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Author Topic: What we need is FAIR markets, not free markets.  (Read 9405 times)
Mageant
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July 05, 2011, 10:18:50 AM
 #41

IMHO, the only way to have fair and also free markets is to have no governments at all.

As long as there is one player in the economic field of activity that uses force on large numbers of people it will either directly or indirectly cause distortions in the markets, giving advantages to a select few.

Without governments there will be so much more wealth and wealth opportunities for everybody that differences will not matter anymore because there will be plenty for everybody anyway.

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July 05, 2011, 10:28:10 AM
 #42

I can't really follow absolute anarchism. I'm a major fan of Frédéric Bastiat and "The Law" summed up every purpose of government. I see government as an essential and necessary force to some degree. But obviously the less government, the better. I think a human has a right to his/her life, liberty, and property and that there should be a justice system to help protect these rights. Outside of those basics, government has no legitimate purpose in my mind.

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July 05, 2011, 10:49:09 AM
 #43

I agree with bustaballs. The ideal role of government is very limited, but it is an essential role. Besides the fact that you need a government to standardize laws, in order to avoid constant conflict, you need government to force people to contribute funding to public goods like law enforcement, that otherwise would be un-produced in society.
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July 05, 2011, 10:52:07 AM
 #44

Wrong. Nearly every economist from almost every spectrum of the economic field, be it Keynesian or Austrian, agree that the minimum wage increases unemployment, increases poverty (particularly for minorities), kills many small businesses, and many other serious issues. The minimum wage hurts the poor and never helps them. The minimum wage has zero real benefits. This is true of every regulation.

That's false. Minimum wage only increases poverty when it's too big. If it's medium sized (let's say half of the sallary of the 70% poorest population wage), it just redistributes wealth. Yeah, some people will get unemployed because they cannot get a $1/day job, but as business'll still need workers, they'll be paying at least $40/day to workers.

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July 05, 2011, 11:15:09 AM
 #45

That's false. Minimum wage only increases poverty when it's too big. If it's medium sized (let's say half of the sallary of the 70% poorest population wage), it just redistributes wealth. Yeah, some people will get unemployed because they cannot get a $1/day job, but as business'll still need workers, they'll be paying at least $40/day to workers.
So what happens to the people whose labor is not worth the minimum wage? Do we just cut the bottom rungs off the ladder of success?

The minimum wage doesn't redistribute anything. It simply ensures that a person whose labor is not worth the minimum wage will not be employed. It cannot compel an employer to pay someone more than their labor is worth, nor would any rational employer do so.

Think about it rationally -- would it be easier to sell a computer if the government set a minimum prices of $800? I mean, that would ensure you made at least $800, right? All it would mean is that computers worth less than $800 would never sell, ever. Computers worth more than $800 already sell for more than $800. So forcing a high price doesn't help you at all.

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July 05, 2011, 11:34:18 AM
 #46

Small government does not work because governments have an innate tendency to grow bigger.

Also, if people find out what governments have really been doing they will be so disgusted that they won't want anything more to do with governments anymore.

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July 05, 2011, 11:56:59 AM
 #47

The minimum wage doesn't redistribute anything. It simply ensures that a person whose labor is not worth the minimum wage will not be employed. It cannot compel an employer to pay someone more than their labor is worth, nor would any rational employer do so.

Well, in the opinion of anarchists and neoliberal people, NOTHING (except free market) redistributes and at the same time creates, wealth.

If your labor is not worth the minimum wage, but the employer needs it to be done, IT WILL BE DONE. It will be done and the person who is employed for doing it WILL get the minimum wage. If the labor is not worth the minimum wage but gets done anyways, there's a wealth redistribution. This is a fact.

The point isn't whether minimum wages redistribute wealth or not. The point is whether this wealth redistribution is, overall, a good thing for the economy or not: does the minimum wage not only redistribute wealth but create more wealth?

Many people (neoliberals and ancaps) will say it doesn't, because you are just giving some of the rich's wealth to the poor, in a inefficient way.

But perhaps Keynes would rather say that the poor would use it in a more efficient way than the rich: the rich would perhaps use it for speculation, while the poor would spend it in real thing like food and gasoil.

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July 05, 2011, 12:00:08 PM
 #48

Life is not fair.

Get over it

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July 05, 2011, 12:06:09 PM
 #49

But perhaps Keynes would rather say that the poor would use it in a more efficient way than the rich: the rich would perhaps use it for speculation, while the poor would spend it in real thing like food and gasoil.
It seems improbable in the extreme that those who have successfully made money in the past would generally tend to use money less efficiently than those who have not. As a general rule, the wealthier you are, the smaller the percentage of your money that goes into consumption.

