Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thanks But No Thanks

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Two senators have filed a bill calling for South Carolina to have a minimum wage of $6.15, a dollar more than the current federal minimum.

The minimum wage makes no sense to me at all - the market ought to dictate what a person makes for a job. Of course that assumes that artificial entities with person rights (i.e. corporations) were not able to achieve undue advantages in the market. In a true distributivist economy and culture things would work themselves out - men would work for fair wages or simply work for themselves. Everything that could be produced and sold locally would be.

Of course we have confused the notion of free-market capitalism with the concept that bigger is better and cheaper is always better. Cheaper and bigger comes at a tremendous price - just ask small family farmers or mom and pop store owners. When a piece of the culture dies because of bigger and cheaper the price is greater than the savings.

The only bright spot of raising the minimum wage in SC is that perhaps - just maybe - it would slow down some of the unchecked growth. If large corporations no longer viewed our state as fertile ground for cheap labor, maybe they would stop moving in. Maybe a few less subdivisions would be built.

That is probably too much to hope and in the end raising the minimum wage would have the same effect every other government intrusion into private sector affairs has - negative results.

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