27 votes

Should Minimum Wage Be A Crime?

Politicians love to get votes by claiming they help people by raising the minimum wage. They claim that raising the minimum wage is good so people can have a livable wage.

Anyone who has put some thought to the subject can see how criminal this concept is.

Wages are determined by ones productivity. If the minimum wage is $7.50 per hour, people who are low skilled and whose productivity is worth $0.01 to $7.49 per hour are not able to work by law. It has become illegal for young people, handicapped or low skilled people to work.

The fast food workers are demanding $15.00 per hour minimum wage. If they get their way, they will protest themselves out of a job. Anyone whose productivity is between $0.01 to $14.99 per hour will not be able to work by law. This will be in every job market that pays a wage under $15.00 per hour.

If you pass laws forcing low skilled workers and young people out of work, people are most likely going to try to make money in illegal ways. This increases crime and creates a revolving door for people into prisons.

Another note on the subject is when young people work for low wages, the learn skills that they can use in the future. The best time to learn how to change oil or a tire on a car at a gas station is when people are young and not needing the low wage to support themselves or a family.

The big question:
Should the politicians responsible for passing minimum wage laws be criminally liable for destroying peoples lives?

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I agree with your analysis of

I agree with your analysis of The Federal Reserve, FRB and fiat currency as the root of all problems.

However, I still don't agree to the tariff on foreign trade part.

Didn't America start with the exact system that you described - limited Constitutional government funded by foreign trade tariffs? Why then has it grown to become this massive socialist experiment with blind consumption based economy. Do you think that going back to the same setup, will prevent/restrict future expansion of the state.

All states grow itself, said Rothbard and I agree with him completely.

Free trade and open borders work across states because we are all citizens of the same country with the same political and property rights. We have the same laws that we follow. I can move to Arizona or Idaho and have the same rights as the people there because I am an American citizen just like they are. I can buy property and open a business there and vote. I speak the same language and share the same culture. I can compete on a playing field where I know the rules and must obey the same laws.
Language and culture may not always define a nation's borders. For example, India has like 20 major languages and 100s of minor languages. The customs and traditions vary from state to state and even within a state. Yet free-trade and right to property is allowed for citizens all over the country.

From what I infer, you seem to unconsciously root for Centralization of power i.e. support the Federal Government and Federal level rights. Please note that it is entirely possible for each state have their own set of rights and even culture (think pre-civil war) and have their own policy on taxes, including inter-state trade. In extension of your theory, even Globalization and one world government can be justified, if that one world government can give you right to vote on international affairs and right to own property anywhere in the world. Would you support NWO, then?

Will you not support an American state to assert its own rights? Some states might allow gay marriage and some may not. Same with drug laws and even gun control. And also same with taxes on trade outside its borders. Please note that de-centralization of government is the road for greater liberty.

What happens if Washington adds more tax on food grown in Oregan or California (where there is more sun and so more production), in-order to encourage more local farmers and artificially support them. Would you support that in the name of labor wage protection?

Didn't America start with the

Didn't America start with the exact system that you described - limited Constitutional government funded by foreign trade tariffs? Why then has it grown to become this massive socialist experiment with blind consumption based economy. Do you think that going back to the same setup, will prevent/restrict future expansion of the state.

Limited constitutional government funded by tariffs is what made us a rich and free nation. When we adopted the free trade policies of the British Empire and the income tax, that's when the massive socialist experiment began. It was progressives like Woodrow Wilson, FDR, LBJ, and Clinton who scaled back tariffs and who pushed free trade on us. Wilson also gave us the Federal Reserve, the income tax, conscription, world war, imprisonment of war dissenters, press restrictions, etc.

The people who want the centralization of power are the ones who hate tariffs. The world government folks want free trade, open borders and mass immigration into the USA.

States should be the ones who determine if gay marriage is legal, or universal health care, drug legalization, etc. The federal government shouldn't have anything to do with any of that if we follow the Constitution. We have the right to bear arms under the Constitution so that is not a state matter. Neither are tariffs or taxes on trade outside a state's borders.

Washington cannot tax food grown in Oregon or California differently than in other state. That would violate the Constitution.

"I ain't the dying type."

Reader, writer, soldier.

