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Thread: On Minimum Wage: Edgar the Exploiter

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Lightbulb On Minimum Wage: Edgar the Exploiter

    A video that brilliantly illustrates the Austrian argument against Minimum Wage laws.


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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    The video is quite simplistic in it's construction, yes, as are the other videos by the user bitbutter on taxation. However, I believe their intended audience are people with little or no exposure to economic theory. They are good enough for their purpose; of initiating discussion, and implanting the intellectual seed that get people thinking about, even questioning, the basic functions of a regulatory government and economic interventionism that they have taken for granted all their life.

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    The market is a complex system and can not be efficiently governed. It can only be influenced to a variable extent. Any attempts to control the market lead to a dysfunctional market (also to a variable extent).

    A free market boils down to a situation in which human value and freedom is determined by the circumstances of ones birth (wealth, intelligence, talents, fitness, ect).


    Therefore, I oppose both free markets and any workarounds applied by the state.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    "Although his wage is low, Simon appreciates the independence it gives him."

    The independence you get from living on the street because his monthly wage of $480 is not enough to pay rent?
    “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”
    ― Pablo Neruda

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    After watching that vid I find it hard to believe that Gammas on this site aren't millionaires. I thought they're the owners. I wouldn't post propaganda on this site, though. You might lure out/"provoke" Socialists and their economic policies, Cpig.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    Minimum wage laws are obviously a tool that governments & the rich use to further suppress poor Simon in the video, the common man. It's unfortunate that so many people support these laws, actually thinking the government is helping them.
    More likely the people passing these laws are either too incompetent to understand the long term consequences of what they're doing (like Kim), or purely interested in winning election by giving the people what they think they want.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pa3s View Post
    A free market boils down to a situation in which human value and freedom is determined by the circumstances of ones birth (wealth, intelligence, talents, fitness, ect).

    Therefore, I oppose both free markets and any workarounds applied by the state.
    Natural selection also boils down to talent, fitness, intelligence, and access to resources... are you opposed to nature? When you suppress the natural selective functions your society begins accumulating waste, ultimately to the greater harm of the whole organism.

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    So what is this guy supposed to do? Obviously that is not enough money to live on. A tent city around the factory? I am asking in practical terms now.

    Edit: $7 an hour gives you $1120 - big difference. You can live on that (I have).
    “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”
    ― Pablo Neruda

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    Adding hkkmr's chatbox quote to this thread because I think it's relevant.

    [/FONT][/COLOR]

    Minimum wage laws are obviously a tool that governments & the rich use to further suppress poor Simon in the video, the common man. It's unfortunate that so many people support these laws, actually thinking the government is helping them.
    Yes, business and government collude to create the minimum wage to keep the man down.

    Bullshit. People fought for this a long time ago very hard, and these people weren't in business or government, they just wanted their piece of pie.

    I don't appreciate you quoting me from chatbox and mentioning me. If I want to post in this thread, I will.

    The Austrian's and their adherents and followers can believe what they want. I think they're wrong and their beliefs aren't rational.

    Please don't quote me again or mention me as I have you on ignore.

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    Right on the money once again. Hkkmr you might want to think about paying me for posting on this site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    Split rent with a friend? Get another job? Learn a trade? He has options.
    If he is already working 40 hours a week, he hardly has time or energy to get another job and learn a trade.



    I'm sure it's possible but you'd have to be frugal as hell. Figure 20% is wiped out by taxes (federal/state/local/sales/etc.) leaving $880. Wop off another $480 from the hypothetical rent example (let's be generous and assume utilities are included too), and that leaves $400 leftover when there's still food to buy, insurance payments to make, cellphone bills to pay, etc. etc.
    So with $480 you have options, but with $1120 you have a hard time?
    “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”
    ― Pablo Neruda

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    I think this remains true regardless of the economic system one lives under.
    Maybe, yes. One could say that intellectual or physical deficiencies already determine the level of freedom. This is something which can only be partly compensated. However, the degree of social/economical justice can be controlled by people. Some systems offer more than others.

