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Mike,

I'm not sure if you came here to get an actual response or not, but in case you did, here's mine:

Obviously nobody is suggesting anything like that. The suggestion is to raise it so it reflects the increase in prices and cost of living. That the employers of minimum wagers have already passed on to their customers.

The problem with mandated minimum wages is pretty simple. Let's say you can produce $5 worth of output per hour given your skills. Maybe you're assembling plastic pipe fittings or whatever, but the net value of the product you can produce in an hour is $5.

If I am forced by law to pay you $7/hour, there is simply no way I can hire you. Your labor essentially costs me $2/hour that I can never recover. The longer you work for me, the more money I lose.

Now, how long do you think a business will continue to operate if they lose money on every hour their workers work?

Minimum wages cause higher unemployment, plain and simple, just as a function of the fact that the mandated wage will often be higher than the net productivity of the worker in question.

Which is better? Is it better for a low skilled worker to have no means of employment, or is it better to let him work for a wage that his skill set can command?

Personally, I say let the guy work. Passing a law that forces him into permanent unemployment is inhumane.

Raising the minimum wage simply raises the bar unskilled workers need to hurdle to be employed. It hurts the very poor it is intended to help.

Since libertarians (at least on this board) seem so fond of straw man arguments and reductio ad absurdum arguments, why don't we reduce the minimum wage to 25 cents an hour?

How about $0/hour? At least that way people woud have the opportunity to work and improve their skills, as opposed to becoming permanently dependent on government hand outs because they are denied the opportunity to work.

Reductio Ad Absurdum arguments have a place in debate. Here's the point: If raising the minimum wage to $7/hr or whatever will make workers better off, why not raise it to $50 and make everybody rich? Do you think people would be rich if the minimum wage was $50, or do you think we would all just be unemployed?

If a $50 minimum wage would cause widespread unemployment and economic slowdown, then so will a $7 minimum wage. The difference is the groups the minimum wage laws affect. At $50 is affects most of us. At $7 it only impacts the poorest among us. Nobody is seriously suggesting raising the minimum wage to $50/hr. However, sometimes extending arguments to the extreme can highlight a flaw that isn't apparent in the more realistically expected range.

What a shame to see libertarians continue to offer up such thin gruel. Much easier to see every time I check in on this board why 99% of Americans, including Republicans who used to have a serious libertarian wing, consider libertarians to be a joke.

That thin gruel is called economics. It is what it is. Wishing it were different won't make it so.

The Republican Party probably does consider Libertarians to be a joke. The far right has taken control of that party and has a lot more in common with the Democratic Party than either has with the Libertarians.

At the end of the day, Libertarians are about personal freedom. We're a "live and let live" sort of group. We don't care what you do in your bedroom. We don't care what you put in your body. We don't care what you do for a living or what you do with your money.

We happen to believe, as George Washington said, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

Neither major party in this country thinks this way, and their power is wrapped up in positions directly opposed to this way of thinking. So of course they dismiss Libertarians as a joke. To take them seriously would be to undermine their own power.

It's sad that you view a group who passionately advocates liberty as serving up "thin gruel". It's that way of thinking that lets the 2 major parties slowly destroy this country. When professing the liberty our forefathers fought so hard to secure is reduced to "serving up thin gruel", what's really left?

You should think about it.

Steve
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