The people who want the

The people who want the centralization of power are the ones who hate tariffs. The world government folks want free trade, open borders and mass immigration into the USA.
Washington cannot tax food grown in Oregon or California differently than in other state. That would violate the Constitution.
Do you see the irony in your statments? A nation is just a bigger geographical entity than the constituting states. If two nations can impose tariffs upon trade between each other, then states can do that too. If you're a strict constitutionalist, then you believe in what you're saying. But a libertarian will never support such double-standards in taxation and tariff.
The libertarian philosophy is consistent irrespective of the size of the entities interacting. What is good for commerce between 2 villages is good for two states and is good for two countries too. Laws of economics don't care that if trading individuals are fellow villagers or foreign persons. Any regulation whether tax or tariff or subsidy will only skew the economic well-being of both the individuals.

States should be the ones who determine if gay marriage is legal, or universal health care, drug legalization, etc. The federal government shouldn't have anything to do with any of that if we follow the Constitution. We have the right to bear arms under the Constitution so that is not a state matter. Neither are tariffs or taxes on trade outside a state's borders.
I don't subscribe to that idea at all. I think that even if CA allowed gay marriage, some random town in CA should be able to ban gay marriage or any similar law that is considered state rights. If you believe constitution can restrict the states from doing something, then yeah international treaties can trump the constitution because it comes from a bigger entity than the nation. If instead you think international treaties is against the sovereignty of USA, then the constitution is against the sovereignty of the states and the state constitution is against the sovereignty of the towns and villages.
I mentioned the same at - http://www.dailypaul.com/304093/doj-argues-international-tre...
Sorry, but constitutionalism was a great step towards liberty in the late 18th century. But it is not 100% consistent with liberty. Some methods for centralization were allowed in the constitution and that allowed the Federal Govt. to grow this big now.

Lastly, let us forget the political concepts of nation, states or the constitution and just take the economics aspects of what a tariff would do
From Hazlitt's 'Economics in One Lesson: The shortest and surest way to understand basic economics' 'Chapter XI: Whos "protected" by Tariffs?' concluding paragraphs -

"As a postscript to this chapter I should add that its argument is not directed against all tariffs, including duties collected mainly for revenue, or to keep alive industries needed for war; nor is it directed against all arguments for tariffs. It is merely directed against the fallacy that a tariff on net balance "provides employment", "raises wages", or "protects the American standard of living." It does none of these things; and so far as wages and the standard of living are concerned, it does the precise opposite. But an examination of duties imposed for other purposes would carry us beyond our present subject.
Nor need we here examine the effect of import quotas, exchange controls, bilateralism and other means of reducing, diverting or preventing international trade. Such devices have, in general, the same effects as high or prohibitive tariffs, and often worse effects. They present more complicated issues, but their net results can be traced through the same kinds of reasoning that we have just applied to tariff barriers."

Also think of this, if the USD was not debt-based money and people were restricted to borrow from their children and unborn progeny, would free un-restricted trade with China have occured, as it is now. No if Americans had to import goods with real wealth (savings), then this current consumption fetish would've never occured. Industries would've stayed within US to create that wealth (savings) in the first place to import anything. So instead of directing your energy against political talking points such as tariffs and protectionism, it would be prudent to direct it against the root issue of debt-based money and consumption fetish.

Wages are not determined by productivity

American productivity has been rising since the 1970s, but wages have remained flat.

Increased productivity increases profits, but wages are determined by supply and demand. When the labor market is tight and employers are competing for workers, wages rise. This is the case whether it's wages for computer programmers or strawberry pickers.

Where labor is plentiful, wages are low. That is why labor is cheap in India and China and why corporatists seeking to increase profits for shareholders are eager to move operations to Asia.

For much of our history, America was under-populated while resources and land was abundant. Labor was scarce and land was plentiful so wages and living standards were higher than in the rest of the world. It was hard to find cheap labor because Americans would sooner strike out on their own with a horse, rifle and axe and hack out their own living on the land rather than work for someone else.

The rich got around this problem by importing slaves from Africa. Slaves aren't paid wages and they aren't allowed to quit if they can find a better job somewhere else. Plantation owners paid off their foreign creditors and enriched themselves by exporting commodities produced by slaves who worked under the whip.

With the end of slavery, the rich got around the high cost of American labor through the mass importation of impoverished labor from Southern and Eastern Europe. The robber barons sent ships over there and the poor paid their passage by going into debt to them.

Today, the financial class keeps the cost of American labor down through an immigration policy that allows the legal importation of more than one million immigrants every year; through lax enforcement of the law in regard to illegal immigration; through the H1-B visa and other modern bonded-labor programs; and through free trade agreements with countries where there are a lot of desperate and hungry human beings.

