Does minimum wage do more harm than good?

Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat: This is to give arguments or reasons or evidence to show whether minimum wage laws really make society better. All arguments are welcome. But the best evidence and logic and economic principles indicate that minimum wage laws do more harm than good, despite the emotionalism and knee-jerk impulses of the population generally who are driven only by pity toward the "poor downtrodden workers" without any analysis of the net social costs/benefits.
(Edited by Lumpenproletariat)
10 months ago Report
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Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat:

001

There are many "studies" trying to prove that minimum wage law does overall harm or benefit. Virtually all of them fall way short of providing any definite answer, because there is no way to control all the variables in each case study.

In all the "studies" done there is no consensus among experts, other than the usual alignment of the Leftwingers who claim MW is a net benefit and Rightwingers/libertarians who claim it's a net harm.

But there is one case where everyone agrees that a MW increase caused net harm. That was in American Samoa from 2007-2010, where MW was increased by Congress, and the result was a disaster. Everyone agrees that it was a disaster, including Democrats who voted for the increase, and in 2010 they voted to rescind this MW increase.

This is the one case where MW was increased and everyone eventually recognized that it was wrong, even those who originally favored it.

Barack Obama as Senator voted for this MW increase originally, but later as President had sign to the bill to rescind it. Most of those Democrats still say they favor higher MW for everyone, for all states and for American Samoa. BUT, they voted to rescind this MW increase later, and to this day they have not reversed that vote.

The minimum wage in American Samoa is still lower than in the 50 states, even though the original MW increase there was to bring Samoa into line with the 50 states by 2010, and later that date was pushed back, and then back again.

That date was pushed back again and again because everyone had to admit that it would do more harm than good, and so it was too early to try to bring American Samoa into line with the 50 states. Even to this day, in the year 2021, it is still too early for Samoa's MW to be raised that high. Everyone knows that it will do more harm than good.

The harm will be the shutting down of businesses which cannot afford to pay such high wages, and/or laying off of thousands of workers, elimination of their jobs because the labor cost would be too high. So it's either pander to the crybaby demand for higher wages and crash the economy, or do what's responsible and let the free market set the price for labor, like it sets the prices properly for everything else that is bought and sold.

American Samoa is not unique. All that's different there is that a wage over $10/hour is impossible there and would crash the economy, as it did in 2007-2009. Whereas in the 50 states the damage done by a higher MW could be tolerated. Actually there are some poor states which will be devastated by a $15/hour minimum wage, and so this is being delayed for most of them. The damage done is easy to recognize in some lower-income areas, while in other areas it is negligible and can be disregarded.

But even where the damage is too small to be measured, still there is net negative result from any minimum wage. Just because the harm done is minimal does not mean it's OK to have the MW increase. What is gained by imposing a cost onto employers which does a net negative harm, even though it's small? It causes some reduced production, some elimination of jobs (or fewer new jobs), so that the overall result is a net loss for the economy, even though it's too small to be measured.
(Edited by Lumpenproletariat)
10 months ago Report
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swampandfire
swampandfire: perhaps there is an issue with what money is to people? because a meal is indispensable to life. clothes are indispensable. shelter is indispensable. the more money a person has the better they can meet their needs? i take a psychological perspective and ask what does money mean to you? if it means destruction then it is an abuse, that seems to me to be psychological. or a state of crime?

on the other hand is it a crime not to work for money? again i think the answer is in the psychological realm. the issue is what does money mean to people?

if it is a crime to possess money and a crime not to possess money then what is the purpose of money?
9 months ago Report
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swampandfire
swampandfire: my point is in respect to the topic question money doesn't do anything, so the minimum wage does neither good nor harm.
9 months ago Report
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swampandfire
swampandfire: a counter argument could be that money does do something based on reason alone. and that if its not money what is it? and that to say its not money seems like to open a can of worms. it does situate money at the top though, and psychological factors below. so the question of money versus psychology is viable. could it be that some things shouldn't be purchased with money like food perhaps? if the crime is concerning starvation or shelter, then maybe money in the way we know it is inadequate? and it could be argued that people do with money what they like, and that is its purpose, its hard to argue against that. but something is wrong concerning the topic, so what is blinder the person or the money?
9 months ago Report
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swampandfire
swampandfire: if we say money is blinder on the basis that it can control people or does control people, then the minimum wage would be for the better.
9 months ago Report
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Sir Loin
Sir Loin: What people need is a living wage, not a minimum wage. $15 an hour is not livable.
A minimum wage usually becomes the maximum as well for unskilled workers.
Most people need at least $28, any less won't feed a family
(Edited by Sir Loin)
9 months ago Report
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Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat:

002

swampandfire: my point is in respect to the topic question money doesn't do anything, so the minimum wage does neither good nor harm.

________________________

Not the "wage" per se, but the LAW which dictates a minimum wage, below which it is illegal to hire someone.

The topic title would be too long if it were "Does Minimum Wage Law Do More Harm than Good?"

That's too long, so the title was shortened by eliminating "Law" from it.

It's the minimum wage LAW which does harm.

It makes us all worse off, as a society, overall. Does more harm than good.

It causes employers to reduce jobs and production by driving up the cost of production which employers must pay. When the cost of something is driven up artificially, the buyers of it reduce the amount of it they will buy = less employment and thus less production = less supply is produced = higher prices.
(Edited by Lumpenproletariat)
9 months ago Report
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Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat:

003

Sir Loin: What people need is a living wage, not a minimum wage. $15 an hour is not livable.
A minimum wage usually becomes the maximum as well for unskilled workers.
Most people need at least $28, any less won't feed a family

____________________

Passing a law saying everyone is hereby granted whatever they need, to feed a family is not going to fix anything.

The minimum wage law has an overall net negative result for society.

Just because you arbitrarily pick a number of dollars which then is supposed to go to all workers, and then expect all employers to feed everyone is not going to make it happen.

The result of such a law is to reduce the total living standard for the whole society, for all, by forcing the total production to be less than it would have been without such a law.

By artificially driving up the cost of production, you cause the total production to decrease, which leads to less supply, thus driving down the total value of everyone's money, despite causing the incomes of a few to be higher. That benefit to a few is offset by the harm done to the whole society = 100% of the population, who now all have to pay higher prices as a result of the artificially higher production cost.

Scapegoating employers does not solve anything. It just causes them to reduce their production.

Just like passing a law requiring everyone to be happy and satisfied is not really going to make everyone happy and satisfied.

There is no evidence that minimum wage laws produce a net positive outcome. All they produce is an increased income to a few which has to be paid for by all the consumers, including all the poor, who suffer a net loss as a result.

(Edited by Lumpenproletariat)
9 months ago Report
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swampandfire
swampandfire: perhaps add on to the economic station to counterbalance?
9 months ago Report
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swampandfire
swampandfire: thinking about the law. it goes a certain way then the people take over. i guess thats where freedom comes into its own. if this element is lacking then there would something wrong with moral? the psychological aspect?

the law is neither complete nor partial. it starts and it finishes. but i think it is immutable as its known to be.
9 months ago Report
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Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat:

004

What about VOLUNTEER WORK?

If it's wrong to allow anyone to work at low wages, or to allow employers to hire workers at low wages, then why isn't it also wrong to allow volunteer work?

Isn't the organization putting them to work an employer? getting desired performance by those workers? Why isn't it just as wrong to hire them for FREE, at zero wage? Isn't zero wage even worse than a low wage?

