(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).

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(L120) Benefits of The Ron Paul Curriculum

NOTE: If you are looking for an accurate and honest recount of what the RPC is like, please see my article/essay The Truth About Gary North & The Ron Paul Curriculum

1.) No stress
Let your children go at their own pace, and don’t sweat it if something comes up. There is always tomorrow and you are in charge of the deadlines!

2.) Timely online support for parents and students
If you have a question that other students on the forum cannot help you with, just shoot an email over! Quick and simple.

3.) Flexibility
Whatever schedule you or your children may be on, the RPC will work for you. Since you are in charge of when everything needs to be done, you can change times and goals of assignments to fit your personal schedule.

4.) Personally tailored to your needs
If your child wants to learn more about something specific that the RPC does not have, you have the ability to get them that education elsewhere. Because the RPC does not issue diplomas, it is up to you to decide what criteria must be met to get a high school credit. This can mean completely creating your own course! (I did this last year – I started and ran my own business. It was successful, and great training!)

5.) Average cost with no monetary risk
At around $500 a year, the cost of this curriculum is nothing above average. Your membership and courses come with a (time limited) money-back guarantee; if it doesn’t work for you and your family, get your money back and go elsewhere!

6.) Great professors & complete courses
From well known names like Tom Woods to Gary North, your child is guaranteed top-notch educators. All courses are complete, and consistent. You will never have to worry about going elsewhere for information – each class has been meticulously planned.

7.) student to student interaction
The comment/constructive criticism boards are all student run. This means that students hear many angles of feedback, rather than just one response from the teacher. Everyone helps each other and it is a great sense of community.

8.) Entrepreneurship training
Typical college is not the only route to success! Teach your children all about CLEP exams, starting a business, and so much more. Your child will pick up on hundreds of life-hacks throughout the course of their education that they could not acquire anywhere else.

9.) Real-life training and preparation
Most adults know the struggles of learning to do taxes, what money really is and where it comes from, etc. But wouldn’t life have been so much easier if you had learned these things before you had to put them into practice? The RPC has your children covered with a personal finance course, government 1A & 1B, business, and many more. Your children  have to stress like you did after their personal real-life preparation courses.

10.) The course plans are already made for you – just set your kids up and let them go!
No more late nights planning and stressing out; with the RPC all you need to do is give the kids deadlines for their work and let them go. Every lesson, assignment and course is already created and structured for you.

11.) You have more time to focus on each child because they learn independently.
Chances are, when one kid needs help the other will be preoccupied with a lecture or essay. Since you are not teaching them all at once by yourself, you can focus individual attention without slowing your other children down. The time of a homeschooling parent is precious, and the ability to successfully stretch yourself over multiple kids in a school day is priceless.

12.) Freedom based curriculum (Austrian Economics)
Do you want your kids to grow up sharing the same core values as you and your spouse? If so, then look no further. You kids, no matter their age, will be taught in language that they understand the truth about freedom and how to live a liberty-based life.

13.) Christian insight and problem solving with morality are always present
If you are looking to avoid the spineless and inconsistent teachings of the public school system, then you have found your destination. Here with the RPC your children will learn that the right, just, and moral thing to do not only corresponds with the freedom and rights of each individual, but with the core teachings of Christianity as well.

14.) Non-violent approach to a quite violent world
Your children will learn when they are being coerced, and when they are having their rights violated. They will also learn how to deal with these occurrences in a calm, non-violent, non-aggressive manor in order to deescalate the situation.

15.) Political knowledge and understanding
Teaching students how to act and thrive in the real world both politically and socially is extremely important. Knowing your enemy is half the battle, and the RPC will gear up every student with the knowledge to defend their stance.

(L115) Why Should I Choose The Ron Paul Curriculum?

