Sat, 14 May 2016

Minimum Wage, Maximum Rant

It's absurd to say that a minimum wage doesn't cause unemployment. ABSURD. Do you, does anyone, buy the same amount of something when the price goes up? Oh, maybe you ignore a price increase of a percent or two. What do you do when the price doubles? When it goes from $7.25 to $15? For damn sure you are going to buy less of it.

OR you'll find some other way to deal with it. Maybe you'll fire that black person, and hire a white person (because you're a racist who thinks that way). Maybe you'll simply reduce workplace amenities, like a frequently-cleaned bathroom? Maybe you'll replace the low-productivity workers with the higher-productivity workers who have re-entered the workforce to get the higher pay? Maybe you'll just charge your customers more? Of course, if your customers are all minimum-wage earners, they're kinda screwed, but that's not YOUR fault as the employer, is it?

Or maybe you'll replace workers by machines, now that the machines are relatively less expensive. Oh, wait, you already did that. Look at the McDonald's machine that fills the french-fry baskets automatically. Look at the McDonald's soda dispensing machine. Those jobs used to be done by people.

See? It's pointless you present you with all this information, because you will reject it. You already know that the minimum wage CANNOT cause unemployment because the unemployment is so small that it gets lost in the churn of jobs. The unemployment is detectable because of secondary effects, though. Look at teen black unemployment: 2X that of whites. Look at teen Aboriginal unemployment: 3X that of whites (official government statistics).

Let me ask you: how many drops of pee do I need to put into a cup of water before you will refuse to drink it? If I put one drop in, and mixed it, do you think you could detect that drop (I'll tell you before you go looking because this is what I do all day: no, you cannot)? Does the water become drinkable simply because you cannot detect the pee in it?

How many people need to become permanently unemployable simply because you cannot detect the unemployment? Just as you wouldn't drink the cup of water with a single drop, I refuse to tolerate a minimum wage because of just one person who cannot find a job because of the minimum wage.

I'm sure you're a nice guy Jon, you mean well, you have the best of intentions. But the people who created the minimum wage did so to reduce black employment. This would reduce the resources available to blacks to reproduce, and would help to purify the white race.

No, seriously.

So what has changed since then? Has the minimum wage turned around from a way to hurt black people to a way to help all workers (including blacks)? How, exactly, did this happen? Any explanation at all?

Citations on request, I don't need to bother to look up things you aren't going to read because you know they're wrong even though they've been peer-reviewed or are official government statistics.

Go ask any economist what would happen if the minimum wage was raised to $100/hour. Every one of them will tell you that it would be a disaster and would cause massive unemployment. So why does a $15/hour minimum wage not cause a minimal amount of unemployment? What changes? Is there some quantum effect which nobody has discovered yet even after 80 years of a minimum wage?

I will tell you what happens: the unemployment is small enough to be undetectable. That is because the minimum wage is not a market phenomenon. It is something that is created by people who do not wish to be blamed for creating unemployment. They will refuse to set a minimum wage that they think will cause unemployment. I happen to think that they're wrong about a $15, but just as people in crowds can do crazy things, so can politicians in crowds do crazy things.

We'll see. The trouble is that you won't learn. You didn't learn when Haiti got accidentally included in a US federal minimum wage back in the 1930's. It doubled the wages there, and destroyed the lace industry. Have you bought any Haitian lace lately? No, you have not. Have you learned not to have any minimum wage at all? No, you have not. Have you learned not to double the minimum wage? No, you have not.

Doubling the minimum wage is experimenting on human subjects. No university ethics committee would approve that experiment. That you support it says something bad about your ethics.

Posted [23:37] [Filed in: economics] [permalink] [Google for the title] [digg this]
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