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What if the Minimum Wage Increase Is a Fraud?
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What if the latest craze among the big-government crowd in both major political parties is to use the power of government to force employers to pay some of their employees more than their services are worth to the employers?

What if this represents an intrusion by government into the employer-employee relationship? What if this consists of the government’s effectively saying that it knows the financial worth of employees’ services better than the employers and the employees do?

What if the minimum wage, now on the verge of being raised to $15 per hour everywhere in the land, is really the government’s using threats of ruin and force to transfer wealth? What if the $15-per-hour figure is based on a political compromise rather than on free market forces or economic realities?

What if these wealth transfers will have profound unintended economic consequences and will negatively affect everyone?

What if one of the politically intended consequences is that the employees whose salaries will rise will show gratitude not to their employers, who will be paying them more than they earn, by working better but to the politicians who will have forced the employers to pay them more by voting for those politicians?

What if the right of an employee to sell labor by going to work and the right of an employer to purchase that labor by paying a salary are part of the natural right to exchange goods and services, which the Constitution was written to protect? What if during America’s most prosperous periods, that right was protected by the courts?

What if there are clauses in the Constitution that protect that right but the modern courts have ignored them? What if the Constitution prohibits the government from interfering with freely entered-into contracts but the government does so anyway? What if the courts have approved this?

What if the Constitution prohibits the government from taking property from people without charging them with wrongdoing and proving the charge to a jury but the government does so anyway? What if the courts have declined to interfere with all this theft?

What if it is none of the government’s business how an employer and an employee decide on salary? What if the employer and the employee know far more about the worth of the employee’s services and the needs of the employer than the politicians in the government do?

What if the government has fundamental misunderstandings of the way businesses earn money, create wealth and pay salaries? What if the government’s mindset is stuck on the governmental economic model? What if that model has no competition, guaranteed revenue and no creation of wealth?


What if that governmental mindset is one of control and central planning rather than appealing to the needs of consumers by providing goods and services better, faster and more cheaply than the competition? What if the government has no need to be better, faster and cheaper because taxpayers are forced to pay it for services they often don’t use and the government has no competition?

What if forcing employers to pay employees more than their services are worth results in higher prices for the goods and services the employers produce? What if the effect of the minimum wage rise is to transfer wealth not from employers to employees but from consumers to employees? What if the rising prices of goods and services, caused by the forced increase in wages, put some of those goods and services beyond the reach of some folks who rely upon them?

What if the folks who can no longer afford some goods and services on which they have come to rely are the very same people whom the politicians have boasted they are helping by the increase in the minimum wage? What if the politicians who have done this do not know what they are talking about? What if they believe they can use minimum wage increases to bribe the poor for votes — just as they bribe the wealthy with bailouts and the middle class with tax cuts?

What if there are other unintended consequences to the governmental imposition of a minimum wage? What if, rather than pay employees more than they are worth, employers stop employing some of them? What if this results in higher unemployment? What if the rise in the minimum wage has the unintended consequence of harming the folks it is supposed to help?

What if the poor are better off being gainfully employed and earning less than $15 an hour, with an opportunity for advancement, than not working, earning nothing and relying on welfare? What if that welfare burden adds to already overtaxed state budgets?

What if states raise taxes to care for the newly unemployed? What if the newly unemployed lose the self-esteem they once enjoyed when they were gainfully employed?

What if all this came about not because of market forces, such as supply and demand, and not because people worked harder and produced more but because of lawless, greedy politicians — heedless of basic economics — who think they can write any law, regulate any behavior and tax any event without adverse consequences?

What if the politicians who caused this did so just to win the votes of those they promised to help? What if these politicians only helped themselves? What if the minimum wage increase is a fraud? What do we do about it?

Copyright 2016 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by

• Category: Economics • Tags: Minimum Wage 
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  1. Man’s got a point. Or ten. Hey, why don’t we look at why it’s so expensive to live? Rents? And not just the apartment kind, but that too. Regulatory regimes/enforced monopolies, fees, fines, taxes…. Let’s attack it from that end.

  2. Workers take what the good earth provides and BY THEIR LABOR create wealth. What if workers were allowed to keep a bit of the wealth they create? I much prefer collective bargaining (maximum wages) to minimum wages mandated by government. A union that tries to extract more than an employer can pay will find itself without work. The .01 percent can rationalize having everything while the rest have nothing. But they will face the guillotine in the end.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    What if low wages were the result of legal and illegal immigration keeping wages low? What if to Democrats this is a bug and to Republicans it’s a feature?

    • Replies: @tsotha
  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Workers are at such a disadvantage in today’s sharecropper society that a $15/hr minimum wage could very well be eroded through unpaid overtime and other forms of wage theft, as well as illegal immigration. Instead of the heavy-duty penalties proposed by Ron Unz in his articles about the minimum wage, it’s quite possible that enforcement would look like what’s done about illegal immigration today—just slap a few wrists to keep the circus going.

    • Replies: @Ron Unz
  5. Ron Unz says:

    Well, I very rarely get involved in comment-threads, but I’ll make an exception here.

