The value of the five quarters is more than the value of the metal content. This was to prevent the coin from being melted back into bullion and it gave the minter, usually a government, revenue based on the difference.
One of the wonderful things about the minimum wage is it fixes prices via government fiat rather than the market.
When government does that it distorts the labor market. If a government subsidizes something, it gets more of it. When it taxes something, shortages develop.
Right now, $26 is over 3.5X the current minimum wage. At the current price of $7.25/hr around 7% of the work force is not working. Employers are refusing to buy workers who want to work for $7.25/hour. The work that needs to be done at that price or below, is not being done, or done here. If you went to a movie theater and they demanded $26 to put you in a seat to watch a movie when you are used to paying $7.25 for a couple hours of entertainment and twenty minutes of advertising, you would be pickier about what movies you were going to go to the theater to see.
It is the same with wages. At $26 per hour, unemployment would explode. The movie theater and local fast food restaurant would close.
Government cannot set prices. It can't for labor and it can't for money by setting interest rates. It is called moral hazard. The market, that is, consumers set prices. In a free market, the customer is king.
[F]orce can only settle questions of power, not of right. - Clyde N. Wilson
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