Krugman notes "the minimum wage is one of the most studied issues in all of economics."
Thus, Krugman makes all the typical liberal arguments about raising the minimum wage:
- The current rate is very low,
- Worker productivity has doubled,
- There'll be little if any negative effect on employment,
- It doesn't necessarily reduce the number of jobs,
- It works with the earned income credit to help lower-paid workers,
- It raises the incomes of hard-working but low-paid Americans,
- Republican leaders have disdain for low-wage workers.
All of these arguments go against the standard conservative, classical liberal, free market advocate, anarco-capitalist, libertarian economic arguments, as follows:
- Some who thought they were going to get hired won't get hired,
- Some who thought their jobs were safe will get laid off,
- Some will get to keep their jobs but be forced to work longer and harder to make up for those who were laid off,
- Raising the lowest rung on the "ladder of success" raises that rung above the reach of the least skilled workers who can't even get a start,
- Some prices for goods and services will have to go up in order to absorb the extra labor costs that can't be absorbed any other way which will hurt those "hard-working but low-paid Americans" the most.
- Raising the price of labor, goods and services hurts people on fixed incomes.
But all of these arguments are moot due to one crucial fact: raising the minimum wage means government coercion.
Coercion is the initiation of physical force by one person or group, including government, against another.
- Coercion teaches the beneficiaries of coercion that they're entitled to be handed what others have earned.
- Coercion teaches the wielders of coercion that they are smarter, better, more important, more worthy, and therefore entitled to exercise coercion over others.
- Coercion teaches the targets of coercion that there can be no such thing as "social justice" in a civilized society because society, to be civil, must abolish coercion.
Coercion corrupts everyone. Raising the minimum wage is coercion. Period.
(Thanks to Maria Folsom for the article idea.)
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