Free Markets, Free People

NYT: Raise the minimum wage!

You may find this interesting … I did.  The New York Times editorialized about the minimum wage on the 12th of February.  Unsurprisingly, they’re for raising it:

New York is an expensive place to live, and unaffordable for workers struggling on $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum wage. Nineteen other states, recognizing that the federal minimum is too low for survival, even with food stamps or other government assistance, have increased their minimum above that level. Lawmakers in Massachusetts raised it to $8 an hour. Connecticut’s is $8.25, and it is $9.04 an hour in Washington State.

It is time for New York to raise its minimum wage enough to help more than 600,000 struggling workers. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is vigorously pushing a bill to raise the minimum to $8.50 an hour immediately and to adjust it each year for inflation. This should not be a controversial measure.

Want to know what would be a controversial measure, at least as far as the NYT would be concerned?  George Mason University economics professor Donald J. Boudreaux (Café Hayek) answers the Times:

In the same spirit of demanding that government improve people’s economic well-being simply by ordering that people be paid more, allow me to make a similar plea on your behalf.

The newspaper business today is in difficult straits.  So I hereby call upon the legislature in Albany to force you and other newspapers in New York to raise your subscription and advertising rates by 17.2 percent (the same percentage raise that you want to force low-skilled workers to demand from their employers).  Voila!  If your economic theory is correct, your profits will rise.  And the magnitude of these higher profits, we can assume (just as you assume in the case of low-skilled workers), will be greater than any negative consequences that might be unleashed by such legislative interference in your ability to determine the terms on which you sell your services.

I. Loved. That. Answer.

It is the perfect comeback to those who would use the force of government to arbitrarily raise wages and commit your money to their priorities.  As with most things, they’d never stand for you doing the same to them.  Boudreaux’s answer highlights that in spades.  It’s perfect.  And he challenges them with “if your economic theory is correct …”.  I laughed out loud reading that.

Oh, and we demand that the NYT adjust their subscription and advertising rates each year for inflation.

That shouldn’t be a controversial measure, should it?

You can hear the huffing and puffing in the NYT boardroom from here.

[HT: Villainous Company]


Twitter: @McQandO

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13 Responses to NYT: Raise the minimum wage!

  • Oh, and MANDATE that everybody employed by the NYT be paid 20% more, across the board!

    That might be the quickest way to get rid of Krugman, Friedman, Nocera…

    New York State, you pass this…kiss your ass good-bye…

    • @Ragspierre You know, in a way, New York city is a living example of a current violation of the rule that things that can’t go on won’t.

      • @looker I read a blurb a while back that said that…but for the financial sector, which is quite mobile…NYC is non-viable. So, they MAY want to consider how hostile they want to get.

  • Yeah, because we know that the cost of living in New York has nothing to do with government there, it’s all caused by greedy businessmen underpaying their workers, overcharging their customers and living large on Wall Street.

    Let me guess, raise the minimum wage, and the city and state and Fed won’t make a little extra? No, course not, the WHOLE increase will go ONLY to the workers. And the cash strapped government of the City and State of New York, seeing higher wages, would NEVER then decide now might be a good time to levy an increase in taxes on something so they can spend more instead of cutting back….no no no.

    Yeah, there’s no vicious circle potential going on here.

    • @looker Well, yeah. And…in keeping with Sons Of Anarchy…vicious CYCLE potential…

    • More importantly, even if the workers captured all the increase, it’d just put people out of work.

      Because people who are barely worth hiring at the current minimum wage will suddenly by not worth keeping on or hiring in the first place, just as the current minimum wage keeps people without valuable skills out of the market entirely.

      (And I deny that “New York” is not “survivable” on $7-and-change an hour. New York City, perhaps, or rather Manhattan, but having to have roommates and eat on the cheap is not the same as dying.)

      • @sigivald We just have to close our eyes and remember that the only people who would be hurt by a minimum wage increase are the rich.

        Every one else benefits, trust us, really, honestly. We gave this as much as 15 minutes worth of thought before we wrote this, and it occurred to us that if people had more money to spend they’d spend it and everything would be better.

        We are also not known for wondering what ‘product’ the government makes that causes them to take more money in for us to spend on our various social consciousness projects and treasury based generosity to the ‘less fortunate’.

        The founders of our publication are even now achieving such a rotational velocity that we are contemplating attaching magnets and copper coil to their resting places to generate ‘green’ power.

      • @sigivald Capture … You need a raise just to keep up with taxes in NYC

  • Hiring of Illegal Immigrants must have fallen off.

  • I don’t understand why the NYT is piddling about such small sums. Just mandate a minumum wage of $125/hr and be done with it. Voila, no more poverty! Hah, hah…