Shirley Temple 1928-2014
What of the ethics of the matter? Here, again, there can be no controversy. The minimum wage law violates people’s rights to engage in consenting adult behavior. An employer and an employee agree to a wage contract of, say, $5 per hour. Both are considered criminals under this pernicious legislation. But it is a victimless “crime” to pay someone $5 per hour for his labor services, and/or to receive such an amount of money for working. Both parties agreed to this contract! Our society is now in the process of legalizing other victimless crimes, such as those concerning prostitution, drugs, gambling, etc. Many people favor “choice” when it comes to adult behavior without victims. The minimum wage law is a step backwards from these moves in a moral direction. And, yet, paradoxically, it is to a great degree precisely those people who advocate the legalization of these victimless crimes who are the staunchest supporters of the minimum wage law.
We should instead eliminate it entirely, and sow salt where once it stood. More than that. We should criminalize passage of this law. That is, we should throw in jail, or deal with these miscreants as we would other criminals, all those responsible for the passage of this law and for its implementation, such as the legislators who passed such a law, the police who enforced it and the judges who gave it their seal of approval ..
.. Suppose there were a law that explicitly did consign people to involuntary unemployment, not implicitly and indirectly as does the minimum wage law, but direcetly. That is, an enactment such as this: It shall be illegal to employ black people. It shall be illegal to employ white people. It shall be illegal to employ young people. It shall be illegal to employ old people. It shall be illegal to employ Jews. It shall be illegal to employ Christians. It shall be illegal to employ gays. It shall be illegal to employ heterosexuals. It shall be illegal to employ men. It shall be illegal to employ women. How would we treat all those responsible for the passage of such laws and for their implementation such as the legislators who passed such a law, the police who enforced it, the judges who gave it their seal of approval? Precisely, we would throw the book at them. We would penalize them to the fullest extent of the law. Why should we do any less for those responsible for the minimum wage law?
The statists are swarming, energized by the cry: “Inequality is unfair!” .. Behind this preposterous and vicious campaign lies the doctrine known as “egalitarianism.”
What the egalitarians demand is not equality of rights but equality of condition. No one, they say, should be better off than another .. It is pointless to try to distinguish inequality of outcomes from inequality of opportunity. There is no more right to “equal opportunity” than to “equal outcomes.”
.. what began as a simple statistical calculation comes out the other side as pure communism: collective ownership. The national income is regarded as a common pot. Then some groups “take” from that pot more than their share.
.. who “we” are as individuals are people of different degrees of intelligence, ability, and moral virtue .. “all men are created equal” does not mean “all men must be kept equal.”
The essential is: inequality is morally irrelevant. Inequality is not “unfair,” nor is it “fair”: it has no moral significance at all.
.. it is to the interest of the poor man that those around him be as wealthy as possible. A man, for purely selfish reasons, should want to live in the richest possible society. Surrounded by billionaires, a man of modest ability can make a good living ..
.. The egalitarian hates inequality for a non-practical, non-venal reason: the sight of the successful and the happy stands as a reproach to him. It brings him face to face with his own failure and inner emptiness. Psychologically, emotionally, a man who is inferior can seethe with resentment at the sight of his betters.
Egalitarianism is a rationalization for the lowest of human emotions: envy. Not envy for what others have, but something much uglier: hatred of anyone for having achieved anything. Not “I’m upset because you have what I ought to have,” but “Punish those whose success makes me know I’m a loser.”
Minimum Wage Cruelty por Walter Williams:
During South Africa’s apartheid era, its racist unions were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. South Africa’s Wage Board said, “The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would likely be employed.” In the U.S., in the aftermath of a strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, when the arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages, the white unionists expressed their delight saying, “If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain.”
Tragically, minimum wages have the unquestioned support of good-hearted, well-meaning people with little understanding who become the useful idiots of charlatans, quacks and racists.
To achieve this level of devastation, you usually have to be invaded by a foreign power. In the War of 1812, when Detroit was taken by a remarkably small number of British troops without a shot being fired, Michigan’s Governor Hull was said to have been panicked into surrender after drinking heavily. Two centuries later, after an almighty 50-year bender, the city surrendered to itself. The tunnel from Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit, Michigan, is now a border between the First World and the Third World — or, if you prefer, the developed world and the post-developed world. To any American time-transported from the mid 20th century, the city’s implosion would be literally incredible: Were he to compare photographs of today’s Hiroshima with today’s Detroit, he would assume Japan won the Second World War after nuking Michigan. Detroit was the industrial powerhouse of America, the “arsenal of democracy,” and in 1960 the city with the highest per capita income in the land. Half a century on, Detroit’s population has fallen by two-thirds, and in terms of “per capita income,” many of the shrunken pool of capita have no income at all beyond EBT cards.
Given their respective starting points, one has to conclude that Detroit’s Democratic party makes a far more comprehensive wrecking crew than Emperor Bokassa ever did. No bombs, no invasions, no civil war, just “liberal” “progressive” politics day in, day out.
A/C Seguro e amigos da Terra da Demagogia, Louçãnettes, Comunocassetes, Motas Soares e camaradas e cheerleaders do Governo, etc:
El líder del trasnochado socialismo español, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, .. antes que decir algo sensato, prefiere dar rienda suelta a su habilidad para las frases bonitas. La última que ha lanzado este famoso químico español ha sido: “La salud no puede ser negocio“. Desde luego, en un primer momento suena bien .. El problema es que, en la vida real, se trata de una soberana estupidez. Una frase hueca y ridícula, tras la cual sólo existe el vacío intelectual y la falta de propuestas serias.
