Minimum Morality of Minimum Wage

Why should a government enforce a minimum wage? By what moral imperative can a government that is given power by the people tell the people how much compensation they should receive for their labor? Absolutely none, in my opinion.

In my first post on minimum wage I explained how Oregon’s high minimum wage is hurting teenagers and young adults and in my second post I explained how Oregon’s other minimum wage, prevailing wage, is hurting taxpayers. In this post I intend show why minimum wage laws are based on a minimum of morality and maximum of elitism.

How does my agreeing peacefully with an employer to receive compensation below some arbitrary amount infringe on the rights of others? It does not. As an adult over the age of majority, I should have the right to determine the worth of my labor. Minimum wage laws say I can’t negotiate an hourly wage less than Oregon’s $7.50/hour (plus the employers share of Social Security and the required unemployment insurance and workmen’s compensation). Nor can I accept payment by the unit I produce, harvest or assemble.

As an adult, I can vote, serve my country in the military, obtain credit cards and sign a contract to purchase a house. But, the State of Oregon and the federal government feel that I do not have the sense to negotiate with an employer! Good thing they still let me choose whom to vote for.

How denigrating is it that I, an adult, cannot protect my own interest. Minimum wage law is nothing more than the state saying, "Oh, you’re not smart enough to protect yourself, so we will do that for you." What an elitist attitude that the force of government should be used in such a way.

In fact, the elite nannies of the Oregon Employment Department told a group of adults just such a thing. The contract employees of Laughing Rabbit, Inc., the makers of Photon Lights, had a good thing going until the State came to their rescue. In the economically depressed area of Blachely/Triangle Lake, Laughing Rabbit was paying people to assemble their keychain lights at home by the unit, or for piecework.

Most of the employees were stay at home moms and seniors looking to add to the family income while watching a child or Oprah. Some were displaced workers that made up in-home assembly lines and made quite a nice income.

Then the Employment Department showed up and said, "We’re from the government and we’re here to help you!" and things went downhill from there.

It seems that Laughing Rabbit was skirting minimum wage and other employment mandates by coming to a mutual agreement with adults to assemble their products. Now Photon Lights are assembled in China and Oregon is that much poorer.

The State knows better than the people what their labor is worth. Even if it causes higher teenage unemployment, raises inflation, and sends jobs to China.

Next they are going to tell us they know what we can do with our private property. Oh yeah, they are already doing that.

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Posted by at 07:14 | Posted in Portland Baseball | 25 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • When a government mandates a minimum wage they then take the position of telling the business owner they (the government) has knowledge about the skills of an individual, and what would be proper compensation for applying those skills.

    Even worse is state and local governments adding to the minimum wage. It appears nice to the minimum wage earner, but in reality there will be fewer businesses that take presence in those areas. In other words, it’s an equation of danger:

    Government-controlled-business = socialism

    The more the left side grows, the more the right sides increases.

  • Imagine how elitist it is for the government to prohibit the least skilled people from selling their labor for what an employer is willing to pay?

    The liberal position on minimum wage makes it illegal for the unskilled to get a job!

    This somehow is supposed to help them. I’ve not yet really understood how…. perhaps I need more enlightenment from the Oregonian.

  • right is right

    yea, wth… I want to be able to pay my employees less then the minimum wage… afterall I am providing them with work, I’ve given them a way to put food on their tables, I have made it so they can live above the poverty line. Some of these guys are totally inept at what they do… I don’t think they deserve to live too much above the poverty line… I mean if they wanted to they would work harder. Remember what Bush said when he was talking to some farmer down south only in america do you have the opportunity to work 3 jobs to get ahead. Anyway, this is just a conspiracy for the government to make more on taxing me and my employees.

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  • Connie Kosuda

    really scary lack of compassion . big problem you got there.

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