Minimum wage crusaders never think of questions like this. They don't think about the issue, but only emote. They have an employer-bashing instinct, a hate for capitalists and profit, and an obsession to prop up certain workers for symbolism only, like these workers are a religious object to be worshiped, regardless of the cost and damage inflicted onto all consumers who have to pay the higher costs, such as higher prices, and who also suffer from the reduced supply and shortages which inevitably result as the employers cut back on the production.
(Edited by Lumpenproletariat)
1 month ago Report
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WHlSKY
WHlSKY:
Volunteer work is an addition. And thus becomes a choice.

Have you ever met anyone who does volunteer work and no other jobs to bring in a wage? I have not. I have done volunteer work and needed to balance that with regular employment.

The only persons who can do this has to either be wealthy or on welfare.

______________


A worker trades his time/skill in a monetary exchange. If an employer is incapable of paying for the work done then he brings nothing to the table for a fair exchange. If an employer can not afford to provide a minimum contribution for that exchange, then he is the one who falls short of the agreement and needs to reevaluate his business.

It is akin to the bartering system. Person A brings X-item and Person B brings Y-item in exchange. That is the relationship also between a worker and the employer.

Having a worker-basing approach is just as silly as having an employer-bashing approach. At the root of it this is an exchange that is to occur. The employer needs the worker and the worker needs the employer.





1 month ago Report
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WHlSKY
WHlSKY:
It should also be checked if the issue is with wage or money is being wasted in other areas. There's no one size fits all. There are cases where the exploitation of workers occur with companies having more than enough profits to pay a fair wage. As there are cases where employers are unable to balance paying wages and losses from poor sales [or the recent Covid19 pandemic drawbacks].

I think a better approach will be to assess the business as a whole. An employer has to first review the expenses and the profits from a business.

Before presenting a wage package, see the expected profits and balance all these expenses.

Instead of scrapping minimum wage, I would have a specific entity or organisation that work with businesses that can not balance providing fair wages due to making a loss. Some consideration can be given in those cases.

My layman view anyway.

It's impractical to pay workers lower than what they are bringing to the table for the exchange. That same wage goes into the system in order to stimulate that demand for the very products being created. Giving more people purchasing power means a variety of businesses can benefit from these customers. Workers don't play one role only, they are also the buyers. This is important to keep in mind.

1 month ago Report
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Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat:

005

WHlSKY:

Volunteer work is an addition. And thus becomes a choice.
___________________

"choice"?

Paid work is also a choice. Every worker (except a slave such as those in the South prior to the Civil War) makes the free choice whether to do that job at the compensation level offered. In some cases the worker chooses the very low wage because it's either that low-wage job or no job at all.

The idea that a low-wage worker is not making a free choice is meaningless and mindless. If it's true that the paid worker's choice is not free, then it means there is no such thing as any free choice at all, and that "free" means nothing, because all our choices are dictated by circumstances we cannot control.

Just because there are conditions which determine our choices does not mean there is no free choice. Unless you mean that "free choice" is totally nonexistent and no one ever in history ever made a free choice.
________________________

WHlSKY:

Have you ever met anyone who does volunteer work and no other jobs to bring in a wage?
_______________________

There are some such workers. Different workers have different motives why they do their work. Some of them get a non-monetary economic benefit. But others do it from a sense of moral obligation, or a desire to contribute to meeting the need.

There is no objective rule you can apply to all workers, or to all volunteer workers, to explain why they do what they do, or why they SHOULD or should not do it.

The only rule that is legitimate is that work is good, for society, as long as the workers choose to do it and are not forced against their will.
______________________

WHlSKY:

I have not. I have done volunteer work and needed to balance that with regular employment.
____________________

You should not impose your psychology onto others. Others have their reasons or motives, you have yours. There are volunteer workers who do not also have "regular" employment.

In some cases a volunteer worker is getting experience, to use on a job application later. Also, there is volunteer work done for a job which later will hopefully become a paid job. In some cases a profit-making company has unpaid workers (maybe not called "volunteers" ) who are hoping for some gain later. There are many possible forms of later gain.

Maybe some of these are opposed by labor unions, or are even made illegal. But there is no good reason to make such arrangements illegal. No form of work which is done by choice by the worker should be made illegal just because it pays too low. Any such prohibition makes the whole society worse off. There's no social benefit in making any work illegal just because it's low-paid, as long the worker chooses to do it by free choice and is not forced.
________________

WHlSKY:

The only persons who can do this has to either be wealthy or on welfare.
______________

No, you cannot impose your arbitrary conditions onto others making these choices.

A further example is a worker who really enjoys the work. E.g., there have been some disc jockeys who enjoy playing music so much that they do it for free. Also there are such cases where the worker might be paid, but also does much extra work, "overtime" and even free hours, simply because they enjoy that work.

It doesn't matter what their motive is. You cannot dictate that this is permissible only in certain cases, such as someone who is wealthy or is on welfare or any other condition where you approved of it and so are willing to allow it only in those cases. No. Those workers should always be free to make that free choice, regardless what their motive is, and regardless of your philosophy, or anyone else's.

We don't need philosophers or social planners or pundits dictating to us what our motive has to be in order for us to do what we choose.

In some cases the motive is some form of desperation, to do a low-wage job, or even a zero-wage job in hopes of some gain. That desperation might be dictated by circumstances of nature, like survival needs. That is still a free choice. We have to work in order to be able to eat and meet other survival needs. Yet it's still a free choice as long as no one is impinging on us by threatening to do us harm if we don't comply with their demand.
______________________

Lumpenproletariat

006

WHlSKY:

A worker trades his time/skill in a monetary exchange.
_____________________

And the worker agrees to the terms of the exchange. As long as the worker is free to turn down the offer, it's a free exchange which should take place if that's the choice of both parties. No outsider can interfere with this free exchange without making the whole society worse off.
________________________

WHlSKY:

If an employer is incapable of paying for the work done then he brings nothing to the table for a fair exchange.
_______________________

Both parties are obligated to fulfill the terms agreed to. If the worker agrees, then he is accepting what the employer is bringing to the table. If the employer cannot offer terms that the worker requires, then there won't be an agreement. As long as both sides agree to the terms, then it is a "fair exchange." Of course this requires that there is no fraud and that both parties do in fact fulfill the terms agreed to.

There are some cases where the employer is guilty of violating this. I.e., the employer reneges on the obligation to pay, violating the terms. And also there are cases of fraud, where the employer lies to the job applicant, in which cases the worker is entitled to compensation, or the employer is criminally liable.

But where there is no fraud or violation of the terms, then it's a "fair exchange" which should not be interfered with by outsiders, including the government. And all society is made better off by guaranteeing this freedom of choice to all members of society, all consumers and producers, all buyers and sellers, all workers and employers.
___________________________

WHlSKY:

If an employer can not afford to provide a minimum contribution for that exchange, then he is the one who falls short of the agreement and needs to reevaluate his business.
_________________________

Only if the employer commits fraud or violates terms agreed to by both parties. The "contribution" for the exchange cannot be set by any outsiders, but only by the employer and worker, each of whom has total sovereignty to decide the terms, without any interference from the outside.

No outsiders have any legitimate role in setting the terms. For them to interfere by imposing terms onto either party can only make the whole society worse off, because it impedes the production which would otherwise take place by having that work get done. And when needed production is prevented by anyone other than the producers making the choice, that reduces the supply to all consumers and drives up the prices they must pay. I.e., it reduces the competition = reduced performance and reduced production to the benefit of all consumers.
___________________

WHlSKY:

It is akin to the bartering system. Person A brings X-item and Person B brings Y-item in exchange. That is the relationship also between a worker and the employer.

