Home Forums Principles of Economics Minimum wage and power imbalance Reply To: Minimum wage and power imbalance

  • Benjamin

    May 25, 2021 at 19:59

    This reminds me of Emerson’s quote <em style=”font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit;”>“Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, the end preexists in the means, the fruit in the seed”

    In the ideal situation, is there a power imbalance between employer and employee? The employer, as the person with the capital, sets the amount of work that needs to be done and the rate he will pay to do it. The employee has the sovereignty to take the offer, deny it, or negotiate a different compensation arrangement.

    The employer has no power over the employee’s labor. He cannot demand he work for less than that worker is willing to receive for his work. That is slavery.

    Likewise, the employee has no power over the employer’s capital. He cannot demand he is paid more than the employer is willing to pay for the work done.

    When the state forces that employer to pay any specific wage, the state is stealing that person’s property and giving it to another person.

    Regardless of what theoretical good may come from that employee earning a higher wage, the fact is that they got that wage through theft by force (not that the workers themselves are stealing). All theft is evil, and as Emerson said, you can’t severe cause and effect.

    I also think that sometimes we try and peg behaviors into categories of self-interest vs. altruistic, but we know that human action is much more complex and dynamic.