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Reblogged:Is There Now a De Facto $15 Minimum Wage?

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25 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

What is the purpose of a guilt trip for earned guilt versus unearned guilt?

To take this one step deeper,

Can the notion of one receiving the spiritual values, goods, or services of another, then refusing to pay the spiritual price for them be regarded as keeping them by force?

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13 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Fraud, when it comes to breach of contract, is consider to be an indirect initiation of force.

Yeah, not sure why you brought it up?

13 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

What is the purpose of a guilt trip for earned guilt versus unearned guilt?

I can't see any good reason. I think that a guilt trip is only done to make a person feel bad, and no other reason. There is no benefit to oneself, besides perhaps enjoyment at hurting another person. I think it's motivated by secondhanded intentions: an attempt to dominate and show yourself as more powerful. Those are not rational objectives. At best, it's a waste of time. Spending time on the failures of others doesn't help yourself, unless you're trying to help the person learn something. But helping them learn something wouldn't be a guilt trip as I think of it. 

13 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Eiuol, how much are you getting paid per hour to employ on Mr. Veskler's behalf your moderation skills for the Objectivism Online forum?

Not sure what point you're trying to illustrate. It's a job that requires almost no time at all, and the little time I do put in is well compensated by maintenance of the website. Perfectly reasonable trade to me, and reasonable valuation of my worth as a volunteer. 

 

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21 hours ago, Eiuol said:

asking a person to sacrifice themselves to you.

Is immoral, agreed. What a king or Pope does is immoral. Now let us talk employer employee.

21 hours ago, Eiuol said:

using one's own judgment to figure out a general range about the worth of someone's work, but at the same time deliberately trying to convince a person to trade a greater value for a lesser value

is between two people with specific conditions between them. It is not trying to convince someone to adopt altruism, it is a negotiating tactic. One offers lower until something is accepted in the end.

At this point, that attack is on negotiating tactics and on gambling. It would make saying "common, you know I can do better, lower the price" an immoral statement too. Isn't gambling what we all do at any moment of our life? It can't be immoral or outlawed, it is life.

No matter how a just a society evolves, haggling, negotiating, trying to push the price down has to be part of the economic process. Pushing the price down is a gamble, sometimes it works and sometimes it does not.

Negotiating and haggling is part of the competitive process in the market and without competition there is no valid price.

Ultimately the problem with the minimum wage is that it is anti competitive. The idea that competition is immoral (one should not be free to compete). So ...

  • The 15 dollars is arbitrary
  • one size fits all
  • is also anti competition

And yet we can't get away from the fact that it is competition that ultimately determines the price of anything. 

In that sense, the minimum wage is immoral.

 

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2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

is between two people with specific conditions between them. It is not trying to convince someone to adopt altruism, it is a negotiating tactic. One offers lower until something is accepted in the end.

Of course it is, but that's why we come up with general principles through which we can generalize across many conditions. All you're doing is saying everything I already know and agree with for the most part, which is fine, but we aren't getting anywhere. It hasn't led to "therefore, you are wrong because..." It's like you don't trust that I have read extensively about Objectivism, and don't see how I could possibly believe what I believe. So you go to explain the basics because it's as if you think anyone who understands the basics wouldn't believe what I believe. Instead of doing that, it's better to tell me if anything I said is incoherent, as well as in your own mind filling out how it is my ideas could fit together. Then once you see how they fit together, break it down and argue against it or tell me where it goes wrong.

Besides, "negotiating tactic" and "trying to convince someone to [be altruistic]" are not mutually exclusive. 

2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Isn't gambling what we all do at any moment of our life? It can't be immoral or outlawed, it is life.

No, and for egoistic ethics based on rational thought, gambling is exactly what we don't want to do at any moment in our life. Taking chances and guessing is the last thing we want. The aim is to follow principles which lead us to happiness in the long run. Social interaction is critical to very much what we do in life, so it is important to use the proper negotiating tactics. Some negotiating tactics work well in terms of getting what you want in the near term, including using those examples of manipulation that I gave you. But they aren't actually good for you in the long run, and not good for your moral character precisely because they are bad in the long run. It's not any different than the prudent predator issue. Everything in my prior posts explained why offering less than a living wage is essentially bad negotiation, a bad way to keep an employee, and doesn't promote value exchange very much. Wrap it all together, and the tactic is immoral. 