Having a worker-bashing approach is just as silly as having an employer-bashing approach. At the root of it this is an exchange that is to occur. The employer needs the worker and the worker needs the employer.
_____________________

The right approach is the CONSUMER-promoting approach. Both employer and worker are serving consumers, and consumers are best served by a system which gets more efficient production done, which allows the production to take place (rather than prohibiting it as Minimum Wage does), as long as the producers are doing it by free choice and are not forced against their will.

(Edited by Lumpenproletariat)
1 month ago Report
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WHlSKY
WHlSKY:
On your statement: “..choice"?”

Yes. Volunteer work is a choice. A mere “luxury” an option.

————

Your statement: “The idea that a low-wage worker is not making a free choice is meaningless and mindless.”

An idea that noone has expressed.

————

Your statement: “There are some such workers..”

Now proceed to state how those workers who do not need a paying side job finance themselves.

————


Your statement: “The only rule that is legitimate is that work is good, for society, as long as the workers choose to do it and are not forced against their will.”

Incorrect. Work can exist outside of its benefit for a society.

————

The point still remains: In the world that we live in, right this moment, a benefit (mainly monetary) in exchange for work is needed (unless a person is wealthy or on welfare). Even volunteer workers are not solely volunteer workers but are also a part of the working class who exchange work for a benefit.

————

Your statement: “You should not impose your psychology onto others. Others have their reasons or motives, you have yours. There are volunteer workers who do not also have "regular" employment.”

I have not imposed anything, but pulled from my experience. Now you state that there are volunteer workers outside of the circle of “paid workers”. Address my question on how these persons who you are aware of care for their expenses etc (outside of the individuals who are wealthy or on welfare). Thanks.

—————

Your statement: “In some cases a volunteer worker is getting experience, to use on a job application later…”

I’ll save you from rambling off point. This is not a case of motives. I wish to know how these persons without paid jobs or getting a benefit that’ll serve to support themselves end up supporting themselves? [The ones who are not already in a paid job or one that covers their expenses, the ones that are not on welfare or receiving aid from the government and the ones who are not wealthy]. You state that this is me imposing an arbitrary condition, yet you have not presented any condition where an individual can only do volunteer work and not be dependent on the government/family/preexisting wealth.

————

Your statement: “A further example is a worker who really enjoys the work. E.g., there have been some disc jockeys who enjoy playing music so much that they do it for free.”

Good now when this disc jockey finishes up his little music session. What does he do to get money to care for his lifestyle. Is this disc jockey session occurring in the forest and he is living off the fruit trees and sleeping under a tree?

————

An individual is free to choose to be a volunteer or to have a paid job, however, there will be the need for a paid job in order for a person in this modern world to support themselves.

————

Your statement: “The "contribution" for the exchange cannot be set by any outsiders, but only by the employer and worker, each of whom has total sovereignty to decide the terms, without any interference from the outside…”

Not fully. There exist laws that covers how certain contract terms are to be set up and company law also. The employee and employer have an amount of freedom but there exist certain boundaries legally.

————

Your statement: “The right approach is the CONSUMER-promoting approach. Both employer and worker are serving consumers, and consumers are best served by a system which gets more efficient production done…”


The worker accounts for the greater amount of the consumers. Every consumer needs to be gaining a wage. They are the ones who drive the demand for products and services and thus plays an important role in the system. As I said, the worker takes on various roles in the system. Not all consumers are workers (there are the few who are employers), however, all workers are consumers.









(Edited by WHlSKY)
1 month ago Report
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Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat:

007

WHlSKY:

It should also be checked if the issue is with wage or money is being wasted in other areas. There's no one size fits all. There are cases where the exploitation of workers occur with companies having more than enough profits to pay a fair wage.
_______________________

There is no way to judge how either the employer or worker should be spending their money, or how much money they should have.

The only "fair wage" is whatever wage both the employer and worker agree to, in the terms. There is no obligation on the employer to pay anymore than the agreed wage because there was "more than enough profit" -- that doesn't mean that the employer owes anything beyond what was agreed to in the terms.

And there is no way to judge that "exploitation" of workers is happening which should not be happening, as long as there is no fraud or contract default by the employer.

There has to be enforcement of competition between all producers, to guarantee that each will perform their best, or perform with the minimum amount of waste. Outsiders like the government cannot judge the performance, other than to impose safety measures to protect the public, or ensure that there are no criminal acts against the public interest.

But efficient service to consumers is maximized by requiring that competition be preserved, rather than government presuming what the market need is and trying to impose pricing and production decisions onto the company.

It's legitimate to curtail anticompetitive activity, such a price-fixing. This is to protect consumers, and is justified because of the need, in a market economy, for competition to be preserved, in order to influence all producers to perform at their maximum efficient level.
______________________

WHlSKY:

As there are cases where employers are unable to balance paying wages and losses from poor sales [or the recent Covid19 pandemic drawbacks].

I think a better approach will be to assess the business as a whole. An employer has to first review the expenses and the profits from a business.

Before presenting a wage package, see the expected profits and balance all these expenses.
_________________________

All the above are issues for the employers and workers to resolve, not for government.

Where the business is devastated by disaster, there may be default on the contract, and workers have legal recourse. There's no good solution to this.

The legal judgment might be that the company is dissolved and whatever assets there are might be paid to the workers. And the company which defaults should suffer consequences, and possibly remains liable to the workers.

On the other hand, the workers might be at fault if they agreed to terms which were too risky. In which case they might suffer some of the loss, because the future is difficult to predict and we cannot be ensured against failure or unexpected disaster.

The general rules of the economy need to be directed toward gaining the best performance possible under normal circumstances. When something abnormal happens, such as widespread disaster killing millions of victims, etc., there may not be any economic policy which offers an ideal outcome.
________________________

Lumpenproletariat

008

WHlSKY:

Instead of scrapping minimum wage, I would have a specific entity or organisation that work with businesses that can not balance providing fair wages due to making a loss. Some consideration can be given in those cases.
______________________

Whatever the solution, minimum wage law only makes things worse, not better. If a company can survive by reducing the wage level, that choice should be open to it, and to the workers, who should have the free choice to work at any wage level no matter how low. It should never be made illegal for workers to choose a very low wage level, out of desperation, if they decide that it's their best option.

There is no legitimate definition of "fair wages" other than that wage level agreed to by employers and workers, making their own individual free choice. In an extreme unexpected disaster, this free choice must still be left to all buyers and sellers.

This doesn't prevent the government from enacting many possible measure to alleviate suffering and address the needs. But denying anyone free choice is never part of the solution. Including the free choice to work at a low wage level. Such denial of free choice only makes everyone worse off, not better.
___________________

WHlSKY:

My layman view anyway.

It's impractical to pay workers lower than what they are bringing to the table for the exchange.
____________________________

That decision must be left to individual workers and employers, not outside 3rd parties.

The parties to the contract have to decide what is too "low" and not anyone else.

Only the ones paying and those being paid can judge what payment is practical or impractical. And neither can impose its judgment onto the other. If either party says the terms are impractical, then they simply walk away from the deal. Each one individually.

I.e., if one worker says a certain wage level is impractical, but another says it's practical, then the former walks away and the latter agrees to the wage level. No one is entitled to decide what is "practical" or "impractical" for another.
_____________________

WHlSKY:

That same wage goes into the system in order to stimulate that demand for the very products being created.
__________________________

There is no need to "stimulate" demand for any particular products.

