Higher priority?

On principle (and in practice) minimum wage is both wrong and harmful. Anyone who understands free market economics should understand that.

But between the two, that being the "war on drugs" and minimum wage laws, certainly we can agree that the bigger problem is the war on drugs. Yes?

I hope that is obvious to everyone

The minimum wage is set so low that it is not even binding most of the time.

(not binding = the minimum wage is lower than the market value of the work).

Meanwhile we are spending an enormous sum of money locking up people in jail for non-violent "crimes"

minimum wage laws are bad

they only hurt the low skilled workers and rob from business owners. Complete anti-liberty laws

Considering only 3% of

Considering only 3% of Americans earn the minimum wage (and if you took out the retarded and the elderly, I am sure that number is much lower), I don't think it has that much of a prominent effect.

The assumption that anyone who is willing to work for less than 16,000/year is being taken advantage of isn't a perfect one, but there is some truth to it. After all, most of the unemployed aren't looking for work at Mcdonalds; they are looking for higher-earning jobs.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

You mentioned the 3% of workers who are paid the minimum wage

But an arguably more important consideration is the nearly 20% of workers who are unemployed. Money that could go to hire many of them is spent on higher labor costs created by the minimum wage. Pay people what both parties agree to, not what someone else says.

This is also an issue for teenagers who are finding it difficult to land part-time jobs anymore.

Yes, but all studies show

Yes, but all studies show that the unemployed can't find work that is high-paying (what they used to be paid); there are plenty of jobs at Walmart and McDonalds that pay minimum wage; the people who are unemployed are white-collar workers who made significantly more than minimum wage, and will need to return to that level of income to pull us out of the depression.

Like I said, there is some consideration for teenagers, some extremeley low-skilled workers who may have to settle for less than minimum wage. But only 3% of workers are paid the minimum wage, and jobs offering minimum wage are plentiful. I can't belive that wages are that inflated by the minimum wage.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

If there's no minimum wage

An employer could create several low end jobs that would otherwise not exist. These jobs would be available for those who may not be skilled enough to warrant current minimum wage wages so it would help them, help the employer and help the customers who now receive more service. That said these jobs are not necessarily only for elderly, mentally challenged or low skill workers but could also be available for those with steady jobs who want to make a little extra on the side doing something simple. Or for stay at home parents who have a little extra time during the week they could devote to a job that doesn't commit them to 40 hour work week or demand all their time away from home.

Hiring a new employee today is such a beuracratic, legal and financial mess that employers limit hiring only to absolute necessity if at all when they could just say "hey, here's 5 bucks could you do this for me, thanks, come back next week i might have more for you to do."

Instead of everyone living off of welfare and unemployment checks waiting for their dream job land in their laps or for someone to look at their job application they could be out doing several odd jobs and making much more money than they would sitting around.

"An employer could create

"An employer could create several low end jobs that would otherwise not exist. These jobs would be available for those who may not be skilled enough to warrant current minimum wage wages so it would help them, help the employer and help the customers who now receive more service"

I am not saying that this isn't true, but people who are currently unemployed largely do not fit that category of being unskilled.

The two largest groups that do take minimum wage jobs are the retarded and the elderly. A minimum wage actually protects the retarded, since they cannot exactly negotiate for themselves (especially the mentally challenged ones), and minimum wage laws for the elderly ensure that they aren't accepting lower wages to get higher welfare benefits.

"Hiring a new employee today is such a beuracratic, legal and financial mess that employers limit hiring only to absolute necessity if at all when they could just say 'hey, here's 5 bucks could you do this for me, thanks, come back next week i might have more for you to do.'"

I agree that a lot of the bureaucratic restraints on company have overextended, but I think going in the opposite direction with no restraints is just as silly. A lot of restrains are really "fraud" restraints.

In this country, we used to have a "here's 5 bucks, could you do this for me" type attitude, and companies just ended up cheating and frauding their employees.

Look at Hispanic/illegal immigrants. A lot of them get paid with the "here's 5 bucks, could you do this for me type attitude", and look at their conditions. Because while they might get paid, there is little protecting them from other kinds of abuses.

Look at a country like China, with very few regulations of any kind, and look at how workers there suffer. Look at a Westernized nation like New Zealand; one of the most business-friendly environments in the world, and you end up with situations like the leaky home crisis.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

'Retarded' and the elderly?

Whew! I am not even touching that, but are you saying that young people including high schoolers in summer jobs do not comprise any portion of those making minimum wage at entry level or menial jobs? I once worked literally sweeping the sidewalk for a high end furniture store and was quite happy with minimum wage. I was glad to be 'abused' for a couple dollars an hour just to get in the work force. Within a year I had moved into sales and was offered my own store to manage.
Didn't take it because I was only working there to support myself while entering the music biz where I was working for no compensation whatsoever which is standard for many musicians starting out.
Anyway, simple point is this. Minimum wage raises unemployment. That is why they never raise it alot at one time. The pols know that if they raise it too much there would be outrage as folks figured out the scam. It's also why you will ALWAYS see the unions joined at the hip with the pols in support of raising it, but that is a whole issue in itself and this post is too long already.
As for the illegal immigrants...yeah, little protection, and because they are here illegally I really don't care.

"Whew! I am not even touching

"Whew! I am not even touching that, but are you saying that young people including high schoolers in summer jobs do not comprise any portion of those making minimum wage at entry level or menial jobs"

Don't put words in my mouth. I never said that there weren't anyone besides the elderly/retarded.

However, the workers you mentioned comprise an extremeley small part of the workforce. Statistically insignificant.

You miss the poiont of what I have been saying. Like, for example, when it comes to illegal immigrants, where this is little regulation and little bureaucracy in hiring and wages, look at their lot. Look at how poorly they are treated. I am saying, if we extended that same treatment towards everyone, we'd all be in similar squalor. Yet what you take from that example is that it is OK to treat illegal immigrants badly because they are illegal. That isn't my point; it was an example of how purported "free market, regulation-free" employment can work.

BTW, they've raised the mimium wage 3 times in 20 years? And "real" minimum wage has been in a decline for years.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Impeccable!

Can't argue with a word.

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a rEVOLution before tomorrow morning." - Henry Ford

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