2 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

The 15 dollars is arbitrary

But the $15 used as a basis isn't arbitrary, it's just a basic benchmark measure of living a basic life in a Western country (which can help determine what kind of wage you want to pay). I'm not so worried about the exact $15, but I think a living wage, whatever an economist determines that to be,  is a good measure for estimating what I would like to pay full-time employees who do very basic labor. 

 

Edited by Eiuol

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10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

But the $15 used as a basis isn't arbitrary, it's just a basic benchmark measure of living a basic life in a Western country (which can help determine what kind of wage you want to pay). I'm not so worried about the exact $15, but I think a living wage, whatever an economist determines that to be,  is a good measure for estimating what I would like to pay full-time employees who do very basic labor.

Excerpting from The Ayn Rand Letter, Vol. 1, No. 23 Auguast 14, 1972 A preview—Part II:

"The artificially high wages forced on the economy by compulsory unionism imposed economic hardships on other groups—particularly on non-union workers and on unskilled labor, which was being squeezed gradually out of the market. Today's widespread unemployment is the result of organized labor's privileges and of allied measures, such as minimum wage laws. For years, the unions supported these measures and sundry welfare legislation, apparently in the belief that the costs would be paid by taxes imposed on the rich.""

What, philosophically, has changed since she wrote this?

Edited by dream_weaver

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What are you trying to ask me or point out? That passage is about minimum wage laws. I think ET was referring to the de facto (which doesn't involve force or laws) minimum wage that I've been talking about. But anyway, the number isn't arbitrary.

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The defacto $15, from what I read of the OP, is derived from the government welfare side of the equation. If government doles out $14.99 not to work, $15 to work might seem to be a converse position, yet that still wouldn't ensure that a penny is the motivating factor to go from the non-effort (or evasive effort) of acquiring the dole, to one of productive effort.

 

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11 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Then once you see how they fit together, break it down and argue against it or tell me where it goes wrong.

One way or the other, we both have to concretize things. My going into detail, is an attempt at concretizing things, it is not an attempt at educating you in particular. I also have to determine if I am on the right track or not too.

The other issue is leaving breadcrumbs for posterity. There is no telling who in the future will read this stuff, some beginners.

In many cases people disagree, when they actually don't, they are just looking at things from a different perspective and pushing for their perspective as being the truth.

One example is the following:

11 hours ago, Eiuol said:

No, and for egoistic ethics based on rational thought, gambling is exactly what we don't want to do at any moment in our life. Taking chances and guessing is the last thing we want.

Gamble in the sense that our knowledge is contextual, that we don't know everything at any moment.
Gamble in the sense that there is always some risk level in any action.

We all will have moments where we don't know what will happen but we chose to believe that "it will be okay?, simply to be able to function. It is a rational choice amid a psyche that contains emotions and desires that can paralyse you without the motivating thought.

There are many business ideas that don't make sense to one person but make a lot of sense to another. And many high risk activities that have very high reward. Rationality and risk averseness does not always make you rich.

When you go into business, you never know who will compete against you. You don't know what innovation is going to be discovered by "the other guy". So, you go forward with the idea that you can survive. Sometimes one is wrong.

44 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

 the de facto (which doesn't involve force or laws) minimum wage that I've been talking about. But anyway, the number isn't arbitrary.

There is a minimum environment, an environment where you need so much nourishment and hope to live. But that relates to abject poverty in which a minimum wage would make sense as a punitive measure against an authoritarian system that is stealing the wealth. You would agree that 15 dollars is far above that minimum environment.

In a free market, no one is stealing anything from anyone, a minimum wage that is enforced skews prices and takes opportunities from some and gives it to others. In other words the government is stealing from one group and giving it to another. It is a racket, like licensing laws that keep out other people.

In our environment, it is an authoritarian attitude to think "I can determine what a basic life is for someone else".

You can only determine what a basic life is for YOU. And even then, when push comes to shove, you may accept something even lower than what you expected to.

"Living a basic life" is very arbitrary in the sense that: what we don't like, we can get used to. It is a moving target. It also depends on your knowledge of alternatives. If you don't have any better choices, it is the best choice. For instance, people can live with others and create arrangements that allow for lower cost of living and lower wages.  

In other words, people can change their baseline for "a basic life" based on the situation at hand. There are variabilities that are not taken into account with a blanket minimum wage enforcement ... or even its academic determination.

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

Gamble in the sense that our knowledge is contextual, that we don't know everything at any moment.
Gamble in the sense that there is always some risk level in any action.