The wage level, or the decision to produce or hire someone or to take a job, is not determined by any need to "stimulate" demand for the product. The existing demand for the product is all that is needed to determine how much to produce and how much to pay in costs.
__________________________

WHlSKY:

Giving more people purchasing power means a variety of businesses can benefit from these customers.
___________________

No. It may be good to provide benefits to people, so they can survive better. Such as the poor. But there is no need to increase "purchasing power" to certain select workers we fee sorry for. Some poor workers might need assistance of some kind, in their desperation, just like other poor people might have such need. But there is no legitimacy in imposing this charitable obligation onto their employer.

There are many poor workers, lower than the minimum-wage level, who have greater need than the minimum-wage workers. Also many who are non-union. And yet the workers whose wage level is propped up higher are not those poorest workers. The ones who have the greatest need are precisely the ones who are not helped by any labor laws, including MW law.

No, minimum wage law does more harm to the poorest workers, because many of these cannot get hired at higher wage levels, and so the MW serves only to disqualify these ones from ever getting hired.

Many of the homeless masses we see on the streets are precisely poor people who cannot qualify for the jobs which employers have to pay minimum wage for. And many of them would get hired if there were no such labor laws forcing the employers to pay higher (not only higher wage, but also benefits), and so those persons never get hired at all.
_____________________

WHlSKY:

Workers don't play one role only, they are also the buyers.
_____________________________

No, the reason they are paid is not to turn them into buyers. They are paid in order to entice them to do the work needing to be done. It's the need for the work to be done, not any need for buyers, or more demand, that workers are paid.

The function served by their wage is as an enticement to them to perform the needed work. Its function is not to turn them into buyers, or to stimulate demand for something.

And driving up the production cost with higher labor cost does not make buyers better off, but worse off. Because higher labor cost > higher prices to all consumers, including to all workers and to all the poor.

You don't make any consumers better off by driving up the prices they must pay. What makes consumers better off -- rich and poor consumers, workers and non-workers -- is more competition, to drive all producers to perform better.

There is no need to drive up demand, or drive up purchasing power, to somehow improve economic performance. What has to be driven up is the performance of all the producers, through competition, having them reduce their costs as much as possible, in order to undersell their competitors by offering the same production at lower prices to consumers.

The economic performance must be measured in terms of the improved production for consumers, increasing the supply for them, and the quality they demand, and decreasing the prices.
(Edited by Lumpenproletariat)
1 month ago Report
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WHlSKY
WHlSKY:
Your statement: “There is no way to judge how either the employer or worker should be spending their money, or how much money they should have...”

The statement you responded to did not state what you are arguing against. I will remind you what was stated: “It should also be checked if the issue is with wage or money is being wasted in other areas…”

Every business has an accounting system or structure. A business owner knows what is set for wages and the profits gained to the business. Also on where the losses incurred are from.

—————

On your statement: “The only "fair wage" is whatever wage both the employer and worker agree to, in the terms…”

The fair wage will be what the worker’s work is worth. As I said, it is as a bartering system, an exchange.

—————

On your statement: “And there is no way to judge that "exploitation" of workers is happening which should not be happening, as long as there is no fraud or contract default by the employer...”

Exploitation occurs when the aforementioned exchange does not occur fairly. When the worker is not paid according to the work he places forward. Or even the working conditions are not what was agreed upon.

—————

On your statement: “…All the above are issues for the employers and workers to resolve, not for government.”

The issue caused by the Covid19 pandemic needed government involvement to provide financial support. Some businesses were offered packages to not fall under. Others broke and were closed down. Employers had little to no options in dealing with a lack of customer flow.

—————

On your statement: “The legal judgment might be that the company is dissolved and whatever assets there are might be paid to the workers. And the company which defaults should suffer consequences, and possibly remains liable to the workers...”

From what I understand, legally a company can liquidate without compensating the workers first. There is a hierarchy. Also depends on the type of liquidation and the situation.

—————

Your statement: “The general rules of the economy need to be directed toward gaining the best performance possible under normal circumstances…”

I’d opt for society’s best performance. The economy tends not to only crash or falter due to a disaster as Covid or Natural disasters etc. Many factors affect it and even the methods aimed at assisting it can cause later issues.

—————

I’ll address the rest later. I’ve stuff to do.

(Edited by WHlSKY)
1 month ago Report
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WHlSKY
WHlSKY:
You stated: “ But there is no need to increase "purchasing power" to certain select workers we fee sorry for. …”

Minimum wage isn’t specific, it applies to all workers. There is no ‘certain select workers we fee sorry for…’

Having more persons being able to purchase helps businesses. How is this a ‘no’? The entire market depends on this, hence why companies dish out huge sums of cash to advertise and market their business. It thrives on consumerism and more persons having that purchasing power. People buying things they don’t need is what it all hangs on.

—————

Your statement: “No, minimum wage law does more harm to the poorest workers, because many of these cannot get hired at higher wage levels…”

Man. I read what you say, and to be honest it seems to come from a position that’s detached from reality. Do you understand what it takes to survive? What sense will it make for a man to work from 7 in the morning to 7 in the night for a wage that does not covers his expenses? You honestly think that in poverty a man is cheering that he has a job that does not balance the work he puts in with what he gets out of it? It’s best you don’t take the approach of talking for someone in poverty.

—————

Your statement: “But there is no legitimacy in imposing this charitable obligation onto their employer..”

As I said, an employer is to pay a worker based on the value of work/service rendered by the worker. There is no charity or one-sidedness in this interaction. The employer can not expect to run a business successfully that demands more than it is giving out. His inability to pay for the value of the service inputted by workers is not the fault of minimum wage but on his own for running a business that runs at a loss.

Perhaps as the employer he can make these cuts to himself and place it as ‘voluntary services’.



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WHlSKY
WHlSKY:
I agree with Sir Loin’s statement “What people need is a living wage, not a minimum wage…”

The employed (workers) make up the largest group in society. Having that group at a stable level benefits a society in the long term.

The employed are the top customers. Having that group at a level that they can continually purchase benefits businesses in the long term.

Arguments against the minimum wage looks more to me as excuses to make cuts at the expense of workers. Wage should be based on the input value of work provided. So any ‘cuts’ should be based on that.



1 month ago Report
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Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat:

009

WHlSKY:

On your statement: “..choice"?”

Yes. Volunteer work is a choice. A mere “luxury” an option.

————

But so also is paid work voluntary, or a choice. For both kinds of work, paid or unpaid, the worker makes a choice, or chooses voluntarily to do it.

The paid work is done possibly more out of need to get particular remuneration, to satisfy a demand, maybe characterized by more pressure on the workers in return for the reward paid to them.

Yet in some cases the volunteer work also is demanding and stressful. Even more demanding and unpleasant than paid jobs where the workers are well taken care of.

You cannot distinguish paid and unpaid/volunteer work simply by saying one is an easy and unstressful luxury while the other is demanding or oppressive and miserable. This does not distinguish the two categories of work even though it might apply to most cases.

Of course the higher skill level and talent of some paid workers increases their value. But not in all cases. Some volunteer workers also have higher value than others, and even specialize in something that causes them to get some kind of reward. Maybe only honorable mention, praise, etc., but rewards take many different forms.

There is no simple distinction of paid vs unpaid labor, other than just that certain workers choose a certain kind of work and conditions, and others choose something else, and one choice is no compensation, for whatever reason. You cannot simply define what the reason has to be. And a paid worker too, in some cases, might accept a very low compensation, for whatever motivation, probably when the employer simply can't afford any more. But the motive might be anything, not falling within any particular rule for who should or should not be paid.

