Comment re. minimum wage

To “mrtapeguy” at Scott’s blog, thanks for your response.

Some quick thoughts…

[1] Without laws against murder, we could not have a civilized society. Likewise, without laws regarding minimum wage, we would not have a U.S. economy, since workers would not be able to afford bus fare, let alone pay for rent, food, etc.

High unemployment (caused by neoliberalism) sustains a surplus of labor, such that without minimum wage laws, desperate workers would undercut each other until they were willing to toil for 10 cents an hour or less.  Federal laws ensure a nationwide rock bottom that (in theory anyway) no employer can long get away with violating. Even though 10,000 people apply for each job at McDonald’s, there is a legal limit to how badly workers can be exploited.

You say, “The market sets wages.” Yes. Just as “the market” set the “wages” of plantation slaves.

[2]“mrtapeguy” writes, “No one is obligated to work for less than they feel they deserve at any place that isn’t willing to pay them.”

I disagree. People are obligated by circumstances such as their need to eat. In your fantasy, “No one is obligated.” In my fantasy, humans care for each other to a minimal extent.

[3] With all due respect, your comments about government spending are too erroneous and self-contradictory to merit a response. (You don’t want the government to be an employer, and yet you do, via WPA-style programs.) The U.S. government creates its spending money out of thin air, simply by changing the numbers in bank accounts. Hence the U.S. government has no need or use for tax revenue (unlike state and local governments). People who do not understand this do not understand economics. No one rich or poor should have to pay federal taxes. (State and local taxes are a different matter.)

[4] I am confused by your comment regarding Universal Medicare. You seem to both favor it and oppose it.

Thanks for visiting and commenting.