    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    What about a market regulated by the market—e.g. having privatized regulatory/legal firms, whose economic interest would be in facilitating norms of market behavior that people generally agreed with?
    To be honest: I don't know if that changes much.

    Quote Originally Posted by returnofxenu View Post
    Natural selection also boils down to talent, fitness, intelligence, and access to resources... are you opposed to nature? When you suppress the natural selective functions your society begins accumulating waste, ultimately to the greater harm of the whole organism.
    Are disabled people waste to you? If not, how is the situation of someone who can't get a job to make a living much different from that? They might not be as talented, intelligent or fit as the other people. Does that mean they don't deserve a decent life? Does that mean they have not the right to be as free as others?

    The laws of nature contradict many ethical ideals. If you say I'd oppose nature by trying to work against these laws, you're right.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post



    Not what I was implying. IMO, it's a shit situation in either case.
    I did ok on $1120. It wasn't great, but with $480, I would have been homeless. It's ridiculous to say it barely makes a difference. It makes a world of difference. Imagine a town with a factory as the main employer and 1000 workers earning less than $500. Economic wasteland.
    “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”
    ― Pablo Neruda

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    Natural selection is completely different from Social cohersion.
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    there are about 16 waking hours in a day. 16 x 7 = 105 waking hours in a week. Working more than 40 hours is not enjoyable but very doable
    Quote Originally Posted by anndelise View Post
    Natural selection is completely different from Social cohersion.
    Society has developed as an escape from natural pressures.... social selection is alot less brutal than natural selection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    Congrats, but I'm not sure how you did it lol. I've worked it out on paper before and it never adds up.
    I even lent money to people who never paid me back. Heroic, eh?


    And min. wage laws can make a world of difference to an employer with already slim margins of profitability; having to pay every employee another $500+ might be just enough to send their finances into the red and force the factory to cease operations
    .

    I still cannot imagine a town with 1000 Simons living on less than $500. It's absolutely ridiculous.
    “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”
    ― Pablo Neruda

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    Quote Originally Posted by returnofxenu View Post
    Society has developed as an escape from natural pressures.... social selection is alot less brutal than natural selection.
    Less brutal physically, but often demands that an individual go completely against their nature (as in evolutionary nature), which tacks on its own stresses and demands that harms health. In some cases, this counters the benfits of Society.

    Edited to add, i don't really want to argue. My stance is closer to a "dunno, it seems like being caught between a rock and a hard place."
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    Congrats, but I'm not sure how you did it lol. I've worked it out on paper before and it never adds up.
    Try sharing, and pooling resources. I've lived on less and you can do it if you share with 3-4 people. I didn't support myself but we supported each other until I could support myself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pa3s View Post
    Are disabled people waste to you? If not, how is the situation of someone who can't get a job to make a living much different from that? They might not be as talented, intelligent or fit as the other people. Does that mean they don't deserve a decent life? Does that mean they have not the right to be as free as others?
    Everyone is going to die including you.
    On the strict principle I don't care if these people die, since their death happened naturally. Now there is charity of family, friends, and society which they can live off. The ones who die no one cared to keep alive. That's reality... it's futile trying to avoid it. By trying to avoid it you simply kill the entire organism.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pa3s View Post
    The laws of nature contradict many ethical ideals.
    Delusional ethical ideals which are the source of infinitely more problems.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pa3s View Post
    If you say I'd oppose nature by trying to work against these laws, you're right.
    Then you would be one of the people giving charity, which I am not opposed to.

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    Glorious Member mu4's Avatar
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    Here's what actually happens when you raise minimum wage. These are individuals that spend nearly 100% or more of their income.

    People at the bottom get paid more, they buy more. Business that are competent survive and profit off this influx of income to the lower class. Business that are incompetent die.

    The businesses that survive will eat up the incompetent businesses, and buy from B2B business, which buy from other business higher up the food chain.

