It continues to amaze me…

…that the sort of people who are cheerfully willing to accept the notion that “if you make booze more expensive, folks will buy less of it” will at the same time obstinately deny the notion that “if you make unskilled labour more expensive, folks will buy less of it”.

The “Dems” label is unnecessarily specific: populists all over fall for this shit.

(Hat tip: Coyote Blog.)

Yeah, yeah, I know these unctuously pious dolts are just signaling how much they caaaaaare about Society’s Problems, and don’t actually give a shit about either drinkers or children.  It still bothers me, and what bothers me even more is that — under the combined effects of cognitive-dissonance avoidance and rational ignorance, they probably don’t know that they’re wrong and have tremendous incentive to avoid discovering that they’re wrong.

Nonetheless, voting under the influence of  beliefs like “minimum wages help minimum-wage workers” is the moral equivalent of walking into a crowded shopping mall with a belt-fed weapon, slipping on a blindfold, and firing at random while spinning around.  You won’t see anything bad happen, and you aren’t aiming to hurt anyone, but it’s still a bad fuckin’ plan.

Update: Oh look!


4 Responses to “It continues to amaze me…”

  1. 1 TMI
    July 1, 2011 at 08:19

    I just watched a comedy about an assassin who had a drinking problem.

    The problem was, he needed to get in touch with his inner feelings, in order to overcome his alcoholism.

    He killed people for a living, but we need to know he could overcome his reliance on alcohol. Delightful movie.

  2. July 5, 2011 at 09:35

    I don’t know if you’ve touched on this, but in addition to the unskilled workers themselves, the people who REALLY get screwed over when the minimum wage goes up are those people making just a little bit more than minimum. When the minimum wage goes up, so does the cost of everything that minimum wage earners make and sell, and fairly soon afterwards, everythinghtey BUY, too. The problem is, when the minimum goes from, say, roughyl 8 bucks an hour to 9, the guy making 10? His wages usually DON’T go up, but the cost of everything he purchases does, and he becomes poorer at roughly the rate the meddlers think they’re helping people.

    • July 5, 2011 at 23:10

      If that’s true, it should be pretty straightforward to spot a correlation between minimum wage increases and inflation. I have no idea whether there is one or not, but naively I’d expect that if that correlation existed I would’ve read a blog post about it by now. :-) If you have data I’d love to see it.

      I have no problem with the idea that raising minimum wages increases “the cost of everything that minimum wage earners make and sell” as businesses try to claw back margin from somewhere (alternately, if the margins are too low, businesses hit with min. wage increases would just go out of business, reducing supply). I wonder if minimum-wage increases aren’t too local to have really widespread inflationary effects, though.

      You have an excellent point in that higher wages aren’t enough to grant greater wealth if they happen through inflation. Putting that another way: if you can make prices go down, everyone gets richer as long as their incomes don’t shrink at the same rate. The Caring People who go on and on about minimum wages and the dignity of workers don’t seem to understand that.

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