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  1. Ted

    The minimum wage is really really really stupid. Seen from the socialist view that the greedy capitalists are exploiting you and we can punish them by mandating that they cannot pay less than $15/hr, it sounds great! Unfortunately we don’t live in a cartoon. In the real world wages are negotiated between employer and employee. Effectively, the minimum wage makes it illegal for you to OFFER your services for less than $15/hr. Sure, for many jobs you’d be making more than that, so it makes no difference, but on the whole it will mean less jobs for low skilled workers. It will mean more people welfare and other types of government assistance. Why? Because, in order for someone to be paid $15/hr, they need to produce more than that with their labor. So people with low skills (teenagers, people who cannot speak English, hipsters, etc) will need to be able to produce not $15/hr but more – a lot more. Businesses work by generating a profit – that evil concept by which we all feed ourselves and are able to live and love life.

    So if you want to get your foot in the door at a record label or a film company, or a newspaper/magazine, or whatever your “dream job” might be, you might say “look, I’ll show up and work for FREE! I just want to get a foot in the door in this industry.” they’ll say “That would be awesome, but the law requires that I pay you $15/hr, and we can’t afford to do that – sorry.”

    Furthermore, minimum wage jobs necessitate the need to hire undocumented immigrants who are willing to work for less than the minimum wage. They aren’t protected by the law the way we are because they’re here illegally – so the “exploitation” that leftists claim to want to eliminate will be perpetuated by this well-intentioned but utterly misguided and naive law.

    Here’s how the real world works: You’re the boss. You’re selling widgets. Each widget costs you $1 to make. You want to sell them for $10, or even $100, but the more you charge, the less people buy them. If you charge less than $1, you will go out of business. Even if you charge $1.20, you might go out of business. you are competing with other widget manufactures who sell a similar product, and the pressures of your costs and your competition bring you, naturally, to a price. The price may be $3. Labor is the same way. Workers who take a job are selling their labor. You’d love to charge $100/hr, but at that rate, no one will buy it. You can’t charge $1/hr because that’s not enough to live on. So, you compete with other laborers for the business of the employers. One business offers you $9.50, another offers you $12. You go wherever you can get the best deal, and with work comes experience and with experience one can demand a higher pay because they are now able to produce that much more. Artificially setting a bottom to this pay rate will only work if the bottom is lower than what the actual market decides it should be, and in that case no bottom would be necessary anyway.

    These idiotic policies are what is driving prices UP in Portland. Bernie Sanders is dead wrong on this and many other issues.


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