I don't think so, but I think this goes into an entirely different discussion about how to act with certainty. The value of contextual approaches to knowledge is that they make it possible to act with absolute certainty, while leaving the probabilistic stuff as irrelevant. In effect, any action you take should be done with certainty. If your actions are not taken with certainty, then you didn't take enough time to evaluate or appreciate the situation. 

If you can't really know what your tactics will do, and you're never quite sure what will happen, sure, then any negotiation tactic you use is no more or less moral than another. Not only that, but you would not be a good negotiator. I know you aren't saying that you can't know anything at all, so my idea is that you are still leaving too much room for guessing and uncertainty. 
 

1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

In other words the government is stealing from one group and giving it to another. It is a racket, like licensing laws that keep out other people.

Why do you keep bringing this up when I already told you I think minimum-wage laws are immoral?
 

1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

There are variabilities that are not taken into account with a blanket minimum wage enforcement ... or even its academic determination.

The quickest way I can reply to this part is that it doesn't seem like you are thinking of academic research in the right way. Many variables are taken into account, including the ones you mentioned. Some are left out because they are determined to be nonessential. Making such a calculation is not normative on its own. The calculation would be descriptive of how people live in the US. You could argue that the calculation is done incorrectly, or left out an important variable, but you couldn't say that the calculation is arbitrary. For the sake of our discussion, I'm suggesting that the minimum worth of a full-time employee (if the employer determines worth in a rational way) is what it would cost them to live a basic life here in the US. 

Pretending for a minute that I'm an employer:

I've determined (through research and whatever else) that a basic life in the US is a good and reasonable benchmark for figuring out the worth of my full-time low skill labor employees. Some of my employees might say they only need $10 per hour, but I still really think their labor is worth $15 an hour by rational standards. That's what I value their work at, it's not intrinsic value. So, I offer them $15 an hour right off the bat. There is no rational reason that someone would negotiate a lower wage for themselves, unless they really felt that they were worth less than $15 an hour. In fact, if an employee reacted like "oh, you don't have to do that, I'm not that good of an employee!", I would insist that they take $15 an hour. In my mind, they would be giving into altruistic pressure that they have been taught. I wouldn't want employees thinking that way at my company. 

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3 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Pretending for a minute that I'm an employer:

I've determined (through research and whatever else) that a basic life in the US is a good and reasonable benchmark for figuring out the worth of my full-time low skill labor employees. Some of my employees might say they only need $10 per hour, but I still really think their labor is worth $15 an hour by rational standards. That's what I value their work at, it's not intrinsic value. So, I offer them $15 an hour right off the bat. There is no rational reason that someone would negotiate a lower wage for themselves, unless they really felt that they were worth less than $15 an hour. In fact, if an employee reacted like "oh, you don't have to do that, I'm not that good of an employee!", I would insist that they take $15 an hour. In my mind, they would be giving into altruistic pressure that they have been taught. I wouldn't want employees thinking that way at my company. 

Let us say that another employer offers a job at 10 dollars an hour and some do accept and work is completed. (He might have gone up to 15 dollars an hour but there were takers). This is where a transaction has occurred, in reality. No research, no guessing. That was the price at that moment. 

Are you saying that some research somewhere is going to counter that determination? Based on what again? You only give examples of your sense, opinion, feeling and some appeal to authority. For some reason that is far more valid than the market price.

Furthermore, that research that you talk about, has to be based on actual transactions that have been recorded i.e. market price.

You can record their blood pressure, their other bodily reactions like brain waves etc. to determine what price should want. But ultimately, there is no way to determine price but via observation of transactions (voluntary decisions) that actually happen.

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

Let us say that another employer offers a job at 10 dollars an hour and some do accept and work is completed. (He might have gone up to 15 dollars an hour but there were takers). This is where a transaction has occurred, in reality.

Then that would be arbitrary! There would be no basis for the employer to offer $10 an hour, other than perhaps that it "felt right". If there is a basis, it should be rational. To be rational, one must do some kind of research or investigation into wages, such as what people expect, the value of your currency, everything that goes into determining the worth of something. Not only does this put you into a better position for negotiation, you are also better able to sensibly judge people and their value to you. I'm not saying anything about finding out what the market price is, this is all about finding the price you want to pay. 