But I think that's a pretty bizarre argument anyway. I'm sure I could appreciate a million dollars much more than Bill Gates would miss a single million. But I think most civilized people agree that if I take a million dollars from Bill Gates against his wishes, I'm a scoundrel not a champion of an efficient economy.

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July 05, 2011, 12:35:28 PM
 #50

It seems improbable in the extreme that those who have successfully made money in the past would generally tend to use money less efficiently than those who have not.

Yeah but I'm talking about wealth, not about money.

As a general rule, the wealthier you are, the smaller the percentage of your money that goes into consumption.

And if you are rich and you speculate, then you are creating money not wealth (it's more money for you, but not more wealth for the whole economy).

But I think that's a pretty bizarre argument anyway. I'm sure I could appreciate a million dollars much more than Bill Gates would miss a single million. But I think most civilized people agree that if I take a million dollars from Bill Gates against his wishes, I'm a scoundrel not a champion of an efficient economy.

I disagree. Taxes are a good thing, as (for example) they pay the very efficient universal/socialized spanish healthcare system.

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July 05, 2011, 12:41:15 PM
 #51

Yeah but I'm talking about wealth, not about money.
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And if you are rich and you speculate, then you are creating money not wealth (it's more money for you, but not more wealth for the whole economy).
I understand the distinction between wealth and money, but I don't see how it's relevant here. You can substitute "wealth" for "money" in the post you are responding to and the reasoning stays precisely the same.

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I disagree. Taxes are a good thing, as (for example) they pay the very efficient universal/socialized spanish healthcare system.
The minimum wage is not a tax. It's simply a law that prohibits some mutually-beneficial employment arrangements.

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Findeton
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July 05, 2011, 12:46:12 PM
 #52

I understand the distinction between wealth and money, but I don't see how it's relevant here. You can substitute "wealth" for "money" in the post you are responding to and the reasoning stays precisely the same.

You can make money without creating wealth. That's a fact. So no, you cannot substitute "wealth" for "money" in your post without changing the reasoning.

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I disagree. Taxes are a good thing, as (for example) they pay the very efficient universal/socialized spanish healthcare system.
The minimum wage is not a tax. It's simply a law that prohibits some mutually-beneficial employment arrangements.

Minimum wage's not a tax, but in the way you wrote your text, I could think you were talking about taxes.

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July 05, 2011, 01:00:28 PM
 #53

If your labor is not worth the minimum wage, but the employer needs it to be done, IT WILL BE DONE. It will be done and the person who is employed for doing it WILL get the minimum wage. If the labor is not worth the minimum wage but gets done anyways, there's a wealth redistribution. This is a fact.

You act like Big Boss Bill only has two options: hire Dan the Drunk for an inflated wage to cut the peppers for his pizza, or go without having peppers on his pizza. You seem to be refusing to take the perspective of the employer, and actually stop and think about what else might be done.

1) Bill can tell Overworked Oliver that, in addition to making the pizzas, he now has to also cut the peppers

2) Bill can buy an automatic pepper-cutter

3) Bill can pay more to buy pre-cut peppers

4) Bill can hire Efficient Ernie instead, who can cut peppers, olives, tomatoes and pepperoni, to get more bang for his buck

5) Bill can cut the peppers himself

6) Bill can hire an intern, spin some tale about how pepper-cutting is the key to the pizza business, and get it done for free (until the intern wises up)

7) Bill can hire an illegal immigrant for less than minimum wage, and pay him off the books

And yeah... he can also just decide to do without peppers on his pizzas from now on.

In each of those cases, Dan was not made wealthier. He's still poor, and now he won't even be employed. You have an unrealistic view of things if you think employers just eat losses because some law tells them to, rather than doing whatever they can to avoid it.

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July 05, 2011, 01:06:43 PM
 #54

1) Bill can tell Overworked Oliver that, in addition to making the pizzas, he now has to also cut the peppers

2) Bill can buy an automatic pepper-cutter

3) Bill can pay more to buy pre-cut peppers

4) Bill can hire Efficient Ernie instead, who can cut peppers, olives, tomatoes and pepperoni, to get more bang for his buck

5) Bill can cut the peppers himself

6) Bill can hire an intern, spin some tale about how pepper-cutting is the key to the pizza business, and get it done for free (until the intern wises up)

7) Bill can hire an illegal immigrant for less than minimum wage, and pay him off the books

And yeah... he can also just decide to do without peppers on his pizzas from now on.

So (in any legal way), if the job really needs to be done, the worker gets paid at least the minimum wage per hour.

