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Wishful Economics

By December 28, 2023Commentary

Among other delusions that the pro(re)gressives indulge in, is the belief that the economic laws that result from human nature can be repealed.  People have a high level of self-interest, which governs most of their activities.  Humans are oriented toward an attainment of a better quality of life.  Now it would be nice, as the pro(re)gressives like to suggest, if we could magically give everyone everything they want, but we can’t.  It takes labor, it takes raw materials, it takes an organized system of economic activity, governed by rules that recognize the value of the labor and raw materials.  There is a constant struggle to keep a few with power, usually backed up by the threat of violence, from depriving the many from the value of their work.  But the obvious based on thousands of years of human civilization and buttressed by examples from more recent centuries, is that a true free market system supported by rules that do not allow the excessive accumulation of market or political power is most likely to provide true advancement for human society and for all individual persons.

We have strayed from this model in our country, allowing companies dominated by a few rich people to control too much of a particular market segment.  Health care is a prime example.  And we allow our political system to be controlled by those with unlimited money to spend lying on behalf of particular candidates or causes.  The rich people who wrongly dominate our markets also largely support the pro(re)gressive causes, because they know these politicians are woeful but useful idiots who will let the rich stay rich if they in return just let the whackos control universities, destroy children’s lives, and grind down the happiness potential of the masses.  We see this in every totalitarian state, which we in the United States are heading toward.  Only one way of thinking, speaking and acting will be tolerated or you will be obliterated.

The warning signs are everywhere.  Governor Gruesome in California has continued that state’s decades long flight to policy insanity.  People, especially those with a work ethic and common sense, are literally fleeing the state, millions in the last few years, but no matter to the mindless pro(re)gressives.  The knuckleheads think they can help lower-income people by massive raises in the minimum wage.  The state has a lot of people who can only work at low-paying jobs because the education system is all about woke indoctrination, not teaching any needed skills.

So if you are business and you are told you have to pay people flipping burgers $20 an hour, what do you do?  You would leave the state if you could, but many of these are local businesses.  So you fire workers, get robots if you can, or raises prices, which lowers the standard of living for everyone.  And that is what is happening in California.  Not sure how it helps low-income workers to lose their jobs, which was the predictable result of this law, or to have to pay more for everything.  We have seen everywhere that workers are net losers from minimum wage increases.  1200 Pizza Hut drivers are being laid off.  Other fast-food companies are moving to increased automation.  California supposedly had 500,000 fast food workers, many young people with no skills for other jobs.  That number will end up being cut at least in half.  Congratulations on more self-defeating ideological lunacy that ignores basic economics.  (Cal. Story)

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • joethenonclimatescientist says:

    The much ballyhoed card kruger minimum wage study from New jersey / penn when the the minimum wage was increased from 4.25 to 5.05 in 1992 has been heavily promoted by minimum wage activists as proof that raising the minimum wage does not reduce unemployment. Setting aside the data collection flaws the study showed no change in employment at the minimum wage level workers.

    What the study also disclosed was that total work hours dropped almost directly proportional to the amount of the minimum wage increase. Basically confirmed the law of supply and demand in the labor market.

    The study did make note in a footnote that black teenage employment rates did drop significantly.

  • Lincoln Wolverton says:

    What you aptly call pro(re)gressives fail to distinguish between the distribution of income (or what they call income inequality) and the level of income. These two household-well-being economic concepts are intimately related. Cuba, for example, has a low level of income inequality. The United States has much higher income inequality (before transfer and welfare payments are taken into account). I submit it likely that the lowest 5 percent of U.S. households are better off than the, perhaps, 95 percent of Cuban households. That is, we in the United States have more income inequality because people are incentivized to produce more, leading to lower prices for everyone and higher income for the producers.

    I like to use the example of an economy with, say, five entities that each makes a single product for trading, and they have equal incomes. Suppose one of the entities decides to work longer hours (or has an innovation) and produces more. The result is that that entity becomes wealthier and the prices of that good do down due to additional supply. The other four entities benefit, but the distribution of income has worsened. Are these people better or worse off?

    A rising tide does float more boats.

  • Charlie says:

    Unfortunately, stuck in CA (by choice – too much work to leave [retired, age, less remaining time to make worthwhile to uproot] and personally in a good place and situation). But sad to see the decline since moving here in 1989 and knowing that there’s no way it’s getting better until a complete collapse. It’s really a when situation and not if.

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