    The situations are entirely different. Employing illegal immigration is a “victimless crime” and liberals would fight any strong penalties for that. However, underpaying workers—“wage theft”—is NOT a victimless crime.

    If rightwingers advocate very harsh penalties, including prison time, for employers who violate minimum wage laws, business groups would fight you, but liberals, the MSM, and unions would back you absolutely 100%, and you’d easily win that fight.

    Personally, I think five years in prison might do wonders to deter employer violations of MW laws. The first time that happens would also be the last time that happens…

  6. @Ron Unz

    Oh boy am I confused. I paid a hundred dollar fine for parking in my yard. Hard to find a victim there. If I get busted fishing without a license the fine is even worse. I can go to prison for possession of marijuana and defiantly will go to prison for cultivation. Where are the liberals when I need them? Honestly Mr. Unz, is it not the liberals who claim that society is the victim? Or is that the conservatives? Oh boy am I confused.

    And thanks for the Unz Review. Its a great blog.

    • Replies: @M_Young
  7. tsotha says:

    That’s probably the case, but it’s not something minimum wage laws will address, ultimately. In fact, minimum wage laws will probably make things worse – if you hire an illegal for less than minimum wage, you’re both breaking the law and have no reason to turn on each other. That creates a strong preference for hiring illegals.

  8. @Ron Unz

    Is illegal migration (not to speak of employing illegal migrants) victimless? I agree that it’s commonly viewed as such by liberals, which is the relevant point.

    But on the morality of illegal migration, see “Is being an unlawful immigrant moral turpitude? — California’s Sergio C. Garcia matter.” (

  9. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    What if the market as it works right now is not free so that no price discovery can happen on labor? What if asking questions does not give any answers?

  10. Randy says:

    These wealth transfers will be tiny compared to the wealth transfers which have happened by capturing the elected government through bribes and shady dealings. Won’t even bother to read kook libertarian material anymore.

  11. @Ron Unz

    Employing illegal immigration is a “victimless crime” …

    Laughable hypocrisy!

    The kind of mass illegal (and legal) immigration both parties allow in the US amounts to importation of cheap labor. When someone crosses our border to undercut our wages, he might as well be a scab worker crossing a picket line.

    Employing illegal immigrants is an actual crime that damages the sovereignty of a nation that is supposed to be of, by and for the citizens who work there — the people who negotiate their wages there.

    Furthermore, anyone who purports to support labor in this country is committing a moral crime of hypocrisy when he spreads disinformation to the effect that current levels and forms of immigration are not harming American workers.

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  12. If minimum wage is such a great deal, why doesn’t Mr Giraldi do it? I wager he’d have a different take on the issue if he did. I recommend he read Peter Van Burens ‘nickel and dimed in 2016’ And if that’s still not good enough for him, he can take up a job at Walmart and tell us himself how good he’s got it.

  13. bjondo says:

    a higher minimum wage is needed so more money can be transferred from restaurant workers ,etc to wall st and to anti terror security cos protecting us from other terror security cos


    who will fund all the wars for the kagans and ilk.

    not pussywitz nor blankfein nor bloomberg nor ilks

    higher min wage


    not enough for quality health care, qual educ, qual life

    almost forgot: amurderka is a fraud a fiction not just your min wage incr

  14. Che Guava says:


    I can’t see what Mr. Giraldi has to do with it.

    Think you are simply conflating two dissimilar Italian surnames.

    I usually enjoy the articles from both, but need to re-read Mr. Napolitano’s arguments on this one, sure, $15 an hour sounds impossibly low for many urban and suburban centres, I suppose it may be pretty high for the rotten cities and most rural areas, but I gather there is little in the way of decent work in most such places in any case.

    • Replies: @FLgeezer
  15. TG says:

    You are missing the point.

    The minimum wage is not a fraud because of the reasons you state. It is a fraud because it will not be enforced.

    Government cannot create wealth, or high wages. People have to do that on their own. Government can, however, destroy wealth and create low wages! Mostly by flooding the labor market with cheap foreign labor.

    The conservative point of an ENFORCED minimum wage is to eliminate the incentive for hiring illegal immigrants. Finland has used a strict minimum wage for years to keep illegals from Russia from flooding their economy. Ditto here. Remember, illegals aren’t being brought in to do jobs Americans won’t do – they are being brought in to drive wages below the natural set point.

    So while we are witness to all sorts of rubbish about the $15/hour wage, the laws against paying illegal immigrants $4/hour with no benefits will continue to not be enforced. It will simply force more jobs, not into automation (largely a myth – how many janitors have lost their jobs to a Roomba, hmm?) it will push even more jobs towards the illegals.

    Remember also, that when Obamatrade is fully enacted, businesses will be able to import an unlimited number of ‘guest’ workers and the minimum wage law will not apply to them

    The $15 minimum wage will not punish business or destroy jobs. It will accelerate the dispossession of the American people from their own economy.

    • Replies: @interesting
  16. FLgeezer says:
    @Che Guava

    It figures that someone with the screen name “The ABE Collective” would attack Phil Giraldi regardless of who wrote the article. Such reactions are instinctive.