    The thing is, trickle up economics always works. People at the bottom will by necessity use most of their income, if they're even a little product at their income level, that's just a side benefit. But what they buy and the economic activity they generate will always trickle up and create new businesses and markets. Of course society can only do this to a certain extent and that's what the minimum wage is for, to keep a base line level of economic distribution which will trickle up. A business that can't adjust to minimum wage is simply unfit for survival and should go out of business.

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    Temporary benefits and long term problems...
    Quote Originally Posted by anndelise View Post
    Less brutal physically, but often demands that an individual go completely against their nature (as in evolutionary nature), which tacks on its own stresses and demands that harms health. In some cases, this counters the benfits of Society.

    Edited to add, i don't really want to argue. My stance is closer to a "dunno, it seems like being caught between a rock and a hard place."
    If only we didn't develop society at all, and stuck with the brutality of natural selection, we would have been much better off.
    The solution, therefor, is not to further increase the complexity of society in an even greater attempt to avoid natural brutality.
    The increases in complexity of society only results in an even greater departure from our natural functioning. The problem grows...

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    Quote Originally Posted by returnofxenu View Post
    Everyone is going to die including you.
    Thanks, I thought I was immortal.

    Quote Originally Posted by returnofxenu View Post
    On the strict principle I don't care if these people die, since their death happened naturally. Now there is charity of family, friends, and society which they can live off. The ones who die no one cared to keep alive. That's reality... it's futile trying to avoid it. By trying to avoid it you simply kill the entire organism.
    I'm not talking about dying, I'm talking about living. And what is the bolded part supposed to mean? Is it natural if more than 100 workers die because a poorly maintained sweatshop in Bangladesh burned down? If the "organism" can't offer social justice then it better died (re: evolution).

    Quote Originally Posted by returnofxenu View Post
    Then you would be one of the people giving charity, which I am not opposed to.
    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    And what of the factory forced into closure due to hikes in mandatory wage rates?
    Businesses that go out of business because of minimum wage are bad businesses probably operated by incompetent individuals, I see no problem with these business going out of business. If no-one is competent enough to fill the void, that's still not a economic problem but a social one.

    I'm not interested in "welfare" for most business. A lot of business are simply old and don't provide anything society needs or will need in the future.

    Minimum wage is rarely the biggest factor in the collapse of a business, I would say a wage rate at minimum wage and the business still going out of business means that the business itself is simply unproductive and useless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pa3s View Post
    Thanks, I thought I was immortal.
    Your opinion is, in essence, an appeal to personal fear; and motivated by personal fear.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pa3s View Post
    I'm not talking about dying, I'm talking about living.
    We are talking about disabled people being kept alive by the government instead of dying.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pa3s View Post
    And what is the bolded part supposed to mean?
    That the forces of natural selection are responsible for their death rather than some socially / politically motivated killing
    Quote Originally Posted by Pa3s View Post
    Is it natural if more than 100 workers die because a poorly maintained sweatshop in Bangladesh burned down? If the "organism" can't offer social justice then it better died (re: evolution).
    If you owned a factory, why would you want it to burn down? It's to the advantage of the owners and the entire society that factories aren't burning down.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pa3s View Post
    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
    Isn't your entire point that a disabled person is incapable of learning to fish for themselves, so the government should be obligated to take care of them? How on earth are you teaching disabled people to fish by giving them government hand outs? If anything you are taking the fishing pole out of their hands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    Realistically, we're talking about teenagers who work part-time who still live at home. They would only be making that low wage for maybe 3-6 months before their pay goes up.
    uh, no. where do you live that the only people you see working minimum wage jobs are teenagers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    I suspect basic tangible economic factors play the much stronger influence in the majority of cases. The causality isn't that complicated—when a business can no longer remain cost-competitive in a global market against competitors possessing leverage of not being in a country w/ comparable min. wage laws, this isn't ascribable as a social problem.
    Then it's probably because the social situation elsewhere is total krap and brutal work conditions working long hours in slave like conditions.

    You can't compete against slavery! Well don't!

    End slavery and exploitation!

    The solution is dirt simple and imo inevitable given the literacy rates of people today, end slavery, end exploitation, increase the living standard of the poor around the world, you know, the "BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS" thing.