Obviously in some cases there are dubious demands put to the worker, even illegal demands -- etc., "extracurricular activities" and so on. But such arrangements, though criminal in some cases, are not necessarily bad for society in general, and a law trying to make all such employment illegal would make society worse off, not better. Rather, the proper rule for all of them is that of protecting free choice by individuals, letting the players be free to choose and not be coerced. And also some social norms to discourage certain offensive practices.

Perhaps some regulations are needed, but not something dictating the wage levels or outlawing some work that doesn't comply with a scheme presuming to impose any particular political or economics theory about the appropriate wage level to be paid, which is much better decided by those paying and those being paid.
_________________

WHISKY:

Your statement: “The idea that a low-wage worker is not making a free choice is meaningless and mindless.”

An idea that no one has expressed.

————
OK, so you agree that low-wage workers are also making a free choice.

So your statement, "Volunteer work is a choice. A mere “luxury” an option," does not distinguish volunteer work from paid work. Or paid work from unpaid work. Because the paid work is also a choice, a mere luxury, an option.

The term "luxury" might be improper to apply even to volunteer work, which in some cases might be very difficult work and the opposite of what "luxury" means.
_______________________

WHISKY:

Your statement: “There are some such workers..”

Now proceed to state how those workers who do not need a paying side job finance themselves.

————

In some cases they have a supporter of some kind, family, etc. Also they have savings. There are many cases.

Even if it's a small number, still you cannot dictate that the only volunteer workers, or unpaid workers, have to be limited to certain kinds that you define, and all others are excluded. Whoever they are, they have their reasons, or their situation, which makes the unpaid work a good choice for them. There is no rule that allows you to dictate that this kind of work is not legitimate unless it meets the criterion or definition you impose.

The fact is that there are unpaid workers, and there is nothing wrong with it as long as it's their free choice. And the same is true about low-paid work. You can't give any reason why the zero-paid labor should be allowed and the low-paid labor should not be allowed.
____________________

WHISKY:

Your statement: “The only rule that is legitimate is that work is good, for society, as long as the workers choose to do it and are not forced against their will.”

Incorrect. Work can exist outside of its benefit for a society.

————

We're not talking about criminal acts here, if that's what you mean. That kind of "work" is not socially beneficial. People are entitled to be left unharmed by criminals. Presumably this is not controversial.

If it does no harm to others, then it's good to allow those workers to do that work, as long as it's their free choice to do it, for whatever reason. If it's something people want to do, and no one is harmed by it, then it's good for society to allow it. I.e., "good for society" includes letting people do what they freely choose to do, or what they want to do. Freedom to do what we want is a basic benefit, or good, for all of society, as long as what we want does not inflict harm onto someone, such as criminal acts do.

So, your phrase "exist outside of its benefit for a society" does not change the fact that the work in question, unpaid for some reason, is good for society if done by free choice, or should be allowed for the benefit of everyone, as a general rule of freedom for everyone, because such a rule makes us all better off.

Basically "freedom" or "free choice" is good for society, for us all, as long as the choice or the act being done is harmless to everyone else and as long as those making that choice are making a free choice, or are doing that act freely, uncoerced. How is that not beneficial to all of society, to allow such free choice to people? Including the choice to do work for free? or do it for a low wage?
_______________

Lumpenproletariat

010

WHISKY:

The point still remains: In the world that we live in, right this moment, a benefit (mainly monetary) in exchange for work is needed (unless a person is wealthy or on welfare).
_______________________

Not in all cases. I.e., not if the work is needed and yet no one is paying and also there is someone who wants to do it free for some reason. This does happen in at least some cases. Just because it's rare and in most cases (maybe 99%) a worker does work only in return for payment does not change the fact that there are also cases of workers doing it for free. You can nitpick about what the conditions are, but it doesn't matter. It probably does happen in a few cases.

Just because most work is done in exchange for money, still, in those cases where it's not, there is nothing wrong with it if the workers choose it, and you cannot enact rules dictating that certain work has to be done for some price that you dictate (or rather, you make us all worse off by imposing such rules. In fact you can impose stupid rules, and governments often do. But they should not, because they make us all worse off when they do). There is no social benefit in imposing such a rule. As long as you are overruling someone who will do that job for free, or for less than you dictate, then you are making us all worse off. By imposing that rule to thwart someone from doing the work, you are making all of society worse off. Their work, whatever they're paid (if anything) will produce benefit to society, and by restricting it you are preventing that benefit from happening.

There's a simple rule: Leave people alone to do what they choose if they're doing no harm. Or "Live and let live!" What's so difficult to understand about this?

It should be axiomatic that if you eliminate a benefit to people, and produce no benefit in return to make up for that lost benefit, you are making the whole society worse off. Or rather, you're subtracting from the sum total of human benefit -- reducing benefit to some, and not offsetting this with an added benefit to anyone.

Forbidding people from doing beneficial work has to reduce the total benefit.
__________________

WHISKY:

Even volunteer workers are not solely volunteer workers but are also a part of the working class who exchange work for a benefit.
_____________

Yes. But if you mean they are also paid workers, being paid a wage, that's not true for all. There are a few volunteer workers who do not also have a paying job. Even if 99% of them also have a paying job, there are still a few who do not. It's not wrong for them to do unpaid work, if it's their free choice to do that work, whether they also have a paying job or not.

There are any number of possible reasons why some workers are voluntary workers only, or unpaid, without having also a paying job along with it. You might be able to list 100 or 1000 reasons you think are acceptable reasons for them to do unpaid work and also have no paying job. But all you can say is that it's their choice, and there is no other rule for judging whether that is a proper job, or proper choice. That they choose to do it is the only rule that's needed. It's good for that work to get done, one way or another, whether they're paid or not. Or also at a low wage level. It's no more worse for the worker to be paid a low wage than it is for the worker to be paid a zero wage, as long as it is the worker's free choice to do that work for a low wage or for a zero wage.
_____________

WHISKY:

Your statement: “You should not impose your psychology onto others. Others have their reasons or motives, you have yours. There are volunteer workers who do not also have "regular" employment.”

I have not imposed anything, but pulled from my experience. Now you state that there are volunteer workers outside of the circle of “paid workers”. Address my question on how these persons who you are aware of care for their expenses etc.(outside of the individuals who are wealthy or on welfare).
—————
I gave some examples. Some have savings, others have a benefactor, family member, etc.

But there could be hundreds of examples.

The point is that, however many the number is, there is nothing wrong with them doing free work. No matter what their reason is, or what their means of support is.

Even if a penniless person with no support volunteers to do work for free, there is nothing wrong with it, and it should not be made illegal.

I agree that probably there should be some provision in the social system to take care of the very poor. But that doesn't include any law forbidding them from doing free work, if it's their choice to do that.

Doing free work is no different (or no more preferable) than doing work at a very low wage. If we allow people to do work for free (zero wage), we should also allow them to do work at a low wage, without imposing a minimum onto them and making it illegal. Nothing is gained by restricting paid work with such prohibition than would be gained by restricting unpaid work. Restricting the paid work has the same negative consequences for society that restricting the unpaid work would have.

It has nothing to do with whether the worker also has a high-paying job somewhere. Whether that worker does or does not have a good-paying job, either way it is harmful to society to forbid him/her from having a low-paying job, just as it would be harmful to forbid him/her from doing an unpaid job.