We can't assume that the market price is unassailably rational. There are boom and bust cycles within capitalism and expected by Austrian economists. Someone more economically well read can add more details here. Whatever the more intimate details of that are, generally speaking, the fact that there is a boom and bust cycle shows that within capitalism there is room for error caused by innocent mistakes, and outright irrationality. 

1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

Are you saying that some research somewhere is going to counter that determination? Based on what again? You only give examples of your sense, opinion, feeling and some appeal to authority. For some reason that is far more valid than the market price.

I don't know what you mean. Maybe my next paragraph will clarify. If you're talking about spiritual values like DW mentioned, these are not subjective (based on how things feel). 

1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

You can record their blood pressure, their other bodily reactions like brain waves etc. to determine what price should want. But ultimately, there is no way to determine price but via observation of transactions (voluntary decisions) that actually happen.


These are examples of irrelevant details that would not affect your calculation of what you determine the value of their labor to be. You seem to be mixing up so what I mean by determining what a living wage is, with determining the wage I would like to pay (or the wage that the employee wants). Living wage can only be determined by observation of transactions, as you were saying. The next step the rational employer should take when thinking about how they value their employees is figure out their other objectives, like employee retention, creative output, employee satisfaction, and so on. 

 

On 5/16/2020 at 1:26 AM, dream_weaver said:

Can the notion of one receiving the spiritual values, goods, or services of another, then refusing to pay the spiritual price for them be regarded as keeping them by force?

Force, not at all. Immoral, definitely.
 

*

I'm realizing now that one thing might be a little confusing.  When I say "value" in this discussion, I'm referring to individual determinations about what something or someone is worth. When I say "market price", I'm referring to some kind of average about the monetary price people pay for something or for labor. A living wage would be based on several different market prices, including real estate and food.

Edited by Eiuol

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

living wage

By what standard?  Who decides?  What kind of life?

You sir, think you can put the cart before the horse.

 

Like all mystics you aim to make the sustenance of life, the effect, cause of the wages earned, the cause.  But this is backwards.  Wages make life possible and determine the scope and scale of that life.

You think it is moral for an employee to demand a wage to live a life better than he can attain by his level of work and you think it immoral for an employer to offer a job based on the value he gets from the work performed because that value might not be enough to support the lifestyle demanded by the potential employee.

No.

The worker trains and then aims to provide valuable work at the best rate he can get.  He reaps what he is willing to invest in himself during training and the diligence of effort and skill he brings to his chosen craft, in a market where that work only has so much value to those willing to pay for it. The scope and scale of his life thereafter follows as the effect caused by what he is able to earn.  What kind of life he can live in no way has any causative effect on the value of that work to the employer in the context of that employer’s business.

 

The employee’s wage, WHATEVER it is, IS his living wage IF he aims to live and he had better live within those means until he can retrain or do better with the skills he already has.

 

How much would an honest self sufficient man unwilling to take any handouts be able to work per hour and still survive?  Take a small apartment at the outskirts of public transit near a modest city and live with five roommates, if you have to.  Train to do better, work 60 hours a week.  Is that too much work for someone who clearly needs to get their sh!t together?  Not by a long shot.     What about the leisure time, youtube, social media, and video games some are so accustomed to?  Those are luxuries requiring free time, which is a reward for work done and must be earned.  In fact I’d go on to say that even too many quite well off people are pulled into idleness and could in fact be spending much more time being productive in their lives.

 

Your $15 per hour, so-called minimum, is a socialist propped up, lazy entitled spoiled infantile adult, expectation that has no basis in reality for any self-respecting hard working person.

Like absolutely everything else traded in a free market, work is worth the value it provides to the party buying it in the context for which it is being purchased.

 

 

“Living wage“?  

Wages make life possible.  Live the life your wages can support and if you want more from life offer more or make more of yourself to EARN that life.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

By what standard?  Who decides?  What kind of life?

"It's just a basic benchmark measure of living a basic life in a Western country (which can help determine what kind of wage you want to pay). I'm not so worried about the exact $15, but I think a living wage, whatever an economist determines that to be,  is a good measure for estimating what I would like to pay full-time employees who do very basic labor." 

2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

You think it is moral for an employee to demand a wage to live a life better than he can attain by his level of work and you think it immoral for an employer to offer a job based on the value he gets from the work performed because that value might not be enough to support the lifestyle demanded by the potential employee.

Many times I said the employer should offer a job based on the value he gets from the work performed. My claim is that below a certain point, an employer is failing to rationally appreciate the value he gets from the work performed. 