  17. @WorkingClass

    A union that tries to extract more than an employer can pay will find itself without work

    Why should the union suffer “finding itself without work” based on an amorphous concept of an employer’s ability to pay? As long as the employer has any assets at all, the union has something more to extract. Isn’t an employer’s “right” to opt out of institutional suicide itself a restriction on the worker’s right to be employed at all cost?

    Also, such a union has two options that have proven popular in the past– shifting wages from the non- or less-organized sector (eg, professional athletes from peanut vendors and bleacher sweepers); and shifting costs to the taxpayer (that “free” stadium the athletes are playing in). And this doesn’t take into account public-sector unions, which don’t have to worry as much about employer solvency.

    I’m surprised at how willing you are to place limits on unions that the unions themselves don’t recognize. That doesn’t sound like you.

    But their objection to immediate and forceful deportation of illegals doesn’t sound like the unions of old, either.

  18. @Ron Unz

    If using eVerify would automatically exonerate the employer, that might work– the failure would be presumed to be the government’s.

    But what we really need is a higher minimum for foreigners, legal or illegal. Median wage would be a good target. You can only compete against our upper half.

  19. Rehmat says:

    Andrew Napolitano – I wish you had written this anti-99% crap during the Occupy Wall Street riots.

    Your pro-oligarch logic reminds me of UK’s businessman Navinder Singh Sarao who was arrested last year and accused of being behind the 2010 Flash Crash by practicing the so-called ‘high frequency trading (HFT)’. The HFT is another trick practiced by the Wall Street vultures to rob ordinary investors especially the pensioners in the West.

    In 2013, a study conducted by professor Terrence Hendershott (University of California, Berkeley) showed that billions of dollars are going from unwitting investors into the pockets of high-speed trading firms.

    So, why Sarao was being criminalized for something which was practiced by big banking institutions? Simply, because he was an independent trader and doesn’t contribute his profit to world’s Shylocks, a forbidden word, for which US vice-president Joe Biden was slapped for using it by the powerful Organized Jewry in 2014. Therefore, Sarao must be eliminated….

    • Replies: @siberiancat
  20. @Buzz Mohawk

    The kind of mass illegal (and legal) immigration both parties allow in the US amounts to importation of cheap labor. When someone crosses our border to undercut our wages, he might as well be a scab worker crossing a picket line.

    Employing illegal immigrants is an actual crime that damages the sovereignty of a nation that is supposed to be of, by and for the citizens who work there — the people who negotiate their wages there.

    My apologies for the overuse of quote’n’paste, but that stuff needs to be said, again and again, very, very loudly.

    Illegal immigration is the single factor that has both destroyed America as a cohesive macroculture supporting a vigorous economy, and as an invasive, divisive 5th element directly collapsing a once-vital national ethos.

    Any employer of illegal immigrants should be fined and jailed — mercilessly. Illegal immigrants should receive no assistance, humanitarian or otherwise. Deportation, at the most luxurious, on railroad flatcars terminating across the Mexican border, or tramp steamers on their last trip across whatever ocean applies.

    Get them out! Hang their advocates and supporters! This a war of survival both ideological and economic. Eject the invasion and kill its agents. Or die, America.

  21. Minimum wage.

    Arguably one of the most preposterous bits of claptrap ever concocted by the mind of man.

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  22. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    What if Andrew Napolitano is a shill for corporations that grew fat on abusing America’s non-existent worker protections?

    What a stupid article that acts as though there is never any regulation in a capitalist system. Every system has regilations. The American one vastly favors the employers rather than the employed. A minimum wage increase would shift the balance in a utilitarian way that does the most good for the most people.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  23. @Rehmat

    Sarao was trading futures which are highly speculative investments not designed for “investors” in the first place

    • Replies: @Rehmat
  24. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Ron Unz

    Employing illegal immigration is a “victimless crime” and liberals would fight any strong penalties for that.


    The ignorance of very rich American liberals is truly astonishing.

    The victims of those who employ illegal immigrants are the unemployed American citizens who would have obtained employment had jobs not been taken by illegal immigrants, many of whom work at below minimum wage in the underground economy and pay no tax (thereby making society as a whole the victim of illegal immigrants free riding on many public services).

    Raising the minimum wage will increase the value of illegal immigrant labor in the underground economy and thus drive greater illegal immigration. It will also drive unemployment higher among US citizens, which is already over 50% among black youth and more than 12% overall, according to the old measure, i.e., U6.

    But Mr. Unz is running for public office, so what can we expect from him but the usual political make-believe.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  25. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    If you don’t ask the right question….not a snowballs chance in hell of getting the right answer.

    The right question:What if the 1965 Immigration Reform Act not been passed…What if America implemented a National Origins Immigration Policy that completely excluded nonwhite legal immigrants…

    Answer to the above two questions:1)in 2016…high real wage labor markets in America…Native Born White Americans a 90 percent racial majority in the US…plenty of $$$$$$$$$$$ discretionary income=booming economy=labor scarcity=high wage economy.

    Having wrote the above..let me say unequivocably that a very severe labor scarcity must never be used as an excuse to race-replace The Historic Native Born White American Working Class. The very fatal flaw of the immigration moratorium is that it would crank-up nonwhite legal immigration again(Asian variety) and deny The Historic Native Born White American Working Class the very great benefit of a severe labor scarcity….and, demographically annihilate The Historic Native Born White American Working Class as a consequence.

