Phil Greenspun raises an interesting point here :
There seems to be a political consensus in the U.S. around raising minimum wage to $12-15/hour.i If we assume that Americans as a whole will respond to economic incentives in the same way as those who live in Puerto Rico, presumably the 50 states in 10 years will look like Puerto Rico today.
This is to say that the general populace of the Americas in neatly on track – granting, of course, that trends are never as linear as they appear in hindsight – to find that the current ~60% employment rate is a bit on the high side for their liking and that working so much is little more than a distraction from the well deserved leisure activities of spending time with family and watching Big Brother re-runs. Y’know, because why should those dark-skinned lazy-boned libertards have all the fun on that despotic and despondent continent you always see on TV commercials when we can import some of that sweet, sweet lethargy and petty thievery to the Americas so that it can be fairly and equally enjoyed by lazy-boned libertards everywhere, regardless of skin colour.
There’s no serious question that the future of the us is anything else or anything different from the Africa which it has for so long aimed to join.
All of which is to say that, laws mandating higher minimum wages will ultimately drive more people out of the workforce as employers find it unprofitable to procure the unskilled services of the borderline employable, making it even more challenging, even nigh-on impossible, to operate a functional (non-dole) business accomplishing anything resembling productive output without the use of even more machines, which will only lead to more human jobs being replaced, more people on welfare, and even more stress on the productive few who slip their way through the cracks of regulation, like that guy who manages to duck and dive at lightning speed through the throngs of people wedging their way through the arena doors at the end of a rock concert, beating the odds like the salmon swimming uphill in the bear-guarded stream. It should go without saying that increasing the minimum wage will only pour gasoline on an already viciously fiery cycle.
Then again, maybe there’s an opportunity here. Stay with me now : wouldn’t it be pretty fan-friggin-tastic if there were a way to just let these societally harmful, eceonomically ignorant and broadly inane laws do their thing while walking around them altogether ?iii Y’know, by finding a loophole in this draconianly stupid set of regulations so that you could give motivated people (i.e. the hungry) a chance to earn their meals, to provide them the sense of reward and satisfaction that comes with an honest day’s labour, and also to improve your business prospects in a fiercely competitive global marketplace ? After all, gaps big enough for a semi truck to drive though always and everywhere exist in man-made legislation (to say nothing of the “divine”), so surely minimum wage is no exception.
All of which dovetails nicely into this recent conversation in #b-a, where nothing is verbotten and everything is to be at least considered if not outright resolved. There’s really nowhere better to discuss the manners and means of circumventing, bypassing, and outright pulverising the price controlling, market intervening, centralised Soviet-style command economy bullshit and its corrupting influences :
decimation: Actually I would pay good money for a robot that could wonder through a yard and pull weeds.iv
pete_dushenski: This is what roundup tries to do. Engineered biocide.
decimation: Myeah, but it kills grass too.
pete_dushenski: Well, it’s a robot, not that bright y’know. Besides, not like USAfricanz are expensive labour. At least not within a decade.
decimation: The problem is that USG bids up the price of otherwise servant labor.
ascii_field: Most expensive in the world.
decimation: USG wisely punishes you for working and rewards you for not.v
pete_dushenski: Until people will take ‘room and board’ as compensation. What minimum wage law can stop that arrangement ?
ascii_field: Not sure this will show any symptoms of happening any time prior to the die-off.
pete_dushenski: Which die-off would this be now ?vi
decimation: Why would they when they can make $30-60k for being ‘poor’ ?
*:funkenstein_ is looking for such a room and board position.
pete_dushenski: So many are !vii
ascii_field: Anyway, 99+% of USA ALREADY works for room & board !
decimation: Well, I was thinking of when all value passes through the bitcoin hole.
ascii_field: It is just done indirectly.
decimation: They give a little walking-around money too.
pete_dushenski: Bullshit alf you do no such thing.
pete_dushenski: Room & board means ONLY ROOM & BOARD. There are no approximations here. Certainly not ones off by 10%+.
ascii_field: In that case, even in Auschwitz folks didn’t work for ‘only room and board’.
funkenstein_: Well that escalated quicklyviii
pete_dushenski: Well, they worked to not be shot in back of head.