Politicians allow mass immigration and sign new free trade agreements knowing full well that they are depressing American wages for the financial benefit of corporate shareholders who are earning passive incomes. The politicians appease American labor advocates by throwing them the bone of a minimum wage increase, knowing full well that Americans can't raise a family on minimum wage. They also know full well that the stated Federal Reserve policy of 2 percent inflation a year will quickly negate any wage gains made by all the sorry saps working for minimum wage, not to mention the rest of us.

The goal of the internationalist financial elite is the end of American sovereignty and the merger of the American people into the global proletariat. The international elites are working toward the goal of a globalized world where the high American standard of living falls to the global mean. We are to be ruled by international elites who can print debt-based currency out of thin air and move it around the world without the hindrance of nation-states so that their funny money can get the greatest return where labor and human life is cheapest.

"I ain't the dying type."

Reader, writer, soldier.

Here is the Rothbard classic

Here is the Rothbard classic on minimum wage - https://mises.org/daily/6367/Outlawing-Jobs-The-Minimum-Wage

"Once in a while, AFL-CIO economists and other knowledgeable liberals will drop their mask of economic fallacy and candidly admit that their actions will cause unemployment; they then proceed to justify themselves by claiming that it is more "dignified" for a worker to be on welfare than to work at a low wage. This of course, is the doctrine of many people on welfare themselves. It is truly a strange concept of "dignity" that has been fostered by the interlocking minimum wage-welfare system.

Unfortunately, this system does not give those numerous workers who still prefer to be producers rather than parasites the privilege of making their own free choice."

Minimum wage is just a price control

It has the same results as all price controls.

That said, the reason why some economists can occasionally find data that shows in some specific cross section or particular sector that minimum wage doesn't seem to cause unemployment is because those are areas where other government policy has allowed cartel profits to be made.

For just one example using Walmart. (which I do not have an irrational hatred for, but they are monopolists like every other large firm)

One thing Walmart does is use zoning and building code laws. Due to the cash they have the can buy favorable zoning from local governments, and will always prefer to buy it from a local government that will stay bought and keep competition away. Now they can't do this against other well heeled competitors and this is why they still need low prices.

This is a rule with all laws supposed to 'protect the people' they always protect capital from competition. The function of all governments is to protect capital from the free market.

So Walmart does tend to put local 'mom and pop' stores out of business. But only a small part of that is fair competition. They use government.

Now the fact that they have less competition isn't primarily a problem because we lose the 'mom and pop' stores. It's a problem because that means less demand for labor.

So they can have lower wages than they would be in a free market.

In this situation the worker is being exploited, but it's not by the market, it's by government force, as it always is.

So in this sort of situation you could establish a minimum wage and not cause unemployment, so long as you don't raise it so much that it becomes cheaper to automate or otherwise substitute.

So generally price controls can not cause immediate harm if and only if some other government market intervention policy has allowed for cartel or monopoly profits.

This is still not an argument for price controls. Using force to fix problems caused by use of force just makes the social problem harder to undo.

Thanks.

Minimum wage law is price flooring to be exact
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_floor

"A price floor set above the market equilibrium price has several side-effects. Consumers find they must now pay a higher price for the same product. As a result, they reduce their purchases or drop out of the market entirely. Meanwhile, suppliers find they are guaranteed a new, higher price than they were charging before. As a result, they increase production."

"A historical (and current) example of a price floor are minimum wage laws; in this case, employees are the suppliers of labor and the company is the consumer."

History Shows That There Was More Evenly Balanced Prosperity,

Under the old Gold/Silver/Copper standard set by the founders:

http://www.constitution.org/uslaw/coinage1792.txt

beesting

not sure why you draw that conclusion

History shows? Here's the reality - people are paid more at lower jobs when there is more competition, because there are more producers at higher jobs that need their labor.

We have far fewer banks, car manufacturers, etc., today than we did 100 years ago. That's far fewer CEOs and jobs at the highest level. So, the demand for those is high, and companies bid up those wages.

Because there are only 3 car manufacturers and not 40 like in the early 19th century, there are fewer companies competing for a line laborer. Companies don't have to bid up those wages.

And when govt sets the floor, all they do is tell companies to stop hiring.

Balanced prosperity comes from free competition. Not a money standard.

From Personal Observations And Talking To Old Timers.

My own Dad, fresh out of the U.S. Army in about 1946 made about $40.00 per week take home pay, with less than a high school education. He supported my Mom, 3 small kids, and was able to make $40.00 monthly house payments, and pay the bills.

My Grandfather, a Scottish immigrant who was a printers apprentice, studied Real Estate, and by todays standards became quite wealthy, around this same time.

