Supporting a Minimum Wage Increase, Known Harm Be Damned!

by Jan 25, 2014Liberty & Economy0 comments

I had a brief encounter with a politician who supports a minimum wage despite understanding how it could hurt the very people she claims to want to help.

The other day, I posted about my encounter with Maryland legislator Jill P. Carter. You can check out our discussion on Twitter here, but long story short, she declared her support for increasing the minimum wage and I responded to say that while her intentions were good, this was a bad idea because it would exacerbate unemployment. Turns out I was wrong about that; her intentions were not good, as this most instructive tweet of hers indicated:

She offered no argument to support her position (or any kind of willingness to support it whatsoever, for that matter), but instead just repeatedly insisted that an increase in the minimum wage was “inevitable” and that I was “fighting a losing battle”, to which I repeatedly replied that, while this may be so, it was nevertheless still a bad idea that would harm workers.

Then, after I published and shared my blog post about our “discussion”, she also had this to say:

So what does this all tell us about Jill P. Carter?

What it tells us is that she understands that supporting minimum wage laws and advocating for increasing the mandatory minimum could very well harm the very workers she pretends to want to help. But she doesn’t care. All that matters to her is taking up the popular position just so she can remain in her position of power over the lives of others. Any views contrary to her own that are expressed by anyone who is not her constituent are completely irrelevant to her. She accuses me of claiming to be the “sole authority” on the matter for expressing a position contrary to her own, and yet, there she is, using her position as a state legislator to advocate the use of force to accomplish a goal for no other reason than that doing so will help her get reelected.

All of which is to say, it tells us that Jill P. Carter is an extreme hypocrite. The broader point I wish to make is that this kind of hypocrisy, of course, is by no means extraordinary. It pretty much goes with the job description.

As a footnote, I replied to point out that appealing to those economists who support her view while utterly dismissing the rest (just as she dismissed me for not being her constituent) was an “appeal to authority” fallacy. I welcomed her to point out any error in my argument, which, of course, she declined to do, for the obvious reason that she was incapable of doing so. Here’s the crux of it from my previous post:

It isn’t statistics that tells us that minimum wage laws create unemployment. It’s basic economics, the law of supply and demand. When the government engages in price fixing and sets a price below that determined by the market, it creates a shortage, and vise versa. Any study that cites statistics to claim that an increase in the minimum wage did not cause an increase in unemployment is inherently invalid for the simple reason that it cannot cite any statistics to show what jobs would otherwise have existed. It is a simple logical truism that the consequence of outlawing jobs is unemployment. To argue otherwise is to insist either that (a) there are no workers out there who would prefer to work for less than the minimum wage than to have no job or (b) there are no employers out there who who would hire workers for less than minimum wage, even though those workers would prefer to work for such a wage than to have no income at all. And as if it wasn’t already self-evident enough that neither of those conditions exist, we can also prove that through logic, since if either of those things were true, then there would be no perceived need to increase the minimum wage.

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About Jeremy R. Hammond

About Jeremy R. Hammond

I am an independent journalist, political analyst, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, book author, and writing coach.

My writings empower readers with the knowledge they need to see through state propaganda intended to manufacture their consent for criminal government policies.

By recognizing when we are being lied to and why, we can fight effectively for liberty, peace, and justice, in order to create a better world for ourselves, our children, and future generations of humanity.

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