You are not giving a reason why we must forbid the low-paying job, to gain some social benefit, but must not forbid the zero-wage job, or unpaid job. You're not saying what the social benefit is of forbidding the low-wage job, which would not also be provided by forbidding the zero-wage job.

If volunteer work should be prohibited, as low-wage work is, then many of these companies producing from the volunteer workers would instead start paying some of those workers, in order to get the same work done. Maybe their output would be cut in half, but at least they would continue producing, at a lower level, but also pay workers which they earlier had working for free. You could just as well say this would be an improvement, for the economy, just as you think it improves the economy to eliminate low-wage jobs and replace them with high-wage jobs.

It's the same thing.

To argue that low-wage jobs are bad, you must also argue that zero-wage jobs are bad. And either should be replaced by high-wage jobs in order to produce whatever benefit you imagine is gained by making the low-wage jobs illegal.
____________________

Lumpenproletariat

011

WHISKY:

Your statement: “In some cases a volunteer worker is getting experience, to use on a job application later…”

I’ll save you from rambling off point. This is not a case of motives. I wish to know how these persons without paid jobs or getting a benefit that’ll serve to support themselves end up supporting themselves? [The ones who are not already in a paid job or one that covers their expenses, the ones that are not on welfare or receiving aid from the government and the ones who are not wealthy].
______________

Some of them have savings and are living on a shoestring budget. Some have a benefactor but are not rich themselves. There are probably many examples, and their % of the population might be very low, but still in a nation of tens or hundreds of millions there can be many different categories.

One simple answer is: they are the same ones (or some of these) who are barred from employment because they cannot get hired at a typical low-wage job which pays higher than an employer is willing to pay them.

There are MILLIONS who are barred from paid employment because they are not attractive to employers, in the job-screening process, and so get filtered out and never get any chance to show what work they are capable of doing. But some of these are able to get volunteer work, because the zero-wage level makes them employable despite their unattractiveness to employers who have to pay minimum wage and other labor cost too high to the employers due to the labor laws.

Most of these unemployed do not seek unpaid jobs -- but some do, in hopes of getting some experience, or even in hopes that it would lead to getting hired, and others do it for the normal reasons anyone else might do volunteer work. Their unattractiveness is not that they are incapable, but only that they cannot compete successfully with other applicants who are more attractive to the employers who have to pay the higher wages and benefits anyway, so they hold out for more applicants, hoping someone more attractive will show up. Usually the employer has time to put off hiring that needed worker, so they'll be patient, to see if something better shows up. But if the required wage level was lower, there wouldn't be so many applicants, and the employer would have to settle for an applicant who is less attractive.

The unattractive applicants are often just as qualified as the attractive applicants, with no difference related to the significant performance of the work, but only the symbolic value of the applicant's attractiveness, such as looks, or personality, or class, or connection to someone of high status. The employers, and the job-screeners, would rather leave a job opening vacant rather than hiring someone less attractive, knowing that more attractive candidates -- those with higher social standing, or personal qualities -- will eventually show up.
_____________________

WHISKY:

You state that this is me imposing an arbitrary condition, yet you have not presented any condition where an individual can only do volunteer work and not be dependent on the government/family/preexisting wealth.
————

Why are you bringing up the question of what they're dependent on? It's irrelevant to whether they should be allowed to do low-wage work or zero-wage work.

This is about whether all low-paid work should be made illegal. Minimum wage law means that we make all low-wage labor illegal. Why should we? What is supposed to be the benefit? You're not saying what the benefit is.

Whatever the benefit is supposed to be, you could gain the same benefit by also making zero-wage work illegal. Nothing is gained, for society, by making zero-wage work illegal, OR by making low-wage work illegal.

The fact is that we do allow zero-wage work, such as charity work by volunteers, and we impose no conditions onto those workers, or those employers, to try to eliminate that work, no matter what the motivation or problems of those workers might be.

Why do you insist that the free labor must be permitted, which is ZERO-wage, while the low-wage labor must be prohibited (with minimum wage)?

You're not explaining why one should be legal and the other illegal. The motives or personal problems of the zero-wage workers are irrelevant. There is no law in society which imposes any conditions onto the volunteer or unpaid workers. Anyone who wants to do this free labor is permitted to do so, and the employers are permitted to employ them at zero wage. Why?

For the same reason that this is permitted, so also should the low-wage labor be permitted, where the worker is paid more than the zero-wage worker, but still a very low wage.

There is no reason for allowing one kind of labor but not the other. The reason to allow it is that the workers are making a free choice, which they should be allowed to do. There is no other reason needed in order to allow this work to be done. If it's a free choice, and if the work being done is harmless, posing no threat of harm to anyone, it makes sense to allow it, because people would not choose to do it if there was not some benefit, to someone, to people generally, to society, etc. (as long as there's nothing criminal in it, nothing posing a threat of harm to society, to people).

And the question whether the worker has another source of income has nothing to do with this. It doesn't matter what the worker's condition is, or the worker's motive, or psychology, or sources of income (if any). If the worker makes that free choice, what is the point of suppressing that choice and making it illegal, whether it's the LOW-wage labor, or the ZERO-wage labor being suppressed? What difference does it make what the worker's motive is, or financial condition, etc.? whether the worker also has another (paying) job or not? That worker knows his/her own circumstances and considers the options, and then makes a free choice.

Why isn't that choice by the worker just as legitimate, whether it's a LOW-wage job he's choosing to take, or a ZERO-wage job? Why shouldn't that worker and employer be free in either case to do that production, perform that needed work they think is worth doing, regardless of their financial condition or employment condition? regardless of anything other than just the free choice?

If either worker is being defrauded, then OK, let's have some restrictions making fraud illegal, or punishable. That applies to the worker committing fraud also. All fraud should be penalized. But what is the purpose served by cracking down on the low-wage job which would not also be served by cracking down on the ZERO-wage or volunteer job?

This is the topic: Why should low-wage work be made illegal? The one who says, "Yes, enact minimum wage to prohibit low-wage work" has to explain why to not also prohibit zero-wage work for the same reason.
(Edited by Lumpenproletariat)
1 month ago Report
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Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat:

012

WHISKY:

Your statement: “A further example is a worker who really enjoys the work. E.g., there have been some disc jockeys who enjoy playing music so much that they do it for free.”

Good now when this disc jockey finishes up his little music session. What does he do to get money to care for his lifestyle. Is this disc jockey session occurring in the forest and he is living off the fruit trees and sleeping under a tree?

————
It doesn't matter. All I know is that there are such persons. And no matter how they manage to survive, there is no law, and should not be, which forces the company to pay them if they're willing to work for free.

No doubt they get some benefit. But it's unofficial. And also there are radio stations which have had other "volunteer" workers, who just got attached to the operation, and maybe eventually they got hired. And also maybe not.

Such work attracts certain people, who want to get into the activity, for the challenge or something. And there may be many types of business which attract participants, workers, who are unofficial employees for a time, before finally getting hired.

It doesn't matter whether they eventually get hired. The point is that there is nothing wrong with this, and there should be no law against it, though there are labor contracts which forbid some of this.

Probably those labor contracts are more harm than good. It's better to allow everyone to make their own individual free choice. And the competition is good for the economy. It's good when any producer can undersell another producer, because it's good for consumers, and that's all that matters.
___________________

WHISKY:

An individual is free to choose to be a volunteer or to have a paid job, however, there will be the need for a paid job in order for a person in this modern world to support themselves.
————

Fine. That's their choice to make, and not anyone else's choice. That some work is done for free does not prevent others from choosing a paid job only. Most jobs obviously are paid. But some are very low paid, and a few are done for free, maybe because there are so many who can do that work and are willing to do it at little or no price. Which is fine.

