Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Addendum to my earlier minimum wage post

I feel the need to make several points very clear to avoid confusion and misunderstandings regarding my earlier post on Philip Davies's comments about vulnerable people and the minimum wage.

Firstly, people all over the world suffer in terrible conditions, people are still dying from preventable causes. Rape is used as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Libya. There's still research to be done on a cure for Aids and cancer. The climate is changing. In such a context, the minimum wage and Philip Davies's views aren't that important.

Secondly, I am not advocating that anyone has money taken away from them. I am not suggesting that people who currently earn £5.93 an hour should have a pay cut forced on them. If a person has agreed with an employer to do a job for an agreed hourly wage, the state should not be able to change that agreement.

Thirdly, the Wikipedia entry on the minimum wage carries quite a literature review on the various research on the positive and negative outcomes and effects of the minimum wage, it also covers criticism of the various research. Whether such research can be considered conclusive really depends on your own biases. I reckon it clearly shows that national minimum wage levels are a bad thing, other people may just a rightly disagree. It's not even clear cut whether its clear cut.

Fourthly, I believe some conservatives and right-wingers are evil and some are good. The same thing can be said of any grouping of people. More generally, some individuals, in my opinion are cunts.

Another thing what occurred to me after discussing this with @FrFintonStack on twitter, is that as a compromise, the unions are in a better position to negotiate a minimum wage with an employer than the state.

No one knows what an individual's minimum wage should be better than the individual themself. The government in trying to set one national level for everyone, can never have enough information on the individuals needs and the employers finances to make a correct judgement. But a union in a workplace, with their local collective might, that's a better compromise than the current situation.

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