NOTE: If you are looking for an accurate and honest recount of what the RPC is like, please see my article/essay The Truth About Gary North & The Ron Paul Curriculum

1.) The ability to incorporate lessons/courses that are important to you or your child (which are not already included in the curriculum), and the ability to learn (or teach) through experience.
This is not to say that the RPC is lacking courses in any sense, however should you have a child interested in studying something specific, then you have the ability to meet their educational cravings. This means going into the real world and allowing your child to do exactly what it is they are learning about. If you pair this hands-on-learning with a years worth the essays, projects, research, etc. it could end up counting as a high school credit.
This ability to personalize your own (or your child’s) education is something that cannot be found anywhere but in a homeschool environment. Thanks to the RPC specifically, I was able to create my own entrepreneurship course with all of the information of I acquired about starting a business in my junior year. I designed the entire course myself, and with supervision from my guardian I set my own goals and regulations as well. I created my own business; this meant I had to create a written business plan, make a custom logo, advertise on a budget, manage a schedule, be in charge of tracking and allocating my own expenses and profits, serve my clientele, and so much more. It actually became a good source of income for the time I was running it, and I ended up expanding my services after a few months. (Had I not moved across the country, I would still be in business today.) Not only did this custom course offer me real life experience, but it gave me an understanding of entrepreneurship which has helped put me on a path to be a successful adult.

2. The ability to learn (or teach) at your own pace!
We all learn at different speeds and in different manors. Some people like to do one course each day of each class. Others (like me) like to focus on one course per week. The Ron Paul Curriculum offers the ability to learn and teach at your own speed for the entirety of your K-12 duration because the parents are 100% in charge of the deadlines! No rushing, no lost sleep, no stress; for you or your children! Sick child? Family emergency? No worries! School can wait until tomorrow – there will be no catching up to do, and no negative repercussions. You as the parent are in control; what better way is there to make sure you are satisfied with their progress and growth?

3.) A like-minded community of families and children, all at your fingertips.
The peer-run feedback boards of the Ron Paul Curriculum offer a broad range of constructive criticism, as opposed to getting one opinion from a single teacher. This allows your child to expand their own understandings of what they believe and why. It will also build your child’s conversational and debate skills, all the while connecting them with kids like themselves all around the world.
It didn’t take long for me to build both academic and personal relationships with other homeschoolers through our blogs. I learned how to put my knowledge into conversational practice, simply by offering and receiving feedback from other students.

4.) Flexibility
Every family dynamic is different, as is each individual child. No matter the work hours, travel abilities, and physical limitations of you or your child, the RPC can fit your needs. All you need to get class done is internet and a computer. In today’s day and age, these things can even be accessed for free at a library if need be.
During family emergencies, I have still been able to reach my own personal deadlines and goals because I do not need to be home to do school. I can be on the train, a plane, or even at the hospital completing certain tasks.

5.) Christian, and liberty-based: all in one!
Not only will your child get an honest and true education, but they will also get a morally sound education. I think that this piece really does speak for itself considering how hard it is to get top-notch educators living by the freedom philosophy.
The first year I was a member of the RPC, I was not religious. I was not offended, or crushed with Christian standpoints. I was simply educated enough to understand the morality of Christianity. By my second year in the RPC, I had been born again. I did find my new understanding of God to be quite helpful and enriching when it came to some of the things I was hearing, however this is not only a curriculum for Christian families by any means. The RPC suited my needs when I was both a Christian, and an atheist; it also gave me my first real life lessons about freedom, and liberty. I don’t know what more I could have asked for.

 

(L55) High Bid Wins or First Come, First Served?

In what area of your life would you prefer ‘first come, first served’ to ‘high bid wins’? Why?

Well, in my current situation first come first served is more convenient for me than high bid wins because, quite honestly, I am nearly broke and I have more time than money. Convenience however does not always equate to morality, and so I would have to say that I would always prefer high bid wins. My reason for this is that by deciding first come first serve should be the standard of the market, I am penalizing people who’s time is more valuable than their money.

A high bid wins standard throughout the market would be comparable to (something along the lines of) a six-flags line for a ride. There would be two lines alongside one another; one where time is less valuable so the wait is longer and the price is cheaper, and one line in which you can pay more for a shorter wait. This is a more fair, and  free market based system of serving customers because it favors both people who have more money, and people who have more time. Nobody is penalized or excluded.