And anything done to suppress workers from making those choices ends up hurting all the society. Those who want a high-paying job need to improve themselves enough so that an employer will need to pay them the high wage in order to gain the value from them, because they are in short supply. Making yourself valuable because you satisfy an unmet need is the proper way to work your way to success. Not by whining to the lawmakers to impose conditions onto your employer and forcing him to babysit you.
________________

WHISKY:

Your statement: “The "contribution" for the exchange cannot be set by any outsiders, but only by the employer and worker, each of whom has total sovereignty to decide the terms, without any interference from the outside…”

Not fully. There exist laws that covers how certain contract terms are to be set up and company law also.
______________________

It's legitimate to have laws regulating contracts, or contract procedures, to prevent fraud. This is the only need for any interference by government in the contract terms.

Obviously there are some bad laws where the government interferes and makes it worse, because it drives up the costs and prices to consumers.

Terms such as compensation levels and prices for services must be set by the buyers and sellers, not by any outside interference from 3rd parties like government.
_______________________

WHISKY:

The employee and employer have an amount of freedom but there exist certain boundaries legally.

————
The only legitimate boundaries are those necessary to ensure competition, and other measures to protect consumers. This does not include setting wages or prices. Setting wages or prices for anything interferes with competition and makes all consumers worse off, by driving prices artificially higher.
_________________

WHISKY:

Your statement: “The right approach is the CONSUMER-promoting approach. Both employer and worker are serving consumers, and consumers are best served by a system which gets more efficient production done…”

The worker accounts for the greater amount of the consumers.
________________

Most consumers are also right-handers. But that doesn't mean government should do anything to promote right-handers over left-handers. There is no legitimate reason for government to give favor to any particular segment of the economy, or to any particular class, no matter how popular that class may be, or sacred symbolically. The policies must aim at what is practical for society, and not at slogans or symbols or popularity polls or sacred cows.
_______________

WHISKY:

Every consumer needs to be gaining a wage. They are the ones who drive the demand for products and services and thus plays an important role in the system.
_______________________

Whatever this means, it does not imply government propping-up of wages, anymore than propping-up of profits. The way to benefit consumers is to force producers to be more competitive. There is no net gain for consumers by having government artificially prop up someone's wage level. All the artificially higher labor cost is passed onto consumers who have to pay higher prices as a result.
________________

WHISKY:

As I said, the worker takes on various roles in the system. Not all consumers are workers (there are the few who are employers), however, all workers are consumers.
___________

All people are consumers, including all non-workers. There is no reason to make a special religion out of the "working class" just because it's the largest class.

And also, the hardest workers in the economy are the struggling small business entrepreneurs, some working 16 hours a day. It is a false equivocation to define "workers" as only the wage-earners.
(Edited by Lumpenproletariat)
1 month ago Report
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WHlSKY
WHlSKY:
You stated: “You cannot distinguish paid and unpaid/volunteer work simply by saying one is an easy and unstressful luxury while the other is demanding or oppressive and miserable. This does not distinguish the two categories of work even though it might apply to most cases.…”

And no where did I state that one is “unstressful luxury” or “oppressive and miserable”.

What is the point of quoting my words if you are going to strawman what isn’t even implied?

Volunteer work and paid work is very different. Paid work is a necessity to an individual (and also to society as aids workers in becoming consumers). Hence why to date you can not explain to me how someone can solely volunteer and sustain their expenses without being dependent or already wealthy. How the disc jockey in your little scenario pays his rent or is he a dead beat living off his parents? Idk you’re the story teller.

It is a “luxury” option because not everyone can engage in volunteer work, however, everyone strives to engage in paid work to sustain themselves. So that point you have that volunteer work is on par with paid work made no sense. It isn’t because the system we live in is a capitalist system. Every man has to work to sustain himself.

—————

On your statement: “ …OK, so you agree that low-wage workers are also making a free choice…”

You are free to make your own statements, Lumpenproletariat, however when I make a statement let us take it exactly as I have implied or stated. I will repeat it again. Try to understand my point and not impose your own onto it. Take it easy:

In volunteer work there is not competition in choice (once a person is qualified & able they can volunteer). An individual can choose from any volunteer work. However, when it comes to paid work at the level of minimum wage (because minimum wage only becomes an issue for those in low paying jobs) it is out of necessity.

If you have any confusion on my statements I suggest you ask a question for me to expand on it.

—————

I have read what you say and your argument is very much that we should offset money from the wages of workers and take away from the rights of workers so that “society will thrive”, that is to make products cheaper, etc. Is this correct?

—————

You seem to be confusing yourself a bit. I’ll remind you on the origins of what you are responding to.

In this part:

When I said: “Have you ever met anyone who does volunteer work and no other jobs to bring in a wage? I have not. I have done volunteer work and needed to balance that with regular employment.
The only persons who can do this has to either be wealthy or on welfare.”

You stated: “…There are some such workers..” and proceeded to talk on motives and that I was imposing arbitrary conditions, but you mentioned nothing directly on the point which was a person needs a wage job (unless they are wealthy or on welfare…).

Hence why I said, “Now proceed to state how those workers who do not need a paying side job finance themselves...”

You responded back with “In some cases they have a supporter of some kind, family, etc. Also they have savings. There are many cases...”

[Then okay I will humbly rephrase it to include dependency on family or a support system]

Wonderful. It took a lot of rambling for us to come to this point.

Now let me refine the point so far:

An individual can not survive in the long term on volunteer work, he will need something that substitutes for a wage-paying job (either already accumulated wealth to feed off of, welfare, financial/resource dependency on family or friends, etc).

Wage work allows a person to finance themselves when volunteer work does not. It may sound nice to have everyone volunteer but it is impractical as a capitalist society can not sustain itself without wage-work/wage workers. You will need another type of society for this.

So when you stated: “If it's wrong to allow anyone to work at low wages, or to allow employers to hire workers at low wages, then why isn't it also wrong to allow volunteer work?”

Volunteer work is not seen as bad because it is an additional choice an individual makes. Let’s say as ‘extracurricular activities’ in life. Meaning that in order to survive and be independent (no dependency on family etc) it is necessary to be having a job. This applies to the majority of individuals (the few who are on welfare, wealthy to have savings to last a lifetime, etc can be excluded).

—————

Your statement: “We're not talking about criminal acts here, if that's what you mean. That kind of "work" is not socially beneficial.…”

My statement “Work can exist outside of its benefit for a society.” Simply means that work can have merit outside of its benefit for a society. It does not have to be looked at from the perspective of how it benefits the community/society. Hope that clears things up for you.

—————

When I say “The point still remains: In the world that we live in, right this moment, a benefit (mainly monetary) in exchange for work is needed (unless a person is wealthy or on welfare).”

And you responded with “Not in all cases..”

I take that to indicate that you do not disagree and that you are just adding that there are small cases of volunteer work. This does not nullify the point (the one that was stated). It also applies to most volunteer workers as they too often cross over into the category of paid workers. Hope that clears things up for you.

—————

On your statement: “ …you cannot enact rules dictating that certain work has to be done for some price that you dictate (or rather, you make us all worse off by imposing such rules.”

Can not? Minimum wage already exist. Looks like a ‘can’ to me. How about you just pay a little more for a product as it will be worth that much when someone is paid fairly for their time and effort than trying to wish for cheap goods. The fault is not in the wages of the workers. I’d personally prefer to live in a society of proper wages than on that ‘thrives’ on sweatshops and low wages.