In each of those cases, Dan was not made wealthier. He's still poor, and now he won't even be employed. You have an unrealistic view of things if you think employers just eat losses because some law tells them to, rather than doing whatever they can to avoid it.

This is the way we got all our workers' rights and it has worked very well so far. Do I have to enumerate again all the workers' rights we've got right now that we earned back when vacuum tubes didn't exist? History shows I'm right.

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July 05, 2011, 01:25:54 PM
 #55

Quote from: Findeton
So (in any legal way), if the job really needs to be done, the worker gets paid at least the minimum wage per hour.

Some jobs are optional, and only get done if the price is right. A shop owner could decide to hire three extra staff and keep his shop open longer every day, or he could just stay with the hours he has. If the cost of labor makes keeping the shop open later unprofitable, he won't do it.

There is no benefit in prohibiting any mutually agreed upon transaction, particularly one where both parties are obviously acting in their self interest (in contrast to something like a narcotics purchase, which I still prefer to be legal).
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July 05, 2011, 01:33:05 PM
 #56

There is no benefit in prohibiting any mutually agreed upon transaction, particularly one where both parties are obviously acting in their self interest (in contrast to something like a narcotics purchase, which I still prefer to be legal).

Yes, there's benefit in prohibiting some mutually agreed upon transaction. Because there are needs like food, water and a house to live in that everyone need to cover and employers use that fact against workers. Minimum wage and other government interventions balances out that power.

And I repeat, it has worked quite well so far.

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July 05, 2011, 01:45:09 PM
 #57

1) Bill can tell Overworked Oliver that, in addition to making the pizzas, he now has to also cut the peppers

2) Bill can buy an automatic pepper-cutter

3) Bill can pay more to buy pre-cut peppers

4) Bill can hire Efficient Ernie instead, who can cut peppers, olives, tomatoes and pepperoni, to get more bang for his buck

5) Bill can cut the peppers himself

6) Bill can hire an intern, spin some tale about how pepper-cutting is the key to the pizza business, and get it done for free (until the intern wises up)

7) Bill can hire an illegal immigrant for less than minimum wage, and pay him off the books

And yeah... he can also just decide to do without peppers on his pizzas from now on.

So (in any legal way), if the job really needs to be done, the worker gets paid at least the minimum wage per hour.

How can you even make that statement?

In example #1, no one got paid more. Instead, one worker is made to work harder with no increase in pay.

In example #2, A MACHINE does the job.

In example #3, we have no idea if someone somehow gets a pay raise. For all we know, the pre-cut peppers could be produced by child labor in a third-world country.

In none of those examples do we see Dan the Drunk, who isn't worth minimum wage, suddenly start making it. Please note that THAT is the point I'm trying to make.

Of course all the legal workers still left employed make minimum wage. No one argued otherwise--it's a strawman. But to say that poor people are all suddenly made better off through the decree of a minimum wage is nonsense. See examples 1-7.


Quote
In each of those cases, Dan was not made wealthier. He's still poor, and now he won't even be employed. You have an unrealistic view of things if you think employers just eat losses because some law tells them to, rather than doing whatever they can to avoid it.

This is the way we got all our workers' rights and it has worked very well so far. Do I have to enumerate again all the workers' rights we've got right now that we earned back when vacuum tubes didn't exist?

Enumerate all you like. It still doesn't change the fact that forcing a minimum wage on a society does NOT magically cause all otherwise-employable people to suddenly start earning that wage. There are simply too many ways around a minimum wage, in most cases, for it to do anything. (And even if it did--congratulations! You just caused every employer to raise prices to compensate! Now those "wealthier" employees can spend their newfound wealth on more expensive goods and services. Winners all around!)

Quote
History shows I'm right.

Actually, history shows minimum wage is, at best, a joke, and at worst, an impediment to workers, and to the economy at large.

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
...
...
In the future, books that summarize the history of money will have a line that says, “and then came bitcoin.” It is the economic singularity. And we are living in it now. - Ryan Dickherber
...
...
ATTENTION BFL MINING NEWBS: Just got your Jalapenos in? Wondering how to get the most value for the least hassle? Give BitMinter a try! It's a smaller pool with a fair & low-fee payment method, lots of statistical feedback, and it's easier than EasyMiner! (Yes, we want your hashing power, but seriously, it IS the easiest pool to use! Sign up in seconds to try it!)
...
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The idea that deflation causes hoarding (to any problematic degree) is a lie used to justify theft of value from your savings.
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July 05, 2011, 01:48:51 PM
 #58

It hasn't worked well at all. It has reduced employment, and led to people without marketable skills not having a way to acquire them with an entry level job. That the Western world is relatively wealthy doesn't change the fact that the net effect of minimum wage laws have been negative. Luckily the minimum wage has been quite low relative to the average wage, so its negative effect has been small, but it's still there.

