Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Fifteen Reasons to Abolish the U.S. Federal Minimum Wage Law
Originally Written in November 2011
Post-Script Written on January 24th, 2016
Edited on January 2nd and 26th, 2016
1. The federal minimum wage law is administered through the use and threat of coercive force and taxation – a euphemism for “theft” – rather than through the use of incentive, reward, encouragement, and voluntarism.
2. The rate and the value of the minimum wage are set by coercive statist government, rather than by the average going subjective free-market values of entry-level labor and currencies.
3. The increase of the minimum wage can be justified by citing the need for the federal government to extract more in personal income taxes from working citizens.
4. The increase of the minimum wage can be justified by citing the need for labor unions – which, where they exist, almost always wield an exclusive monopoly in the representation of workers to management – to extract more in dues payments from working union members.
5. The minimum wage law constitutes an undue financial strain on producers, managers, employers, and payroll departments; all other things remaining constant, increases in the minimum wage may contribute to any or all of the following problems: mass layoffs, decreases in profitability and the ability to invest capital, declines in the quality of the services or products, declines in workplace safety and other conditions, and declines in employee benefits.
6. The increase of the minimum wage is a major factor contributing to inflation.
7. The inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage peaked in 1968, and it only increases one out of every four years.
8. The inflation-adjusted value of the minimum wage decreased by 20% from 1997 to 2006, and 27% from 1981 to 1989.
9. When the rate and value of the minimum wage do actually increase, the only individuals who benefit are those who are already employed.
10. Increases of the minimum wage cause increases in unemployment by making it more difficult for the unemployed to justify such an inflated wage.
11. An inflated minimum wage makes it more difficult for those who lack education, specialized skill sets, and job training and experience to justify such a wage, creating a barrier for the entry of young people, people without advanced degrees, and the disadvantaged and impoverished into the labor market, and it entrenches the socioeconomic privilege of the well-educated, those with specialized skill sets, those with employment experience, the middle class, and adults in general.
12. An inflated minimum wage makes it more difficult for those who lack proficiency in English to become employed, and entrenches the socioeconomic privilege of those who speak English fluently.
13. A standard minimum wage fails to account for the differences in the standards of living wages and conditions across the various cultural, national, ethnic, and racial groups; this tends to cause competition between members of such groups, thereby breeding resentment, which undermines the international solidarity of the working class.
14. The enforcement of the minimum wage law contributes to the increased marginalization and legal risks of undocumented foreign-born workers who are content to earn less than the minimum wage; this tends to breed resentment – as well as, occasionally, a secret and confused jealousy – in and among those who have come to feel a sense of entitlement to receive “a decent wage” due to their obedience of the law and their native-born status.
15. The federal minimum wage law is obligatory neither on the states, nor on the companies and agencies which are granted exemptions from it.
Post-Script, Written on January 24th, 2016:
Raising the minimum wage is unnecessary, and only serves to fuel the cycle of price inflation. Instead of raising the minimum wage, let’s keep the minimum wage where it is, or lower it, or just get rid of minimum wage laws entirely. Let’s do this so that we can achieve full employment; abolish the Federal Reserve and fractional reserve banking, so that our currency – and, by extension, our earnings – is actually worth something; lower government spending so that people don’t have to pay such high taxes on the little money that they do earn; and tax landlords who abuse and neglect their property, so that the rents aren’t so damn high.