(L120 & 125) The Broken Window Fallacy: Minimum Wage Requirements

Why wouldn’t someone voluntarily offer you a job at twice today’s minimum wage?

Story time! Let’s say that a small business opens up selling handmade jewelry and other goods in the middle of a New Hampshire town. Let’s also say that the current minimum wage in New Hampshire is $10.00 an hour. At this rate, the business owner can really only afford to hire 5 employees (in total). So the owner hires his employees, and business is alright; they are new in town, so large profit margins and excessive foot traffic are not to be expected.

After about 6 months of being open, business is rapidly growing. The owner is finally getting out of the red, and into the black! There is so much business in fact, that the owner needs to hire more workers just to keep up. He decides to add 2 more people to the team; it won’t quite cover all of his needs, but because of the high minimum wage, it is all that he can afford right now.

The night that he interviews for his two new employees, a woman comes in asking for nearly $20.00 an hour. Her skills are extensive, and she would be able to bring brand new products into the shop without any training whatsoever. Not only would she save him time, but she would make him money! He thinks back on his other employees; no prior knowledge or skills, no new ideas, nothing even nearly as valuable as this employee would be worth to him. If it were up to him, he would be paying his employees exactly what he deemed their skills to be worth; maybe that would mean $8.00 an hour for a cashier, $8.75 an hour for an opener and a closer, etc. However, since he was forced to overpay for their basic services due to government intervention, he cannot afford to hire this valuable and worthwhile prospective employee.

In short, he is in need of two more workers. He would be able to afford both the above average woman and another cashier/clerk if it was not for minimum wage requirements. With these requirements however, he must choose between superior product and a shortage of man power, or basic work and enough workers to scrape by. In the end, a shortage of workers is just not something that a business (owner) can afford, and so he must kiss this great opportunity goodbye. This issue could have been completely avoided had he and the employees been able to come to an agreement on a fair hourly wage without government intervention or mandate.

When an owner is forced to pay someone more than they’re worth, they lose out on opportunities to hire higher quality employees for a greater cost. This is the broken window fallacy; the seen and the unseen. While we do see that an average worker is being paid very well, we do not see that a better worker is being paid less than they deserve or not being hired at all (because of the average worker’s forced wage).

(L100) Income Redistribution

“Would it be moral to grade exams, so that all students get C’s? If not, is it moral for the state to redistribute incomes?”

It would be nothing less than immoral for a teacher to assign grades in accordance with equality, rather than true individual scores. The reason that giving every student a C (for example) would be wrong, is that every student did not earn a C. Some students earned a much higher grade, and are being punished (receiving negative sanctions) because of those who did not score as high as they did. Others however scored lower than a C, and are being rewarded (receiving positive sanctions) for doing worse than the other students. While obviously far from fair, this system cannot even be chalked up to being remotely positive as it rewards the underachievers and punishes the successors.

The only way to fairly award grades to students would be to grant them the exact grade that they earned. Each student, regardless of each others score’s, would have to reap the rewards or consequences of the grade that the results of their test’s warranted. (Now, yes, I do recognize the flaws in standardized testing, and I understand that many students fail not due to effort exerted, but because of the fact that they are being forced to learn in a way that they do not understand. In this example however, I am referring to an imaginary class of students, all of equal learning ability who have either scored higher or lower based upon the effort they put into studying and learning the test material. In short, this would mean that it would take every student the same amount of time to learn the same amount of information; thus, every student gets the grade that they worked for and can all be graded using the same scale.)

In both the academic and career worlds, people (should) get what they work for. I personally work my little butt off to earn an income that can support my needs, and to be stolen from is heartbreaking. Now, when I speak of being robbed, I am not talking about a masked purse-snatcher assaulting me on the street. No. I am speaking directly about your friendly neighborhood politician; I am talking about his superior, and the man in charge of him too. Every single hard working American is robbed at gunpoint on a daily basis, but does it hurt you the way the plain-sight bandit does? Would you cry the same, or file a report with the police the very same? Do you even notice?

More often than not, these questions are answered with a simple no. Sometimes however, these practices are even encouraged with phrases resembling, “I am just doing my part” or “it’s for the greater good”. So what exactly is the greater good and who is the authority on such? In my opinion, the greater good is to “love thy neighbor” and the overall authority is God. What I do know however is that funding the lives of lazy, alcoholic, drug using, and/or jobless adults and their offspring with stolen money is not the greater good. Welfare programs not only theoretically encourage mooching and joblessness, but have been proven to increase poverty levels throughout the United States. It also has been shown to destroy marriages, reduce the likelihood of a welfare child having a successful future, and increase mental health and home abuse issues.