    Those countries are going to stop being competitive eventually as their citizens and people rise up and fight against exploitation, people won't stand being pounded into the ground and they will organize and fight back. And business don't work very well in a unstable place.

    Even in today's dwindling energy situation, there's still more than enough to go around.

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    Don't think I'm taking a side in this debate; economics is still a pseudoscience[1] and I'm not interested in being a partisan for one internally consistent position versus another another internally consistent position.

    But in the spirit of examining alternative possibilities, one counter-argument is that Simon's new revenue would come back to Edgar because it is spent on consumption.


    [1] socionics has the same predictive abilities = fail.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by returnofxenu View Post
    We are talking about disabled people being kept alive by the government instead of dying.
    ...
    Isn't your entire point that a disabled person is incapable of learning to fish for themselves, so the government should be obligated to take care of them? How on earth are you teaching disabled people to fish by giving them government hand outs?
    No, I was not talking about disabled people. I compared their situation to the situation of people who are healthy, but have less fortunate circumstances. I have stated before that I'm not in favour of attempts to control the market. I am competely against markets, please read my posts before replying.

    It's clear to me that actually disabled people have to rely on some kind of charity. But giving charity to healthy people doesn't make sense, since they are able to work and improve their life standards, if they had the chance.

    Quote Originally Posted by returnofxenu View Post
    That the forces of natural selection are responsible for their death rather than some socially / politically motivated killing
    They are not being deliberately killed by our economic/social system. Their poor life standards are merely a byproduct of its principles.

    Quote Originally Posted by returnofxenu View Post
    If you owned a factory, why would you want it to burn down? It's to the advantage of the owners and the entire society that factories aren't burning down.
    Another one of your pearls of wisdom! The factory burned down because the owners wanted to maximize their profits. It probably worked for years and they kept it that way because they gave a shit about the working conditions or safety.

    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    You mean a government-manipulated market puts limits on people's values? [...]
    I'm not going to try and explain anything to you. I did this before and it led nowhere.
    „Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.“
    – Arthur Schopenhauer

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    That's what the mainstream theory already is in the pseudoscience of economics.
    No, both sides of the debate are pseudoscience until they can carry out empirical investigation with controlled variables. (not likely to happen anytime soon).
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Wonder what Socionics is seeing that economics is pseudoscience (duh). Providing (this is off-topic) you consider social sciences pseudosciences, Ashton. And if you consider social sciences pseudosciences, the whole foundation of Socionics (including Jung, Kępiński, etc.), is well, a pseudoscience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    What new revenue? Did you see the part in the video where Simon lost his job because of minimum wage?
    The revenue that Simon gives back to Edgar by consuming what Edgar is selling, if he kept his job while on minimum wage. Try not to hurt head thinking about it.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    There is voluntary sweatshop labor, but people in developing countries typically opt for these jobs when alternative sources of income are much worse (hard agricultural labor, prostitution, crime, etc.); countries like Great Britain and the United States had sweatshops back in the day when they were developing countries too.
    Sweatshop labor isn't voluntary, if the choices are prostitution and crime.

    Hard agricultural labor isn't viable at all, there is just very little income at all and no chance of advancement. Subsistence farming is just inefficient given modern farming techniques and machinery, this is true for many things we do. I have actually live on a subsistence farm and done the work, I have seen my family abandon their subsistence farm which they lived on for 800 years because the alternative is death. The old subsistence farms are retirement homes now, not farms. I was back there in 2008 and there are a few 60-80 year old individuals who just didn't want to leave. Many if not most small agricultural villages will disappear as if they never existed.

    It's not voluntary if the coercive forces are death, abuse or jail. In these places there is also generally no social safety net, people are very limited in their opportunity and a majority will have to work in very poor conditions with little to no rights.

    Also given the education level increasing in many developing environments, they are undergoing the same changes that occurred in the developing world, like sensible hours, sensible wages, and many other "basic human rights" which individuals seem to take for granted. They're going to fight for these little things which people fight against here.