I did a quick check on the countries with the highest minimum wages and they appear to be top economy countries. Perhaps it is not an issue of wage. I also did a quick check of the countries with the lowest minimum wage. Not economically well off. Guess which society I think benefits better…

—————

On your statement: “ There's a simple rule: Leave people alone to do what they choose if they're doing no harm. Or "Live and let live!" What's so difficult to understand about this?”

I was searching online for a mass protest or a strong call from the people to remove minimum wage. I found none. I might be wrong but … who cheers that they are receiving a wage lower than the work they are putting in? They people appears to want what they have, which is a minimum wage standard.

—————

On your statement: “ The point is that, however many the number is, there is nothing wrong with them doing free work. No matter what their reason is, or what their means of support is…”

The point was never on saying volunteer work is wrong, I even said I’ve done it. I mentioned previously in this post the point so I’d not repeat it but Id redirect you to it.

—————


(Edited by WHlSKY)
1 month ago Report
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WHlSKY
WHlSKY:
I’ll respond to the rest in awhile I typed up a response but it got erased. I’ve stuff to do now though.



1 month ago Report
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Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat:

014

WHISKY:

On your statement: “The only "fair wage" is whatever wage both the employer and worker agree to, in the terms…”

The fair wage will be what the worker’s work is worth.
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But the only meaning of "what the worker's work is worth" is what the employers and workers agree to, or what the buyers and sellers agree to, in the marketplace. I.e., just like the "worth" of any other commodity in the marketplace is determined by supply-and-demand, or by the sellers and buyers agreeing together on a price for whatever is to be sold.

E.g., a worker's work increases in value when another buyer comes along, another employer, and offers to pay more. Or the first employer sees a need for more workers and increases the wage as needed to attract more applicants. There is no other way to measure the worth of the commodity, the worker's product, except as being whatever price is agreed to by the sellers and buyers, or the workers and employers, and as the demand by employers increases and they offer a higher price (wage), the worker's worth increases. But as the demand for that work decreases (employers offer less), that value of the work decreases.
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WHISKY:

As I said, it is as a bartering system, an exchange.
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Same as I'm saying: supply-and-demand, the interaction of buyers and sellers, each offering something, a price (seller demanding and buyer offering) which the other side can accept or reject. That's how the value of labor is determined, and in an ideal system, the price and value will coincide.

The government cannot determine what this value is, of any commodity, whether it's labor or if it's bread or widgets. Only the employers and workers can set the value, each one independently offering/demanding his/her price, and the real value is whatever they agree to. Just as with cars or apples or TV sets or tickets to an opera.
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WHISKY:

On your statement: “And there is no way to judge that "exploitation" of workers is happening which should not be happening, as long as there is no fraud or contract default by the employer...”

Exploitation occurs when the aforementioned exchange does not occur fairly.
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"fairly" is a subjective feeling which cannot be measured objectively or scientifically. Economics should not be about subjective feelings. Our society is worse off if we allow personal emotionalism and subjectivism to be the basis for decision-making. And what is "fair" is purely an individual subjective and even religious feeling only. Not a fact.

"Exploitation" also is probably a subjective and emotionalistic feeling rather than a fact. Everyone claims they are getting a raw deal from the economy, being paid less than their real value.

There is no way to measure the wage paid against the value produced by the worker. The only objective measure is whatever they both agreed to in the contract.

If there is a change in the production, they can always renegotiate the contract. The workers' value might increase or decrease, according to changing supply-and-demand and the conditions of competition in the market.

Requiring them both to stick to the contract is the only objective means of enforcing the rules of any "fairness" that has a real meaning.

Let them keep their contract agreements of short duration, if there's a worry about changes in the value of something. At the time of the agreement, which is to extend for a year or 2 or 3 years, both sides are taking a risk of changing conditions. They have to get the best information and make their predictions what the demand will be a year or 2 later. But at the time of the contract agreement, there is no logical or economic or scientific reason for the state to intervene and impose any terms on wages and terms of employment. All such interference by the government, presuming to impose a wage level, makes the whole society worse off. The nation suffers economic loss from such interference in the market by government, because it adds unnecessary production cost, driving up the cost of business and thus also the prices consumers have to pay.

Unnecessarily forcing consumers to pay higher prices makes us all worse off and reduces the overall living standard.

(This of course does not relate to such need as externalities costs which the state might add to a product, which is a different issue.)
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Lumpenproletariat

015

WHISKY:

When the worker is not paid according to the work he places forward.
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The contract terms agreed to are the only way to evaluate the "work he places forward" and judge if the pay is in accord with that value.

Perhaps the workers should be paid according to a daily contract, renewed every work day, when the work for that day is evaluated and the wage or price for the labor is set. And this can be changed the very next day, if necessary.

Again, the only "fair" wage is whatever the employer and worker agree to. Or the only "fair" price for anything is whatever the buyer and seller agree to.

This cannot be subverted and violated by subjective theories about "exploitation" which are unscientific and subjective. If we allow subjective feelings to overrule the facts of economics, it can only pervert the economic performance of producers, drive up the cost of business, and lead to a lower standard of living for all.
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WHISKY:

Or even the working conditions are not what was agreed upon.
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Finally you've got it right. It is unfair, and it's criminal exploitation if the employer violates any of the terms agreed to in the contract.
(Edited by Lumpenproletariat)
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Lumpenproletariat
Lumpenproletariat:

017

WHISKY:

On your statement: “…All the above are issues for the employers and workers to resolve, not for government.”

The issue caused by the Covid19 pandemic needed government involvement to provide financial support. Some businesses were offered packages to not fall under. Others broke and were closed down. Employers had little to no options in dealing with a lack of customer flow.

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On your statement: “The legal judgment might be that the company is dissolved and whatever assets there are might be paid to the workers. And the company which defaults should suffer consequences, and possibly remains liable to the workers...”

From what I understand, legally a company can liquidate without compensating the workers first. There is a hierarchy. Also depends on the type of liquidation and the situation.

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Your statement: “The general rules of the economy need to be directed toward gaining the best performance possible under normal circumstances…”

I’d opt for society’s best performance. The economy tends not to only crash or falter due to a disaster as Covid or Natural disasters etc. Many factors affect it and even the methods aimed at assisting it can cause later issues.
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Let's say every point above is correct, that the government is needed to do actions to make the economy perform better, and especially during an emergency, or potential disaster, such as a pandemic.

That government should never do anything is a ridiculous notion that even strict Libertarians run away from. A good example is to enforce antitrust laws, to enforce competition in the economy.

But what the government should never do is set the wages or prices.

Propping up wages or prices, or suppressing them, is never justified. Including setting maximum or minimum prices or wages.

The only exception to this, if no one can name another, is to drive up prices of some items which pose a threat to society. So, e.g., driving up the price of gasoline or coal is legitimate, to discourage the burning of fossil fuels.

But no one has ever given a legitimate reason to drive up the wage level. Such as through minimum wage laws.

This stifles production and drives down the living standard from what it would be if employers and workers alone and individually were left free to set their own terms.

But nothing in this free-market philosophy of wages is saying that government should never do anything. Or never try to influence or regulate production and restrict behavior that threatens us or the environment.

Rather, even though government performs necessary steps to make the economy better, this does not include scapegoating employers with minimum wage laws simply because they are a minority of the producers, because pandering to such populist demands does nothing to benefit the whole economy.

(Edited by Lumpenproletariat)
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