I have a quote from memory by former Presidential candidate Pat Bucanan;

"From after the American Civil war to about 1971, the USA out produced the entire British empire, and became the largest holder of GOLD {real money} in the world, by settling international trade in Gold. Which contributed to the highest median standard of living in the world."

There are many more examples such as the millions of foreign born people coming to the USA searching for a better life.

beesting

true

No doubt, people 100 years ago had a higher wage base. No doubt $40 / week in the 46s did well.
No doubt a high school education didn't both educate more, prepare more for the requirements of those jobs, and cost less.
None of that has to do thought with the price of labor today.
The price of labor is just that. I think you're hitting some secondary issues.
The primary issue is the supply and demand of labor are off, because we are in a fascist society, far less market driven.
Secondary issues are that people seek more education, people pay more, people rely on govt loans to do that, people can't afford / don't have kids, etc, etc, etc.
Address the proximate cause which is fascism.

I Agree With You, Taz.

But, at one time sweat shops were common in the USA, also.
I don't agree with unionism, but it did help partially eliminate sweat shops.

I have been an employer, and I always paid the employees what I thought they had earned, after working out an agreement before the work started.

$15.00 minimum wage would simply raise the costs associated with a business higher, which in turn would hurt the business to the point of closing the doors.

beesting

Shhh, listen.

It's the sound of violins playing while the Titanic sinks.

There are countless crimes being committed that are so much more destructive to this country and its people than the minimum wage.

sure there is, if yo udon't understand economics

Why is it people want govt to fix everything, give them everything, and take care of them?

BECAUSE IT IS ILLEGAL FOR THEM TO WORK and don't learn the meaning of work.

You're suggesting it's not a crime the govt outlaws people from working to feed themselves and that isn't a prime cause of where we are today... you need an econ 101 course. Feeding oneself is probably the single largest motivating factor. You shouldn't dismiss is out of hand so quickly.

What about teenagers?

First, I agree that the minimum wage should be a crime, but the government has its tentacles so deep into our lives that I find it difficult to decide which tentacle to pull out first. It seems that quite a few of them would be easier and more effective than the minimum wage.

If you take society as it is today, teenagers do not need to work for food. Their parents feed them and provide all of their basic needs. They need to work for the experience and skills, and to pay for their car, extra clothes, recreational activities, etc. It's all discretionary spending with teenagers. When the minimum wage was around $3/hr, I was making $2.64 at A&W.

Adults living on their own can't pay their bills with minimum wage. Sure, they could get a roommate or move in with a significant other, and then assuming that both are working at least full time, they could if they're careful, depending on geography.

My husband used to work for a boss that said that she'd pay her entry-level employees $5/hr if she could get away with it. That is not to say she'd hire more employees or that she couldn't afford minimum wage, just that she would pay them less. I, with my lack of understanding of economics, can't make that make sense.

Understood, But.....

How would you feel if the government told you that by law, you are so unskilled that you are not allowed to work? Destroying peoples pursuit of happiness is a crime in my book.

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There is no such thing as that unskilled.

People who are so unskilled that no one will hire them can always volunteer, work for free, get some skills and references, and then go apply for a job they are qualified for. People actually do this a lot.

It looks like there is no exchange in this scenario, but there certainly is exchange. What business owner wants to pay someone with no skills at all? I am under the impression that the bottom line is the single most important aspect of a business and that greed is a virtue. With the economy in its current condition, business owners and hiring managers have an abundance of over-skilled applicants willing to work a number of part-time jobs for minimum wage if necessary, because they have bills to pay. And the jobs are no joke. People don't get to slack at work anymore.

Minimum wage does not pay the bills. It doesn't serve its purpose. Gaining skills to be competitive in the employment marketplace by volunteering is way better than sitting at home, smoking a bowl, and complaining about the job market.

The government is way too involved in our lives, but the reality is that the minimum wage is not going away no matter how much of a crime it is or how much we disagree with it, not until the dollar collapses anyway. It violates our pursuit of happiness in everything it does. We have to work around it until we don't have to work around it. We do not have a choice if we want to take care of ourselves. If a person is worthless as a potential employee, he needs to fix that himself and not wait for the minimum wage to be eliminated.

you minimize it

Minimum wage jobs are not a pursuit of happiness. They are a pursuit of food by someone trying to meet the minimum amount to survive. They are a first step into learning job skills for teens, job skills when not learned lead to life long leaches on society.

You Don't Understand Pursuit Of Happiness

Happiness is the end result that I am pursuing. In that pursuit, I may have to work for little or nothing to learn skills to accomplish my happiness. Government is blocking peoples pursuit of happiness by blocking people from working and learning skills. Teenagers dont need $7.50 per hour. They dont support themselves.