Parece censurar con ello cualquier iniciativa privada que pretenda ofertar servicios sanitarios a cambio de dinero. Como si los servicios públicos sanitarios fueran gratis. La sanidad de calidad cuesta dinero, mucho dinero .. Es decir, se trata de uno de los servicios que necesitan de más recursos económicos y, sin embargo, su gestión la hemos puesto hasta ahora en manos casi exclusivas de lo público. Craso error.
Puestos a decir frases lapidarias ridículas, imagino que dentro de poco podríamos escuchar: “La alimentación no puede ser negocio“; y que acto seguido se expropiara Campofrío, Cuétara, Navidul, Telepizza, Cinco Jotas, Puleva o Ybarra. Si a Rubalcaba le parece mal que empresas privadas ganen dinero con la salud de los ciudadanos, imagino que también le parecerá un escarnio que haya empresas que obtienen pingües beneficios por ofrecer productos que calman nuestra necesidad básica de alimentarnos.
Seguimos siendo, en ocasiones, un país de pandereta, en el cual siguen produciendo urticaria conceptos como negocio, beneficio, capital, propiedad, privado o enriquecimiento. El hecho de que ofrecer un producto o servicio sea negocio es realmente estupendo, porque eso significa que será sostenible en el tiempo, que generará empleo, pagará impuestos y ofrecerá beneficios, lo cual será bueno para todos, porque esos beneficios se dedicarán a consumo, a reinversión o a ahorro, y las tres posibilidades son positivas para toda la sociedad.
Ben Swann – NSA’s Criminal Activity
A system of state control can’t be made good merely because it is run by “clever” people who make the arrogant assertion that they “know best” and that they are serving the “public interest” interest which of course is determined by them. State control is fundamentally bad because it denies people the power to choose and the opportunity to bear responsibility for their own actions.
Conversely, privatisation shrinks the power of the state and free enterprise enlarges the power of the people.
For Britain, the 1970s was a decade of decline: even worse than that, our people seemed to accept it. Our nationalised industries were inefficient, overmanned, and weakened by restrictive practices. Government had no business being in business.
We tackled privatisation in the way which best suited us.
Altogether, through our programme, we demonstrated that we could rebuild an enterprise society and we showed that privatisation worked. It was better for the consumer, better for the taxpayer, and better for the health of an industrial and commercial country. Many others followed our example.
Indeed as the Economist put it:
Nationalisation, once all the rage, is out; privatisation is in. And the followers of the new fashion are of the left, the right and all hues in between.
Laissez Faire por Don Boudreaux:
.. every time I’m in a supermarket check-out lane and catch the headlines of the reading materials on sale there – soap-opera digests, magazines featuring Oprah and other entertainment celebrities, and the like – I literally get a bit of a queazy feeling in the pit of my stomach. It somewhat sickens me that people care who Jennifer Anniston is dating, what Oprah is eating, or why male hunk du jour just ditched female sex-goddess du jour for some other equally vacuous if va-va-va-voom!-inducing babe. I don’t wish to prevent anyone from reading about or caring deeply about these matters about which I truly couldn’t care less. But it scares me that people who read that nonsense – because they care about that nonsense – have a say in how my life is conducted. I resent the fact that such people, if only through the ballot box, influence how government orders me about.
The more expansive is the scope of government authority, the more my life is subject to commands issued in part under the influence of people who read Us magazine.
E vistas bem as coisas estamos perante um problema não só económico, como também ético. Os sucessivos governos e parlamentos do passado – sem qualquer embate com a nossa Constituição – permitiram-se em nome dos eleitores de hoje endividar o país para lá de qualquer limite razoável ..
O problema, naturalmente, leva-nos ainda a caminhos mais profundos: pode por exemplo alguém que não vota, ou que vota pela redução da despesa pública e dos impostos ser depois carregada com os impostos decorrentes da opção de terceiros por mais despesa pública? .. O que fica para hoje (para amanhã, na verdade) é mesmo a dívida que os nossos filhos vão pagar em nosso nome e do nosso estado.
A Constituição .. Permite que se onerem por via da dívida gerações de portugueses que ainda nem nasceram e já devem dinheiro. Está-lhe, ainda, subjacente um sistema de Segurança Social que torna os mais jovens, sobretudo na actual configuração da pirÂmide etária, garantes de direitos adquiridos .. sem reais expectativas de terem iguais benesses. E, claro, não tem uma palavra de solidariedade intergeracional quando estão causa encargos assumidos por outras vias, como a das PPP. Merece por isso, em nome da dignidade humana que diz defender que se possa rever profundamente. Porventura revogar mesmo para escrever uma nova .. uma Constituição que limite a acção dos governos e governantes face aos direitos, liberdades e garantias que devem ser cimeiros num texto fundamental – incluindo os direitos dos até agora esquecidos.
Lecture enquadrada na série Justice do EdX com Michael J. Sandel:
One of the key concepts discussed in the lecture is whether or not redistribution of wealth is ethical. The argument that I often wish I would hear but seldom do is that the capitalist DOES redistribute wealth. No one with abundant extra wealth puts it all in his or her bathtub to bathe in it, they reinvest it! This IS redistribution of wealth and a reinvestment that creates jobs and so health care systems, and housing and food for the poor and on and on. The capitalist IS a re-distibutor of wealth and unlike the government he or she is a much more efficient re-distributor because he or she has ‘skin in the game’ as to what happens with their investment. The government does NOT.
NOTA: um livro que recomendo vivamenente sobre o tema é The Ethics of Redistribution de Bertrand de Jouvenel