Hundreds beg Seattle City Council to make them unemployed

By raising the minimum wage to $15 a hour.

There is an old saying that you are worth as much as you are paid. If you don’t like your wages, ask for a raise. If you don’t get one, get the skills you need to get the raise. If that’s not possible in your job, seek a job elsewhere that pays better. If you can’t find one that does, then what you’re paid is what your work is worth.

Some people don’t get this. A combination of a sense of entitlement and a stubborn unwillingness to learn new skills drives these people to use government to raise their wages. Meanwhile, they never bother to ask where that extra money will come from.

As a high school student saving up for college, I worked at my local QFC a few blocks from my house. Having no skills besides the ability to follow instructions and keep the dairy section neat and tidy, I was paid minimum wage, which at the time was $7.72. Eventually, the minimum wage was raised by about a dollar. When that happened, my hours got cut, which meant I got paid the same.

Higher pay means nothing if you don’t get the same hours.

Murray Rothbard and countless other economists have written on the devastating effects of raising the minimum wage. Not only is it a violation of a person’s right to work at whatever wage they are willing to, such as immigrants whose work value may be below $15 an hour, but it forces employers to fire workers they can’t afford to keep employed.

If a person is willing to work for a certain amount of money, and a person is willing to pay them that amount, what right does anyone have to say they can’t do this?

What you have here is a group of working class people who are not willing or incapable of increasing their skills, thus making themselves more valuable to a potential employer. Instead of doing that, they are attempting to make careers out of jobs that require zero skills. In the past, the idea is that you started at the bottom and worked your way up the economic ladder. Now, however, they simply want to stay at the bottom but get paid as if they are in the middle.

Investor Doug Casey has written about this mentality before. He says:

People generally fall into an economic class because of their psychology and their values. Each of the three classes has a characteristic psychological profile. For the lower class, it’s apathy. They have nothing, they’re ground down and they don’t really care. They’re not in the game, and they aren’t going to do anything; they’re resigned to their fate.

These people would be better off educating themselves, learning valuable job skills that are in demand, and then pursuing those jobs. What’s really sad is that they may get what they ask for with a $15 minimum wage, but then they will be laid off so their employer can pay another worker at that rate.

This entry was posted in Minimum Wage, Money and Currency and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hundreds beg Seattle City Council to make them unemployed

  1. Todd says:

    Banks use lending and money creation to drive up the cost of goods and services. The cost of everything rises over time in a debt-based fiat money economy, so why not wages? Why are wages always expected to stay the same by libertarians?


    • The Question says:

      Excellent question. To make a long answer short, wages should be allowed to rise, but only through voluntary means when agreed upon by the employer and employee. People can demand higher wages in response to rising prices and costs of living, which I have seen at various jobs I’ve worked at, and the employer responded knowing they risked losing employees to other jobs. If an employee cannot get a raise they can obtain another job. For jobs beyond the minimum wage, competition between employers force them to keep increase their wages.

      The trouble with raising the minimum wage is that it is done by the government without the consent of either the employer or the employee, so it negatively affects people who have not agreed upon it who could see their hours cut or get laid off as a result. There are lots of unforeseen consequences to government actions like this, such as those who have yet to enter the workforce but will not get hired at a minimum wage job because the pay has increased beyond their productivity. A high minimum wage benefits those who remain employed but not for those who cannot get hired because the employer can afford fewer employees.

      Of course, this dilemma would be solved if the Federal Reserve was abolished and the currency was not fiat-based. But your question is extremely applicable in our current political situation. Inflation is extremely harmful to the poor and less fortunate, who see what little they can save lose its value and make it nearly impossible to acquire any capital to invest elsewhere.


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