Reply To: Logic Regarding Minimum Wage


Hello again, Dean.

Someone might respond that your analogy of the aspirin is significantly disanalogous to the MW case. Drugs interfere with the body’s natural operation and may (and generally do) have side effects. Usually, you want to take the minimum amount of the drug to produce the beneficial effect and avoid side-effects.

This would not seem to be the case with MW. Other things being equal, higher wages are better (for the worker) than lower wages and there is no necessary element, as there is in the case of drugs, of any side effects that need to be avoided.

The anti-MW argument (which appears again in today’s Mises Daily by Walter Block) is effectively a challenge to the MW proponent to say just why the MW should be set at X rather than at X+delta. If, as is expected, the answer is that X+delta couldn’t be afforded by employers, then the anti-MW arguer will continue the challenge and ask why the MW proponent thinks that X can be afforded. This then focuses the argument on economic rather than on social factors and the discussion can proceed from there.

Anyway, there you have my 2-cent’s worth for the moment. I’d be interested to see what others have to say.