  26. What if I wrote an article in which every paragraph began with, “What if.”

    What if I did that instead of actually writing something meaningful?

    What if I posted said article on

    What if the ocean has salt water in it?

    What if it’s dark where there isn’t any light?

    • Replies: @athEIst
  27. gdpbull says:

    What if even if minimum wages were a good thing (doubtful), that a one sized minimum wage for the entire nation was stupid, given the wide range of costs of living throughout the country?

  28. What if these wealth transfers will have profound unintended economic consequences….


    It will certainly drive automation such as to obsolete a lot of the jobs that pay less than $15/hr.

  29. Renoman says:

    Good points, I’m in Canada, the whole min wage thing never seems to accomplish much, the minute they put it up to $15 the professionals, business owners and trades people will raise their salaries by a lot more which just drives inflation. I’m sure the immigration problem is at the root of it in the US but here – no difference.
    I wish we’d get some news on Syria again it’s like it has disappeared.

    I also want to thank Ron for a great site.

  30. Big Bill says:
    @Ron Unz

    Didn’t you hear? Didn’t you read the news? The SEIU is now asking that the $15 minimum age NOT apply to their union members. The unions in California who fought for the $15 minimum wage are now asking that union employers be exempted from paying a $15 minimum wage.

    Think about it. Having jacked wages so high that most employers will have to shuck workers to survive, the SEIU can offer employers a way out: all you have to do is agree to be a union shop, and we will supply you with all the SUB-minimum-wage Mexicans you want!

    The best part is that a chunk of each unionized Mexican SUB-minimum-wage dollar will go to the SEIU union bosses.

  31. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    I guess my comment was rude.

    But water doesn’t flow uphill even in economics. Or anyhow, water doesn’t flow uphill in the real economy. The basic idea in economics is that supply and demand come into balance through adjustments in price. Labor has a market price. Raise it and there is less demand, lower it sufficiently, and the entire supply is absorbed (that is not true if the supply is limitless, which is essentially the case if there is an open door to immigration from the Third World).

    So raising the minimum wage results in a surplus of labor: while some workers are rewarded by the increased minimum wage, others are driven out of the labor market: hence 90 plus million Americans of working age out of the labor market.

    If you want to rig the market so that all workers (including those currently unemployed) have a living wage, there are several things you can do that will not create unemployment (at home). For example, tariffs on imports from low wage, low-tax, low-regulation (environmental, working hours, child labor, workplace safety, etc.) jurisdictions. Another option is a some kind of wage subsidy or negative income tax.

    But whatever the mechanism for maintaining full employment and raising incomes of the working poor, the cost is not slight. In 2o14, the average earned income of the 81 million lowest paid Americans was $12,681.00, whereas a full-time (1600 hour a year) job at a minimum wage of $15.00 would yield an income of $24,000. So the yearly cost of paying the 81 million lowest paid American workers a minimum wage of $15.00 for full-time work, would be close to a trillion dollars.

    A tariff on all US imports ranging between 10 and 20% would cost 0.2 to 0.5 $trillion per year at the dockside, and several times that at the point of retail distribution. The tariff, however, would accrue to the Treasury and could thus be used to offset a comparable reduction in other taxes.

    • Replies: @athEIst
  32. Isn’t this proposal just to raise the minimum wage?

    not passing a brand new law for minimum wage?

    this just rendered almost all of the what ifs redundant.

    wealth transfer: the current transfer is from the young to the old. whoever owns property or assets are getting wealth from the young who can’t afford to buy their own atm.

    stagnant wages and inflation(this was suppose to help everyone, it is now in reverse due to almost zero increase in wages) + rising costs of everything = everyone around or under 30 getting boned hardcore.

  33. They have every right to set a “minimum wage”.
    And they have every right to suffer the blow back from their decisions.
    You can force employers to pay the minimum wage, but you CAN’T force them to maintain all those employees at that higher price.
    Fewer people getting more $$$, more people unemployed.
    The same moron minimum wage earners that vote Dem are supporting the party that wants to increase the immigrants that will take their jobs.
    Too bad ignorance isn’t painful.

    • Replies: @MH
  34. joe webb says:

    what if consumer demand was raised thru a higher minimum wage, and this led to more investment , etc.


  35. @joe webb

    ron has 2 great articles on this very topic, great read.

  36. I know arguments on all sides of this issue abound; and truth be told, just about all these arguments have a grain of soundness to them. That’s pretty much always the case with economics. The debates are so contentious precisely because neither side is entirely wrong. With that being said, I generally support the minimum wage increase, and here’s why.

    1. We are deeply in need of some genuine price inflation in this economy. Not just the asset inflation that resulted from QE, but some actual consumer price inflation. In short, we need a wage-price spiral to help monetize the outstanding debt and to narrow the wealth gap between the working classes and the ultra-rich. I am fully aware that this will result in a decline of purchasing power over the near-term. We will all feel poorer, but the prices we pay for things need to start reflecting their true costs. America has been living high on the imperial hog for far too long now, which has distorted prices and wealth perceptions all across the board. It is necessary that our old habits and perceptions change if we are ever to address the structural problems that exist in our nation.

