When not running the chainsaw the other day, I listened to a liberal economist talk with the earnest voices of NPR about his work calculating the “right” minimum wage for California. What struck me was his softly spoken arrogance. Softly spoken, because he and his crowd just assume that an advanced degree in economics confers upon the holder an omniscient genius. If not immediately omniscient, he assumes the ability to take our grant money, keep researching, and become all knowing — at least about his field.
Such people treat “social sciences” — among which economics is a hybrid — as “hard science,” subject to experimentation, and hard results. But, where human behavior is concerned, it is not possible to know and quantify all of the motivations for behavior. Even if that were possible, then there is the moral question of what would be the “right” re-distribution of income — in every circumstance, in every lifetime.
Not knowable. Not quantifiable. Not subject to the same kind of scientific experimentation that assures us that gasoline + oxygen + a match will start a fire.
The false underlying assumption is that human beings are, after all, just matter, and human behavior is, therefore, the output from the various inputs. This is the “mechanistic” worldview that acknowledges no God. Life began accidentally, evolved according to natural forces only, and — here we are!
And, there is an economist, defending states’ raising the minimum wage and trying to convince all of us, that people like him ought to have the legal power to make the adjustments their “research” deems necessary.
The haughty assumption of power to take a person’s property is little more than theft. He certainly cannot judge what would be “right.” The program took callers. Some self-employed business operators called in. Some of these people struggle financially, with businesses that do not produce a fountain of diamonds. Suddenly, given the same number of workers, the payroll expense goes up $100,000 for the year. Would you notice your income taking a $100,000 hit? Maybe that represents your total annual income?
Economists like the NPR guest don’t care; you are just a casualty along the way to their manipulation of the rest of us. But, I am sure he will be applying for more grant money to study the effects of the raise to $15 per hour, and will report on whether it really should have been to $14.27 per hour — as if he can make such fine distinctions. So, one of the chief effects of the legislation is to enrich the governing class and its sycophant minion experts.
And, there’s this immediate impact.
This is why the government should have no say-so in how much any employer ought to have to pay any employee. One of his arguments was that, in California cities, the average wage at the time did not suffice to pay for the cost of living.
So, move somewhere more sensible. That’s what people have done before. Move, and let the market shortage of labor raise the wage for those who remain. Let the abusive city or state be humbled by the loss of its people who choose to more somewhere else.
And, leave the creative entrepreneur alone to spend profits as they see fit, not as some committee of experts sees fit.