Thu, 25 Jan 2007

Minimum Wage as a cause of injustice

Nearly everyone in the USA agrees with the 5th Amendment's prohibition on the taking of private property for public use without just compensation. Yet a very large percentage of people in the USA want a higher minimum wage. What about the people whose private jobs are taken for public use? Where is their compensation?

Nobody seriously believes that you can raise the price of something, and everybody will buy just as much as before. Nothing is completely insensitive to price. So what of the people whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage? Of course the minimum wage helps people who remain employed. It harms people who lose their jobs. Some people say "Well, the people who are helped are helped much more than those who are harmed, so it's okay." You could say the same thing if the government was to simply confiscate property in the way of a road. Yet nobody in the USA speaks in favor of that. Why do they speak in favor of confiscating somebody's job so that others may be paid more?

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