    2. Automation is a pipe dream; it is much more difficult than people tend to imagine. It would take probably an entire decade of intensive capital investment to design, test, and implement a successful system for automating even a single fast food chain, and by the time it was all done it wouldn’t even be worth it. Besides, what company has that kind of capital to invest anymore, and on such a cockamamie scheme to boot? When you think about it, a robot burger-flipper requiring constant IT support and thousands of lines of code is a much more Rube-Goldberg way of making a burger than is really necessary. It is much easier to just hire a human being to make it, no? The robot only seems more efficient because A) Its development and implementation costs are hidden from the point of end-use; and B) It achieves its efficiency gains through the one-off mechanism of liquidating the current workforce. Any society which dedicates that much resources to the rather pedestrian task of flipping burgers is pursuing an insane capital allocation strategy. In numerous ways both social, technological, and economical, this increasingly unnecessary automation is just like the widening meander in the course of a river. Eventually it widens to the point that the stream cuts it off, leaving it as a stranded oxbow lake.

    3) I remain convinced that people are growing more and more disgusted with seeing even the lowest service-sector jobs being populated by third world ape-men who obviously have a very strange and alien relationship with the society around them. Do you want your burger to be served to you and your children by some tuberculosis-coughing, hairy-moled Honduran woman who gruffly demands your money in stunted English, or by some fresh-faced white high school kid from the neighborhood with a good attitude? A rhetorical question, I know—so pay the kid his friggin’ 15 bucks and don’t complain if your burger costs $6.99 instead of $3.99. That’s what’s called taking care of your own, and we had better the hell get back to it. And if, as a result, eating out at the burger joint became a less frequent and more special experience—a once a week thing instead of an every other day thing—that wouldn’t hurt either. It would promote more eating together at home, more family time and domesticity, along with a return to traditional gender roles. Nothing wrong with any of that.

    4) That high school kid slinging burgers after school, saving up to buy a car or a new guitar, is the future of the nation. He deserves to grow up in a society where he knows the adults value him and want to help him learn the skills that will enable him to successfully join their ranks. He needs to live in a community. By pursuing a race to the bottom in wages that has disenfranchised an entire generation of native youth, especially native males, we have done unimaginable harm to our social fabric. The native youth who alone could have carried our society into the future no longer feel like they have any stake in it, and don’t care. The Honduran ape-men never cared in the first place, and certainly will not do it.

    5) Raising the minimum wage is not about “creating wealth.” We all know you can’t create wealth by fiat. It is about redistributing some of the social goods away from the oligarchs and back to the working classes, so that they have a legitimate opportunity to improve their lot in life. It is a hand-up, not a hand-out. It is what communities do for each other. But those communities, by the same token, have both the right and the obligation to resist the foreign immivading labor scabs as well as the plutocrats and carpetbaggers who aid and abet them. A higher minimum wage gives everyone a greater stake when it comes to identifying and assisting their own kind; i.e. it gives us a more explicitly political and local sort of existence instead of the rootless, thoughtless cosmopolitanism of today.

    • Replies: @interesting
    , @Che Guava
  37. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @joe webb

    what if consumer demand was raised thru a higher minimum wage, and this led to more investment

    Nice idea: more investment in WalMart- and Amazon-type emporiums selling imported products of Third-World sweat shops.

    Trouble is, while those who get the increased wage will increase their demand for consumer goods, those who lose their jobs as the higher minimum wage makes even more US-based businesses internationally uncompetitive will reduce their demand for consumer goods. The net result would be negative for the economy.

    That’s ignoring the effect of the increased minimum wage on the black economy, which would expand and suck in more illegal immigrants willing, in defiance of the law, to accept less than the minimum wage (but pay no taxes, of course).

    Quite likely that’s the point. The faster the black economy grows the sooner EuroAmericans and black Americans, the descendants of those who built a great nation, will become increasingly unimportant components of a new “Third World”* nation. Meantime, corporate profits will continue to soar, as more of American industry is off-shored to low wage areas, and business that cannot be off-shored is increasingly staffed by immigrant sweatshop labor.

    * I put Third Word in quotes because, as the term was originally coined by Mao Tse Tung, it referred to everyone but the West and the Soviet Union, i.e., the First and Second World’s, respectively.

  38. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I read some articles awhile back that the major fast food outlets were working on automating their operations to reduce the number of employees to a bare minimum, to be rolled out within the next five years or so. Increased minimum or not, a lot of those jobs won’t be around anyway.
    Minimum wage was $1.25 at one point in time. Every time it’s been raised there were the same arguments about how it was going to put everyone out of work. People aren’t usually paid what they’re “worth” but what it takes to get workers for the job and to replace them. What are CEOs “worth”?
    It may come as a surprise but currently many minimum wage workers actually do qualify for and receive welfare, primarily Medicaid and Food Stamps, usually if they have dependent children. This enables them to make ends meet and is a form of back-door welfare for corporations; they get lower cost employees and the taxpayers pick up the tab for the supplement.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  39. Rehmat says:

    You mean when a Hindu practices it, it’s not good for “investors” – but when it’s done by Zionist Jews like Bernard Madoff, it attracts “investors” like a magnet.

