A minimum wage is the minimum (or floor) price set by governments in the market for labour.
Effectively, you can choose to work for free, or the minimum wage or above but not in between.
So what we are really talking about is the wage work band restriction.
The only reason wages are as high as they are is that labour has become so much more productive than it used to be. The minimum wage is just the government trying to claim the higher wages as something they have created.
In a market where the worker has high economic power (high employment) the worker can just leave for better conditions. Where the worker has low economic power (high unemployment) the worker is usually lucky to have a job at all.
The minimum wage has nothing to do with minimum income, as lots of different people work different amounts of hours on the minimum wage. In the end isn't the minimum wage about minimum income.
The minimum wage does not look at an individuals circumstances, it does not take into account the combined income of a household. If one earner in the household is a high earner, then the other should be able to work for less than the minimum wage.
The minimum wage is supposed to stop businesses paying low wages, but there are two sides to every transaction.
It makes people feel not valued for their work, as it seems that they are at the bottom. Most workers are valued, at least as much as the value of their wage, and sometimes in other respects.
They are already on a low wage, there's no need to hurt their self esteem as well.
Two staff can work at the same firm, one of the staff might be 50% more efficient than the other, but both might be on the minimum wage. How is that fair to the more efficient one to subsidise the other worker. This just encourages mediocrity which is something we all pay for.
The minimum wage is very one-sided and only takes the employees concerns into account. In a transaction, both partys needs need to be addressed.
Small businesses who are on the edge will find it most difficult to survive.
If a wage cannot sustain the worker, the employer will not be able to sustain its workers essentially shooting themselves in the foot. It is their interest to sustain their workers and do not need coaxing.
The minimum wage makes some labour more expensive. The labour is then replaced by machines.
The minimum wage makes cheap labour more expensive. Where skilled labour can substitute there will be more demand for that.
A farmer needs holes made to put fence posts in. The minimum wage is $5/hour
A skilled pole-driver can do 6 holes an hour at a cost of $9/hour
Unskilled labourers can dig 2 holes an hour.
The most the farmer will pay 3 unskilled labourers is $3/hour otherwise it will cost more to employ them than the skilled pole-driver for the same output.
Because of the minimum wage, the three unskilled workers have no work at all.
A way around the minimum wage is to set an employ up as a contractor. As a prson in business for oneself, there is no minimum wage.
This puts more people on benefits.
What moral virtue is there in a policy that causes the loss of jobs for low wage, low skilled workers or which causes the lengthening of unemployment terms.
Some countries distinguish between older and younger workers, and allow younger workers to work for a smaller wage than the older workers can.
There are some positives and negatives of this policy, but in the end, this policy is an admission that the minimum wage causes problems and needs much fixing.
Countries that do not set a youth minimum wage, believe that work should pay the same no matter your age, and youth should not be denied their rightful earnings.
See also apprentice sub-minimum wage
Government is responsible for making laws. But the government cannot just make any law it likes. Where is the authority explicit that it control an individuals right to work on their own terms.
If you consider freedom a good thing, then a minimum wage is a bad thing. If you consider freedom a bad thing, then why did you exercise freedom to come to this page, and see if you have the same feeling about freedom after attempting to live without it for a day.
Unless its only others freedom you are concerned about restricting?
If a business cannot absorb the costs of the minimum wage, they will attempt to pass it on.
Price increases tend to hurt the poorest in society as they spend more of their income.
If the minimum wage really worked the following would be a real solution.
"Instead of sending poor countries money shouldn't we be asking them to increase the minimum wage?"
Starts 3 minutes in.
When wages go up without an increase in productivity, less workers are employed.
The government can't mandate higher wages, because they can't mandate higher productivity
earning less than minimum wage is an entry level job
If the government can mandate higher wages, why not $50 or $100 an hour.
Good and bad alternatives that can be used in conjunction below
The minimum wage is not a minimum at all
The minimum wage is exclusionary
Its bad for workers and poor
Wages are determined by
Cheap labour is substituted for:
Rights are violated
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