Why should somebody be granted what another person earned at the threat of force and violence? Would God believe that this is the greater good? Did God say that “thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote”? Absolutely not. God said to help those around you, he said to be generous and love every man. I believe that there are people out there that do truly need help, but I do not believe that coercion and theft are the ways to help them! Allow people to keep that which is theirs; their income in full. Encourage one another to share, trade and lend a helping hand. Charity has changed hundreds of thousands of lives already, and I don’t believe that the power in giving is lost. We can make a difference, even as one person. We can reduce poverty, mental illness and spousal/child abuse. We can build communities that revolve around charitable action and helping rehabilitate people; but first, we must stand up against being forced to enable these things with our own weekly paychecks.

Theft is immoral whether you wear a business suit or a hoodie. It hurts the lives of people on both the receiving and the losing ends.

(L70) Labor Unions & Price Inflation

Do Labor Unions Cause Price Inflation?

Labor unions and the people who assemble within them cause great price inflation; this is probably done unknowingly by most, due to the fact that the people making up labor unions are ever so self centered. Some of the things most focused on by labor unions include minimum wages, mandatory hours, overtime pay and social security payments. In personal efforts to secure a higher pay for a minimum number of hours, labor unions have run the money supply of their employers nearly dry. In order to compensate for this lack of income, business owners are forced to jack up the prices of their goods and services. As hours grow and wages rise by force, prices will also be raised by force. The single-mindedness of labor union supporters is causing a worsening of their own economic situation. Labor unions are the product of selfish, uneducated and economically ignorant individuals; they do nothing but worsen the very situations that labor-unioners are trying to get themselves out of!

(L15) Garage Sale Regulation

If the state regulated garage sales, would poor people be better off?

All people, especially poor people, would be worse off if the state regulated garage sales. Taxes would not only hike up the prices of each item, but the government would also most likely require licences to sell, discouraging people from holding garage sales in the first place. Minimum and maximum prices would also more likely than not be imposed, and garage sales would no longer be a mutually beneficial event. These regulations would all be enforced using coercion, and the option of voluntary exchange would be revoked.

(L15) The Welfare State – Immoral and Unconsitiutional

In your opinion, does the state have the right to redistribute wealth from some people to others? Why or why not?

Property redistribution, (also known as the welfare state), is not only immoral, but a legal obstruction of my inalienable (birth) rights to liberty and property. Should another person have a greater need for my property (money) more than I do, it would be up to me to voluntarily help that other person. For the government to step in and take a portion of my income and give it to someone else is theft by coercion (threat of force). The welfare state impedes upon both my rights to not have my property stolen, and to not have my freedom (liberties) obstructed.

Restitution Vs. Jail (L60)

Please Note: As simple as this question seems, it is not. I even brought it to an online forum to discuss with other liberty-minded people because I was so stuck. Then I realized my fault; the question is not black and white. I cannot offer a one-or-the-other answer without more information, and so this is my take on it. I would love feedback on my response, as well as other opinions and explanations!

Is restitution to victims better for society than jail sentences for criminals? Explain.

It is not unknown that cages create criminals; according to the NAACP “the US is 5% of the world population, and has 25% of the worlds prisoners”. When we place a human being into a prison environment, they are exposed to a high concentration of infectious diseases, dangerous and malevolent behavior, and violence. They are not in a setting to recognize their behaviors and correct them; they’re in prison for punishment, not rehabilitation. Because of this fact, two thirds of prisoners will re-offend. Billions and billions of dollars are stolen from people each year to fund the degradation of society.
So, given the circumstances, restitution to victims would seem the correct route to travel. However, then one must consider, who will decide the restitution? Who will enforce the restitution? What happens when a thief steals food and then by the time he is caught, the goods are gone? Should he have no money, how could they force him to pay restitution? It would be physically impossible to force him to give up something he did not have. All of these questions it seems can be easily answered with “the government”. But, one must consider, if they conclude that restitution to victims would greater benefit society, would the government intervention that comes with it also benefit society? No.
Both of the options offered result in the coercion of another being, which I do not support. That brings me to the conclusion that these answers offer me a lose-lose situation. Sending a criminal to jail only worsens his future, and the future of society. On the other hand, restitution may not be practical or applicable. I do not believe that either of these options (as is) are going to better society.

State Subsidies (L30)

Is it possible to have state subsidies without state control?

To be blunt, there is absolutely no way for state subsidies to exist without state control. The government should under no circumstances hand out money without “strings” or regulations, because this leads to the abuse of handouts. The welfare state offers one of the best explanations of this in today’s society; it is funded by the plundering of those not receiving such help, and heavily promotes dependence on the state by welfare recipients. It is not considered particularly difficult to become a recipient of government aid in the United States; the welfare state is largely abused and encourages paternalism. The government uses coercion to control the wealth of the United States by means of redistribution. Without this control, there would be no money to fund any state subsidies. Rather, a community of cooperation and charities; people with more of their own money will be more apt to help others. In today’s society one encounters money handouts in thousands of government programs; likewise, as of 2014 taxes are up 42% since last year. Although many people seem to benefit from the plundering of others, they, in reality, are just making themselves wards of the state through dependence. No man wins under state control or coercion.