    There is another anti-Iran ‘Ponzi scheme’ being carried out in New York Manhattan Jewish district without much fanfare. It was here on the 17th floor of the Lipstick Building where Bernard Madoff (Jewish) executed his $50 billion fraud. He stole money from investors and deposited it mostly into Israeli banks.

    Recently, US Marshal Service has put a 36-storey (382,500 sq. ft.) office tower on Fifth Avenue for sale. The building was built by the Pahlavi Foundation, a non-profit Iranian charity in the 1970s. Currently, it’s owned by Iran’s Alavi Foundation whose accounts are handled by Iran’s Milli Bank, which is under US sanctions. The tower generated over $228 million in rent payments between 1996 and 2008.

    The tower along with several mosques and other bank accounts linked to the Islamic Republic are on sale to compensate hundreds of victims of Israeli terrorism blamed on Iran or Lebanese Hizbullah by Israel and its Jewish lobby groups in western nations.

  40. @Connecticut Famer

    Arguably one of the most preposterous bits of claptrap ever concocted by the mind of man.

    A product of rentiers. Puts an artificial, and artificially high, floor under rents.

  41. J1234 says:

    A $15/hr. minimum wage will limit the upward mobility of the poor. More specifically (and devastatingly) the ambitious poor. When opportunities are limited, the ambitious poor often make something of their lives by starting their own business. With limited economic resources, however, starting a business is always financially difficult in the early phases. Startup business owners are society’s most unacknowledged impoverished class. They live like the poor, because they are poor.

    And they’re supposed to pay employees $30,000 a year while making $20,000 a year or less (or nothing) themselves? This policy will essentially destroy an entire class of startup business. It will still be possible to be self employed, but that’s it. No startup business with employees will make it.

  42. What if this clown didn’t start every para with a same format question?

  43. @Anonymous

    In anything resembling a market society, nobody can consistently be paid more than the economic value that they add.
    Increasing the minimum wage merely increases the number of people whom it is illegal to hire .

  44. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    Another “deep brilliant” analysis by the Libertarian freedom!!!!!!!!! crowd… of course, that’s how Blll Gates, Mark Zuckerberg..and Donald Trump became multibillionaires…starting lemonade stands on a street corner. Or did the volunteer to be wage-slaves at McDonalds?

    • Replies: @J1234
  45. @J1234

    “A $15/hr. minimum wage will limit the upward mobility of the poor.”

    You would think that giving them more money would do the opposite.

    “More specifically (and devastatingly) the ambitious poor. When opportunities are limited, the ambitious poor often make something of their lives by starting their own business.”

    The vast majority of ordinary people lack the resources to ever start a small business.

    “And they’re supposed to pay employees $30,000 a year while making $20,000 a year or less (or nothing) themselves? This policy will essentially destroy an entire class of startup business.”

    The vast majority of jobs, perhaps 99%, will be preserved, so that is irrelevant to most people, especially considering that most people will never own a “small business.”

    This is the reason the GOP loses working-class, white votes in rust belt states. Apparently, it’s going to take a while – and a few more Mitt Romney-type loses – to drain the swamp of the these GOP establishment talking points.

    • Replies: @J1234
  46. @anonymous

    almost every walmart employee is on welfare. essentially a money transfer from the govt to corporate profits through tax.

    fuck up as hell.

  47. athEIst says:
    @The Grate Deign

    Harsh,……and stupid.

    • Replies: @edNels
  48. Art says:

    Surely the Judge does not like a system were someone has to work three jobs to make ends meet. Who can be proud of that? The Judge should be writing columns that complain about the 1% walking off with the goodies from society – he should not be justifying suffering.

    “We the People” matter – we matter first and foremost. Most all good people do not want others to starve or hurt. We are all in this together – capitalist and worker wash each other’s hands. If a job is essential to a company’s existence – then the worker’s existence must also count. All jobs matter.

    The onus is on the Judge and the elite to produce a just economic society. It is not the responsibility of the poor and the hurting, who must work endless hours to scratch out an existence. A pure socialist system is a loser – and so is a pure capitalist system. There is a golden mean.

    In actuality, the anti minimum wage arguments are a canard. We have had a minimum wage for decades – it has never killed the economy.

    p.s. We have an overabundance of goods and services – there has to be a way for all to prosper – the Judge needs to get busy creating a non-governmental system where all benefit – NOT put the burden of making capitalism work on those with the least.

    p.s. A lot of people cannot be paid a fare wage because the legal system syphons of so much wealth for so little good. The Judge can start by cleaning up the legal system – that produces at best, beer bottle justice at Champagne prices.

  49. athEIst says:

    tariffs on imports from low wage, low-tax, low-regulation (environmental, working hours, child labor, workplace safety, etc.) jurisdictions..
    And who would be in charge of classifying these jurisdictions? Congress? Some agency? Hell, maybe the courts can weigh in. Sure will suck a lot of money to where these decisions are made and I guess that’s sorta the point.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  50. MH says:

    When Seattle raised their minimum wage, the workers affected asked for reduced hours because with the increased wages they no longer qualified for food stamps. So they opted to work fewer hours and get their EBT rather than having to work for what they got….