Another example of this would be online shopping. Nobody waits in line to shop on the internet, they just pay and wait for their product to be shipped. At checkout however, there is an option to pay more in order to have the product shipped faster. The idea of high bid wins, otherwise known as priority shipping, is not condemned in society because it is private. However should this system be applied in public, people who have been trained their whole lives to wait in line become outraged, as they feel their have been cheated or treated unfairly by this high bid wins system of market freedom.

(L65) Swedish Prosperity & Fascism

1.) The standard claim about Sweden is that it shows that society can prosper without such a free market and with extensive government intervention. Based on the lesson and on your reading, what would be a good response to this claim?

Sweden’s prosperity was originally birthed from a free market capitalistic economy, as well as avoiding war (as best they could). There is no historical evidence, even as late at the 1950s, of great welfare funding, and Sweden’s Austrian economics standpoint lasted between the 19th and even the early 20th century. The economic strength and prosperity that resulted from these practices was eventually funneled into a welfare state. Between 1970 and 1989 taxes were raised and hand-outs were increased; Sweden’s place as the 4th richest industrialized country dropped to the 14th by 1993. Just as capitalism had built their country strong, the turn away from it had began to make their country weak economically; since then however, economic freedom has increased (and surpasses that of the United States greatly).

2.) What were the primary values of fascism?

The primary values of fascism basically hold that the rights of the individual are far surpassed by the “good of the Nation”. In the words of Mussolini, “everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing above the state.” Beside putting the state on a pedestal and pushing for political centralization, fascism also highly encourages nationalism and the glorification of the military.

(L55) Compact Althusius & Nationalist Hobbes

1.) Describe the models of society laid out by Althusius and Hobbes.

The model of society laid out by Althusius was one consisting of many smaller authorities, each with its own rights that no other power could overturn or impede upon. The reasoning behind this being that if one authority (say, a state) became too oppressive, a person could easily move to another. The ability to leave the authority of a tyrannical state pressures all the states to remain un-oppressive.
The Hobbesian model of society, being quite opposite of Althusius’ model, stated that large states would be ruled over by one irresistible and centralized power; a government.

2.) What are the compact and nationalist theories of the Union?

The compact theory, as known as the “compact fact”, goes hand in hand with Althusius’ model of society. It holds that a union, which is a collection of states, was created by and from the states; meaning that the states were the original unit. The nationalist theory, corresponding with the Hobbesian model of society, states that the union is a single whole, and that it was the original unit. This theory holds that states exist only as parts of the union.

(L25) Government Funding & Income Inequality Debunked

1.) What are the arguments for and against government science funding?

The two main arguments for (and against) government science funding are this:
1. Claim: Because there is no profit in basic science, there is no chance it will ever be privately funded.
Response: In reality, 90% of new research stems from previously existing technology, and basic/academic science research only accounts for 10% of new discoveries and technologies. Also, when looking back in history, one would find that despite the fact that Britain had no government funding for science, and there was substantial government funding for scientific research in Germany and France, they both consistently lagged behind Britain.
2. Claim: Private firms cannot claim exclusive profits from scientific discoveries, and so they will not get involved in funding scientific research in the first place.
Response: Firms are known to trade laboratory space to scientists
for the up-keep on the latest knowledge in the scientific community. This is done by having scientists working in their lab space agree to attend conferences, saving everybody time and money by keeping scientists from having to spend all their time in libraries reading previous studies rather than doing their own (in the labs). Basic/academic science has been funded by foundations, private university endowments and private industry in the past, not to mention being extremely more generous than government funding has even been.
On another note, government funding has been 
the well known cause of the politicization of scientific research in may cases; it also stifles opposing claims and approaches, causing a clog in the free-flowing wealth of information and communication between scientists that is so crucial to the discoveries we have already, and are yet to discover. 

2.) Is “income inequality” a problem, in your opinion? Why or why not?

Income inequality is not a problem in my opinion, because the real issue affecting income is economic freedom. This is proven by looking at the fact that no matter what country you live in, the bottom 10% of earners will earn 2.6% of the country’s total income. (As of 2011) in less free countries, 2.6% of the countries total income was equal to about $932; however, in more economically free countries 2.6% was equal to an average of about $10,556! According to these statistics, people residing in “unequal” countries are earning more, because these countries are the ones that are the most economically free.