2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

What kind of life he can live in no way has any causative effect on the value of that work to the employer in the context of that employer’s business.

Absolutely. The only thing it has to do with is how I would like to compensate the person for the work they perform in such a way that they would like to continue working.

2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

The employee’s wage, WHATEVER it is, IS his living wage IF he aims to live and he had better live within those means until he can retrain or do better with the skills he already has.

This is poetic license. This is not what is meant by living wage in this discussion, is not at all how the terms have been defined. If you change the meaning of the terms as I have used them, it will sound like I'm saying something completely different. I'm not sure if you're acting in bad faith, or you honestly missed how we defined what I mean by living wage. 

2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Your $15 per hour, so-called minimum, is a socialist propped up, lazy entitled spoiled infantile adult, expectation that has no basis in reality for any self-respecting hard working person.

I already said minimum-wage laws are immoral, so I don't know what you're talking about. I really don't. Minimum-wage laws should not exist. Minimum-wage laws are bad. I don't like minimum-wage laws. 

2 hours ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Wages make life possible.  Live the life your wages can support and if you want more from life offer more or make more of yourself to EARN that life.

Yup! Earn that $15. How does this contradict anything I wrote? I think anyone performing a full-time job well has earned $15 an hour by rational standards. Really it's just sounding like you told me that I am irrational for saying that as an employer, I want to pay them $15 an hour. I know you didn't intend this, but you ended up undermining your own argument that an employer should pay the value they believe they received. I value the work at $15 an hour. You've been telling me that I shouldn't value the work at $15 an hour. 

 

If you think I'm rational to value their work at $15 an hour, you agree with me in principle, at least that my standards are worthwhile.

If you think I am not rational to value their work at $15 an hour, then you should make that argument.

If you think I am not rational to believe in minimum-wage laws, then you haven't read anything I wrote.

Edited by Eiuol

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

If you think I am not rational to value their work at $15 an hour, then you should make that argument.

I'm not going to presume to speak for anyone else here, but there is definitely a lack of clarity and objectively concrete precision thus far in this thread on this particular matter.

In the economy of the U.S.A. today, what would you claim a dollar to be? Presumably an hour is 1/24 of a sunrise to sunrise at the equator. A circular argument would set a dollar at 4 minutes, per such a claim. By interjecting market prices (including real estate and food) only allows the extrapolation to identify how many minutes does it take to purchase a particular real estate or item of food.

One of my earlier remarks on this forum cited the thought that fiat currency was theft. I was asked to substantiate the claim. In retrospect, the claim was too abstract to sum up in a 'simple response'. Would you make the argument for a dollar being based on a commodity standpoint? Would the commodity you choose be a metaphysically based material?

Edited by dream_weaver

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11 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

By interjecting market prices (including real estate and food) only allows the extrapolation to identify how many minutes does it take to purchase a particular real estate or item of food.

Yeah, market prices really only identify what can be purchased. I think that wages are more about compensation and incentive psychologically speaking. Compensation and incentive are connected to an exchange of values: compensation for what the person is doing compared to what they would have been doing, incentive for continuing to work for you and continuing to trade with you. Assuming the person is doing the job as specified and doing it well, it's a good idea as an employer to be magnanimous as an incentive. The employer would become a desirable trading partner. If I were the employer, I would desire to allow them to have a certain kind of lifestyle, so I need to get some sense of market prices in real estate and food, with compensation as a baseline, and incentive as any money above that. There are other things to consider for rational value exchange, but as far as wages, I think this is enough. 

And of course, if people want to forgo a rational procedure, okay. Immoral, but that's their problem. And I hope they would not be in business long, because it has a negative impact on the market as a whole. 

11 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Would you make the argument for a dollar being based on a commodity standpoint? Would the commodity you choose be a metaphysically based material?

You're right about the difficulty of figuring out what a dollar is worth in terms of time. The fact that the dollar is not linked to anything only makes this problem worse. Unsolvable even; not computable if you like information science terms like I do. So yeah, some commodity should be the basis, whether that something is gold, or something digital like computation power in a computer (which cryptocurrency aims to do). The best I can do given fiat currency is get some sense of the way people spend their money, despite how arbitrary the basis to it is. Sort of like how I know that many books on Amazon are often $10, but Barnes & Noble often sells the same books at $15. I won't be able to objectively determine the worth of a dollar to me, but at least I can get a sense of more and less and what I could get with that $10. 

Edited by Eiuol

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