    • Replies: @boogerbently
  51. “rather than on free market forces or economic realities?”

    i’m all for the free markets and i think the USA should try it but why is the “free market” only an issue when it’s the lowest paid among us that is looking for their turn….did you think the bailouts happened in a vacuum?

    we simply can not have bailouts for the rich and free markets for the poor.

  52. @TG

    “Government cannot create wealth, or high wages”

    well it seems to be working over at Goldman Sachs….i guess just not for the little people….didn’t they try this over in France? how’d that turn out?

    BUT the Americans don’t have the balls to go all French on anyone.

  53. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    By the time the $15 an hour wage kicks in, between 2022 and 2024, the living wage will be $25 an hour. The so called wage victories are not victories at all. The increases in the minimum wage are incremental. We have had a class struggle for a hundred years or more, but it’s always the ruling class that wins.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  54. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    the $15 an hour wage will not happen for years, in some places until 2024, when $15 will be woefully inadequate and then the push for $25 an hour will be required. Today’s workers are right to be pessimistic…wages have always lagged behind productivity…the difference is called profit.
    Unleashing market forces on wages would see many willing to work for $4 an hour, hardly the way the world’s richest country ought to behave. gumercindo is right

  55. @Intelligent Dasein

    “We are deeply in need of some genuine price inflation in this economy”

    fucking hell!!! i wish i lived on your planet here on mine i’ve not been able to raise prices in 25 years and any more “inflation” and i’ll be eating a bullet in retirement since i can’t afford to live in the USA now.

    mega facepalm.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  56. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    with a paltry social security check of $750 a month (the rest is conviscated because of student loans from the last century) I have moved to a third world country in order to live somewhat decently…I fear that the cost of living will force millions to do the same in the not too distant future.

    • Replies: @elmo
  57. @interesting

    Did you bother reading any further than the first sentence I wrote, or is this just a knee-jerk reaction?

    My larger point was that none of us can “afford” to live in the United States anymore; the United States is broke. We need a wage-price spiral to help monetize some of the debt. Yes, I admitted this will make all of us poorer in the near-term, but that is what it takes to pay the debt off. From my perspective, a wage-price spiral would be a lot gentler on most people than confiscatory taxation and asset stripping. If you have a better idea, I’d be willing to hear it.

  58. The man doesn’t have a point. The judge seems to think that l have the right to sell my own labor:
    Hey judge FOXNEWS- the Dept. of Labor and the IRS beg to differ. My employer contracts with these pirates whereby l am summarily relieved of 50 PERCENT of the fruits of my labor.
    To contract directly with my employer is known as “working off the books” which is expressly forbidden by the Con-job known as the constitution.

    • Replies: @woodNfish
  59. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    What if the people who are so easily bribed by politicians are the real problem?

  60. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    And who would be in charge of classifying these jurisdictions?

    Good point. My suggestion was poorly worded.

    Never mind the selectivity. What I meant was to tax everything that comes in. That way you boost all American industry, including oil, lumber, electricity, food, plus all the domestic firms that compete with the off-shored manufactured goods and services.

  61. woodNfish says:

    This country is built on lies. What’s one more? (Answer: More of the same.)

  62. woodNfish says:

    The constitution says nothing of the sort.

    • Replies: @Stonehands
  63. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:

    What if I never read anything again by Napolatono?

    I never trusted him to begin with, he likes to pretend sometimes that he is different than other “Neo’s”?

    But what if nobody is fooledf? Of that’s too optimistic!

  64. M_Young says:

    “Oh boy am I confused. I paid a hundred dollar fine for parking in my yard. Hard to find a victim there. ”

    It’s the same type of ‘crime’, with the same type of victim, as illegal immigration. No specific victim, but lowers the quality of life for everyone around (just find a neighborhood where folks do park their cars on their lawns if you don’t believe me). At least with the car parking example, we don’t have to pay for the alleged ‘education’ of the cars children, etc.

    • Replies: @WorkingClass
  65. elmo says:


    April 12, 2016 at 3:26 am GMT • 100 Words

    with a paltry social security check of $750 a month (the rest is conviscated because of student loans from the last century) I have moved to a third world country in order to live somewhat decently…[/quote]

    well you signed for and rec’d the loans didnt you?

    do your word mean anything?

  66. It is because of the minimum wage that more people than ever, in the entire history of humanity, are now well off.

  67. @M_Young

    (just find a neighborhood where folks do park their cars on their lawns if you don’t believe me)

    I live in one of those neighborhoods where there are two, three and four families in houses built for one. We have a SEVERE parking problem. And we don’t have lawns. We have yards. And children playing in the street. The only people paying these fines are poor people. The un-poor have no need to park in the yard. This is a way for the City to raise money without pissing off anybody who can afford a lawyer.

  68. @woodNfish

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.
    16 amendment- skip the semantics- they boldly deprive us of the fruits of our labor.

    • Replies: @woodNfish
  69. woodNfish says:

    The 16th amendment does not say you cannot sell your labor. You can contract with anyone you want, and they can hire you as an independent contractor. I don’t like the tax laws anymore than you, but what you are writing isn’t true.