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There are plenty of ignorant people out there.

But I will say that JUST LIKE Obamacare, programs like the minimum wage are purposely designed and implemented to DESTROY the economy.

IF you analyze it for 5 minutes using commonsense (which is what Austrian Economic thought is), you will understand a few things:

1) Min Wage laws cause massive unemployment
2) Min Wage laws destroy businesses (forcing many to close their doors), causing production to decrease or doors to shut.
3) Cause prices of goods and services to rise (making everybody poorer)
4) Min Wage laws result in poorer quality of service.
5) Min Wage laws cause a recession in the general economy.

Is this hard for people to understand? I don't think so. THEREFORE, these programs are intentionally promoted to DESTROY the middle class and cause economic misery to millions of people.

W/o explaining the commonsense, I submit these questions which correlate to the statements above:
1) How do you think unemployment is caused if you FORCE a business to pay more money to workers for the same job duty?
2) If businesses are FORCED to pay more for the same quantity of work, but they can't afford to to pay it, what happens besides laying people off? They have to produce less or shut their doors.
3) If the business pays more money, where does the extra money come from?
4) You can envision scenarios where the boss says, "I can't afford 4 of you, so 3 of you will have to get the same job done." You can see how that may result in hurried service (lower quality of service). Also, which is more productive, an "entitled" workforce, or people who have "earned it"?
5) The extra unnecessary money required to pay the higher wages, where'd it come from? Either the consumers or the business. In which case, what else would that money have been spent on?? That money is in the hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars that WOULD HAVE BEEN spent on X, Y, and Z, or put into savings.

All the above show conclusive evidence why anybody who supports Min Wage laws does it with the intent to ABSOLUTELY DESTROY the middle class and the general economy. It's quite evil actually. Esp if you're a politician, one can hardly claim ignorance considering it's very easy to understand the underlying cause and effect.

"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

I disagree. I sum it up with

I disagree. I sum it up with the old saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

I agree with you.

But what do you disagree with?

"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

Ah, yes... I disagree that

Ah, yes... I disagree that "programs like the minimum wage are purposely designed and implemented to DESTROY the economy."

These misguided programs are enacted to gain votes for politicians. Quid pro quo. They "give" what can only be given by forcing others to provide. Theft via taxation is carried out for mutual self-interest. Corrupt politicians serving self-interested voters. It's a circle of destructive impulses, to be sure, but the impulse is natural. People want something for nothing, which violates everyone in the end.

spoke to

a person today heavily involved in political campaigns, at some fairly national levels.

they understand the candidates say one thing and believe another. they understand candidates believe one thing and do another.

i think many understand what they is in their own interest.

i speak to many lower and middle class people who benefit from govt programs.

your point suggests that well paid, smart people, don't understand the impact of their programs. they are 'good intentioned.'

i speak to far more who understand the benefits they get cost others. they are often not openly truthful about it, but when drilled they know. they know how the world works.

there may be a few % of the world that is openly neive for all time.

don't believe that 90+% don't understand common sense.

especially when they tell you in media quotes, over, and over, and over again.

name ONE politician who is just good intentioned, and doesn't play the game and I hope 20 people respond to each of your suggestions with dozens of YouTube videos of how evil they as individuals really are.

Imagine... If you make

Imagine...

If you make $10.00/hr, and the minimum wage is $8.00/hr, and the government raises the minimum wage to $10.00/hr, and your wage doesn't rise, the government just cheated you out of $2.00/hr.

no...

The government just fired your co-workers who make $8 / hour, and put their responsibilities on you, and the employer now has to keep your wages low b/c production is demolished.

You assume an employer will pay someone $10 who is only worth $8. They are more likely to fire the $8 worker. Or shut down.

It will soon be cheaper for

It will soon be cheaper for robots and kiosks to replace workers thanks to insane minimum wage laws, lawsuits against employers, health care burdens and other regulatory madness that makes employing people noncompetitive.

Absolutely.

Can't upvote enough.

1931

Looking up the origin of the minimum wage law, within the Davis-Bacon act, would do more to forward the message on how this law is destructive of employment opportunity in America.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/10/walter-e-williams/governm...

What is libertarianism?

There is no need for debate on whether the law achieves good or bad results. Libertarianism is a moral principle.

Since the minimum wage law violates the non-aggression principle, then those who enforce the law and those who threaten people with the law, and any who aid and abet the enforcers are all criminals.

The minimum wage law is two peaceful people making a deal and a third party comes in and threatens violence against them.