decimation: Plus room and board.
ascii_field: Not quite. Money existed. (At one point, a variant of paper Reichsmark, but at all times – smokes).
pete_dushenski: Distributed by Nazis ? I think not. Used as IOU amongst prisoners, sure.
ascii_field: Well, more complicated. Germans paid ‘bonuses’ with favours. (Access to ‘posh’ jobs, fewer beatings, etc). Which could in turn be traded. This is amply described in the literature.ix
pete_dushenski: Still covered under ‘room & board’ and still circumvents minimum wage fucktardery as presented. So yes, Auschwitzians lived under room & board arrangement, and no, you do not, alf.
ascii_field: Anyway, I reason in categories.
trinque: I had this notion regarding the bums all over Portland, that someone should take them to nearby farms for day labor in exchange for meals, showers, and somewhere to be warehoused at night. It’d be a vast improvement for their lives.
pete_dushenski: Most certainly. Sounds like a swell idea to me.
So there you go, the solution to minimum wage laws is to not deal in the government’s worthless fucking scrip in the first place and to directly exchange labour for food and shelter. Now how fucking elegant is that !x
And since this bric-a-brac article is mostly quotes and footnotes, we might as well finish with one more quote. Quoth MP on the probable use of currency (or lack thereof) by the general populace in the not-so-distant future:
It’s not that currency as a thing will go away. It’s the automatic assumption that “anyone” may interact with currency that will go away. For most of history this was the case, the Southern gentleman, be he in the south of England or in the south of the US could scarcely imagine what the girl rubbing the floors on her knees would want or need with currency. Currency generally is in the hands of a selected few, this situation where every man woman and child holds some is an exception, and I suspect coming to an end.
And that will be that. Managers will use currency (Bitcoin) and labour will do what labour does best, which is work, while the government goes back to planning public festivals and generally staying the fuck out of business and other matters of import !
Hooray ! Everybody wins !
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- Alberta under the new, even more socialist socialists, is also on track for the same ‘dignified’ minimum wage. As if the slumping oil prices and pending tax increases weren’t enough of an economic thwap to the head of productivity. [↩]
- Not like this is the first time that MP’s ideas have been cribbed, nor was it the last. Such is the fate of #bitcoin-assets that its broad swathes of log readers think they can get away with not citing sources. Not that we don’t notice. Not that there aren’t consequences. [↩]
- Kinda like I circumvented Blockchain.info’s ‘2FA’ webwallet. Heh. [↩]
- Maybe Ava‘d be up to the task ? [↩]
- This is pure sarcasm, folks. It’s by now well clear to anyone with a reasonably functioning brain that the United States took what made them great, their yeehaw cowboy sense of individualism and independence, and Sovietised under a mountain of debt, crushing the whole system into a collectivist morass from which there cannot be and will not be a recovery. ‘The Great Recession’ doesn’t even begin to describe this moral and economic unwinding of a 300 mn+ headcount federated nation state. [↩]
- This inquiry went unanswered so I can only assume that alf is referring to either the impending climatocalypse, untreatable plague, or mass famine born by Monsanto’s collapse that’s going to wipe the smug grins off of a healthy third of the world’s population. [↩]
- Funky isn’t alone in his desire for a roof over his head and some food in his belly in exchange for a day’s work. Far from it, in fact. So far is the real world from the broken and baseless libertard conception of “I would say about 0.001% of master-slave relationships have a benefit for the slave” that it’s almost unbearable. Seriously, Asimov’s visions of the future with two Foundations at opposing ends of the galaxy is more plausible than the way left-leaning idiots, who don’t have to extrapolate jack shit, imagine the world works today. It’s nuts. [↩]
- It always does. Why mess around ? We have problems to solve here ! [↩]
- This is broadly speaking the use of social debt and credit instruments rather than currency as such. These favours had zero value outside of the confines of the camps. [↩]
- Sure, there will have to be income taxes paid even though it’s a barter transaction, but that should be modest and the employer can handle that without ever having to worry his labourer’s little heads about money and its really very challenging management.
Also, this solution is really best suited to the local level of organisation. How this consideration meshes with the death of geography is best left as a discussion for another time, or as an exercise for the alert reader. [↩]