My biggest criticism of minimum wage laws are the people who proposed them. You can tell that those people don’t actually believe the bullshit they spew out. If they did they would propose major hikes in minimum wage instead of the incremental steps they always throw out. Thankfully we have Barbara Lee, a senator from California who believes in minimum wage laws and isn’t a pussy about it:
California Democratic congresswoman Barbara Lee expressed support for a $26 minimum wage in her state — a move Republican congressman Andy Harris encouraged, assuming jobs would rapidly flee California to his state of Maryland.
“Let me ask you this question, you’re a good advocate for this,” Gingrich asked Lee. “The mayor of Seattle is proposing that the minimum wage ought to go up to $15 an hour.”
“Good for him,” Lee responded. “In California — more than likely, from what I remembered — a living wage where people could live and take care of their families and move toward achieving the American dream was about $25, $26 an hour.”
“So would you support that as a minimum wage for California?” Gingrich asked.
“Absolutely I would support it for California. I think the regional factors –”
“And you don’t think that’d have an effect on unemployment?” Gingrich interrupted.
“No, Newt, trust me, believe you me,” Lee replied, “you’d have a more productive workforce, you’d have people who could afford to live in areas now where they cannot afford to live. You would increase diversity in certain communities where you don’t have diversity anymore. You would have economic parity and the income gap would begin to close.”
Finally! None of this $11 or $15 per hour nonsense. I think it’s time for everybody to finally put their money where their mouths are. If minimum wage laws are good for the economy, as many economically illiterate people claim it is, then they should demand a minimum wage that would put everybody into the middle class. That way poverty could be entirely eliminated.
Of course when economic reality hits everybody will be unemployed. Facing the decision between starvation or working in the “underground” economy most people choose the latter. Then we can finally see real markets in action instead of this coercive cronyism we suffer under now. So my desire to see an absurd minimum wage is not entirely without self-interest. As an agorist any restriction placed on the market by the state is a good thing because it pushes people into the “underground” economy, which deprives the state of authority and resources.