  70. J1234 says:
    @War for Blair Mountain

    …. that’s how Blll Gates, Mark Zuckerberg..and Donald Trump became multibillionaires…

    I don’t know much about Bill or Mark, but that’s essentially how Henry Ford became the richest man of his era. Two failed small car businesses preceded the Ford Motor Company. After some success, Ford famously paid employees $5 a day – twice what others were paying – but that’s because he wanted to and he could afford to, not because the government told him he had to. Had that stipulation been imposed on him when he started FoMoCo, he never would’ve made it. When the unions demanded higher wages in the 20’s and 30’s, however, he fought them bitterly.

    Or did they volunteer to be wage-slaves at McDonalds?

    McDonalds jobs aren’t careers, unless you move into management. What does $15 for flipping burgers do to poor people? Make them aspire to nothing more.

  71. J1234 says:
    @Divine Right

    “A $15/hr. minimum wage will limit the upward mobility of the poor.”

    You would think that giving them more money would do the opposite.

    Yes, you would…if you believe that counter-intuitive concepts do not, or cannot, exist. Paying people more for the job they currently work has nothing to do with “mobility” (mobility as contrasted to that which is stationary or sedentary.) 30 grand a year for flipping burgers makes the many of the poor want to flip burgers, and nothing else.

    The vast majority of ordinary people lack the resources to ever start a small business.

    I started my business with $5000…never any loans.

    The vast majority of jobs, perhaps 99%, will be preserved, so that is irrelevant to most people, especially considering that most people will never own a “small business.”

    What do McDonalds, Arby’s, Village Inn and most other restaurant chains have in common? They all started out as small businesses. The same is true of Ford, Dodge and NCR and many other manufacturing companies. Ford and NCR, after some degree of success, were able to pay their workers higher wages than other companies and/or develop social welfare programs for their employees. They couldn’t do it at first, though.

    So, which McDonalds, Dodge or NCR of the future – and the millions of jobs they provide – would we be killing today because of excessive minimum wage requirements?

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  72. bjondo says:

    dont want to pay? run the business yourself. every large business that got bigger did do by virtue of help. no help no growth. pay fairly. most businesses try to cheat the worker. mom and pop can have kids and not pay them. an appointed ceo goes nowhere without workers. most downsizings to cheat workers hurt those cos but the ceos make out like the bandits they are.
    the walton family can operate how many walmarts by themselves?

  73. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    This article does not inform, all it does is create fear, uncertainty and doubt. The only thing that scares me more then tornadoes, rattle snakes and zombies is Capitalism.

  74. JackOH says:

    Judge Napolitano pretty much hews to the standard-issue free-market criticism of minimum wage laws. But, as with a lot of very good libertarian criticism, the naïve reader is left with the false impression that, if it weren’t for this latest government intrusion into labor markets, we’d all go back to our libertarian paradise of voluntary transactions among free men. Bull. There’s way too much “boundedness”, too much “distortion” already in labor markets.

    Yes, I find the $15 an hour minimum wage a bit tough to buy for some of the exact reasons Judge Napolitano mentions. But, in my area, we have a whole mess of full-time and more-than-full-time workers who, at best, are eking out a precarious living despite skills, experience, and education. I don’t like the very narrow idea that a pauperized citizenry is the price we must pay for free market purity. (There’s a UK Professor Guy Standing who talks at length about the “precariatization” of modern labor, and may be worth a read.)

    Debate about wages is important, but we also ought to broaden and deepen that debate to ask what kind of society do we want, what kind of people do we want?

  75. bjondo says:

    the free market is fiction

    libertarianism is a nice idea for the 18th c.

  76. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    After Minimum Wage Hike, UC Berkeley Cuts 500 Staff


    This would be funny except that it’s no joke for the people fired.

    But if you want to study economics, UC Berkeley is evidently a good place to do it.

  77. @MH

    Same when Wal-Mart gave the raise.

  78. Che Guava says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    That suggestion re. inflation is asinine, all it does is rip off those of us who save.

    Sure, any of us should be looking for a better way to use the savings, but most of us don’t have the insider knowledge of a Soros to create and massively profit from a run on the pound (and I am convinced that was a case of insider trading, of which Soros was convicted, with almost no penalty, although in another case).

    That the man is a criminal is undeniable.

    So we have a world where inflation is supposed to be non-existent (it really nearly is where I live), it is actually huge in other places where they state the rates as low. Rents and costs of buying a house or flat or cottage have exploded in all Anglosphere countries. Why?
    They all give free rein to foreign exploiters.

    I realise that the prices in the US vary from place to place, but it is the same thing in many urban centres there.

    Costs of meals. juice, booze, anything but the cheapest made-in-Bangladesh clothes, the ‘inflation is at about two percent’ claim is a lie.

  79. Che Guava says:

    What we need is McDonalds with the chips cooked in beef dripping, sounds delicious, read of it in US lit. (general reading, not an academic subject). That was the original style, I gather.

    Wouldn’t want to eat them more than once or twice a month, but sure sounds like they were tasty,

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