    And I hope they win. If you go to China today, in every province, in basically every city there is some group that is striking, protesting or fighting against the government for these benefits people here take so lightly. They don't give a crap about the Austrians or their propaganda. They don't believe that, they know they're being exploited and they're just tired of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfckr View Post
    Maybe we can setup large controlled vaults underground to test different societal models like in Fallout 1+2.
    They're called countries... Mix-mode economies with limited governments and business, and religion is what works in the most advanced societies. It's when these forces begin to collude that problems starts popping up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    Here's a thought for you - why would Edgar knowingly pay Simon, losing money, in hopes that Simon would buy what Edgar is selling, when Simon can spend his money elsewhere?

    Do part-time employees at Mcdonalds & Burger King spend all of their extra income buying Mcdonalds and Burger King, because they're that thankful for their employers, that they give 100% of their extra earned money back to them?

    'Try not to hurt your head thinking about it', but when you invest, do you aim for a 0% return with a great risk of losing all the money invested? Why would Edgar, as the business owner, make a decision KNOWING that he will lose money, if there's only a small chance he would get all the revenue back, with 0% chance of making a profit?

    Simon spends his money at Steve's business -> Steve pays Simon #2 -> Simon #2 spends his money at Edgar's business. The economy is more than 2 people. As I said, don't hurt your head.

    If Edgar is still capturing a low market share, then he's shittily uncompetitive and deserves to go out of business.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    But even in your example, there are other goods being bought, so Edgar would still be losing money in the transaction. He would be forced to lose money.
    No, because the economy is being treated as a closed system. Both in the video and in my example. The only way for Edgar to lose money is if he's inefficient or there is low demand for what he's selling.

    Ah, so if he's "uncompetitive", then he deserves to go out of business. Then here's a BETTER question - if Edgar is forced out of business, in your example, then what happens to Simon's wages, as his employee? Would this increase unemployment or decrease unemployment when affecting the economy?
    Uh no, a competitor would take over his market share. Simon would go work for him.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    What if the more efficient competitor doesn't want to hire Simon, because he would still be losing money, if the value of Simon's labor is still below minimum wage?
    Are you for real? The competitor would get that money back as well. Seriously, there are better counterarguments to what I said that actually require delving beyond the confines of the video (Cpig mentioned it was simplistic) and my rebuttal to it.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerx View Post
    No, because the economy is being treated as a closed system. Both in the video and in my example. The only way for Edgar to lose money is if he's inefficient or there is low demand for what he's selling.
    I remember that time I sold imaginary sand to the theoretical arabs and this generated real value for both particpants and then I bought a yacht.

    Maybe we just need to legislate so the real arabs behave like the theoretical ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    I remember that time I sold imaginary sand to the theoretical arabs and this generated real value for both particpants and then I bought a yacht.

    Maybe we just need to legislate so the real arabs behave like the theoretical ones.
    Theoretical Arabs wouldn't want your sand either.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    Your point is another example that the current system is broken. I was referring to what would happen if minimum wage were removed.
    If minimum wage were removed, the non-teenagers working minimum wage jobs now would make even less. It's not like they would magically move up into higher income categories.
    “Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us”
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim View Post
    If minimum wage were removed, the non-teenagers working minimum wage jobs now would make even less. It's not like they would magically move up into higher income categories.
    Yes, so... what made you think they are actually getting paid any more unless they were in a job that happened to really made that much anyway?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleFool View Post
    The question becomes, what if there is another competitor who is more efficient than the efficient competitor? What if this circular cycle keeps putting the inefficient businesses out of business, until there is only 1 business left, the most efficient competitor around? --- Now the REAL question becomes, how does this affect the economy if there is NO COMPETITION LEFT, and they are STILL losing money for some people whose value is below the minimum wage? And they still don't want to hire them?
    That's even more illustrative of what I said. If Steve is the only one left standing (he has a monopoly), then Simon buys everything from Steve, and all of Simon's revenue goes back to Steve.

    Even so, I believe Austrian holds that monopolies are next to impossible to maintain without government intervention.
    It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are all equal now.

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