Quote
Yes, there's benefit in prohibiting some mutually agreed upon transaction. Because there are needs like food, water and a house to live in that everyone need to cover and employers use that fact against workers. Minimum wage and other government interventions balances out that power.

If people are so desperate to meet their basic needs that they will take a low paying job, then prohibiting those low paying jobs is the opposite of what you want to do. And it doesn't matter how much power the employer has, the only thing he is able to do in a free market is offer people a wage in exchange for a service. If they are not happy with the worker, they can end that employer-employee relationship, which leaves the worker no worse off than he was before.
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July 05, 2011, 01:59:59 PM
 #59

If people are so desperate to meet their basic needs that they will take a low paying job, then prohibiting those low paying jobs is the opposite of what you want to do. And it doesn't matter how much power the employer has, the only thing he is able to do in a free market is offer people a wage in exchange for a service. If they are not happy with the worker, they can end that employer-employee relationship, which leaves the worker no worse off than he was before.

If the job needs to be done, it will get done even if it requires low skills. In that case, you won't be killing jobs, jsut redistributing wealth.

How can you even make that statement?

In example #1, no one got paid more. Instead, one worker is made to work harder with no increase in pay.

If a worker is working more hours than what the contract and the law says, it's illegal and I don't count it because it shouldn't happen and the worker should sue the employer for cheating the legal system. If he stops doing "important stuff" in order to do the cheap stuff, others will do the "important stuff".

In example #2, A MACHINE does the job.

So we just increased productivity, and increased efficiency. BTW, who created and designed that machine? Maybe someone got the minimum wage, we created the machine and therefore wealth and at the same time increased productivity.

In example #3, we have no idea if someone somehow gets a pay raise. For all we know, the pre-cut peppers could be produced by child labor in a third-world country.

If the pre-cut peppers are produced by child labor in a third-world, I say we should ban them from selling their child labor products here. Until we ban that kind of thing, there's a loop in the system we have to fix. This system is far from perfect, we have to get better laws.

In none of those examples do we see Dan the Drunk, who isn't worth minimum wage, suddenly start making it. Please note that THAT is the point I'm trying to make.

That's because you just ignored the fact that the employer could simply hire Dan the Drunk for the minimum wage.

There are simply too many ways around a minimum wage, in most cases, for it to do anything. (And even if it did--congratulations! You just caused every employer to raise prices to compensate! Now those "wealthier" employees can spend their newfound wealth on more expensive goods and services. Winners all around!)

If the employer raises prices because he has to pay minimum wage, there's a wealth redistribution between higher paid jobs and lower paid jobs.

Actually, history shows minimum wage is, at best, a joke, and at worst, an impediment to workers, and to the economy at large.

History shows minimum wage works very well when it's not an excesive number.

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July 05, 2011, 06:53:47 PM
 #60


Quote
In none of those examples do we see Dan the Drunk, who isn't worth minimum wage, suddenly start making it. Please note that THAT is the point I'm trying to make.

That's because you just ignored the fact that the employer could simply hire Dan the Drunk for the minimum wage.

Yes, because that's the point: Bill doesn't WANT to hire him because he's not worth minimum wage! He comes to work drunk, causes trouble and does a sloppy job. Bill might be willing to hire him for $5 an hour, but not for the minimum wage of $10 an hour. And Bill won't pay him that if there's any way around it, because it's a bad deal for Bill.

Your minimum wage cost Dan a potential job. At this point, probably NO ONE will hire him, because his labor is only worth $5/hr.


Yeah, that makes him better off.  Roll Eyes


Quote
Actually, history shows minimum wage is, at best, a joke, and at worst, an impediment to workers, and to the economy at large.

History shows minimum wage works very well when it's not an excesive number.

Tell that to all the Dans out there. You have a strange definition of "works."

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
...
...
In the future, books that summarize the history of money will have a line that says, “and then came bitcoin.” It is the economic singularity. And we are living in it now. - Ryan Dickherber
...
...
ATTENTION BFL MINING NEWBS: Just got your Jalapenos in? Wondering how to get the most value for the least hassle? Give BitMinter a try! It's a smaller pool with a fair & low-fee payment method, lots of statistical feedback, and it's easier than EasyMiner! (Yes, we want your hashing power, but seriously, it IS the easiest pool to use! Sign up in seconds to try it!)
...
...
The idea that deflation causes hoarding (to any problematic degree) is a lie used to justify theft of value from your savings.
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