Chart via Mark Perry
It would be a mistake to say that the any country in this world has “unfettered free trade,” as Bernie Sanders thinks the United States has (we were ranked 20th in “Most Free,” after all).
Ask yourself, though, whether you would rather be a “worker” in the most free countries or the countries that oppress free trade.
I absolutely admire Don Boudreaux. Check out this clear-headed take on minimum wage madness to see why.
In less than 300 words, Boudreaux makes the following points crystal-clear:
- To claim that “increasing the costs of hiring an employee will not cause less employees to be hired” is much too extraordinary of a claim to accept just because you can point to one study that confirms your viewpoint, because
- For every study that doesn’t show disemployment effects from the minimum wage, another study shows otherwise. Such contradictory results appear because
- It’s incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to empirically detect the employment effects of a law that directly effects less than 5 percent of the entire workforce. So instead of playing “Dueling Studies” to determine the effects of minimum wage legislation,
- We can ask ourselves a common sense question: If the government made voting more expensive by issuing a poll tax, wouldn’t that decrease the amount of people who choose to vote?
My previous post may have been a lame attempt at fiction, but I do hope it conveyed the message I was trying to get out.
The question I pose is essentially: what difference exists between Politicians (like Bernie Sanders) and private citizens that allows Politicians to get away with what can only be described as theft when a private citizen engages in the exact same behavior? Why is the private citizen who forcibly takes somebody else’s money regarded as a “robber,” while the Politician who vows to confiscate more income (raise taxes) is hailed as a man of The People? Prior to working for the government, Bernie Sanders would have had no authority to compel another man to give up a majority of his annual income, even if Sanders had the same exact intentions he has now. Why does he have the authority to do so as a member of the government?
“See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” –Frederic Bastiat, The Law
A man wearing a suit and dark sunglasses suddenly appears at your doorstep. You greet him at a safe distance, and ask what you can do for him.
He says, “I’m here on behalf of The People of my family. Our kids are about that age to start college, and they shouldn’t have to pay for it. College is a human right that all children of the earth should be able to enjoy. So, from this point forward, you are instructed to give me over half of your future earnings to pay for children to have the opportunity to some day attend college. If you choose to not comply, I will lock you up in a cage and force you to pay me fines.”
“Get the hell off of my property,” you say.
“Sir, your greed is abominable.”
You slam the door on this fool and for a second are paralyzed by disbelief that something so absurd just happened. I mean, has that guy ever heard the definition of theft? Even if it was for something useful like sending a kid to college, you can’t just show up on my porch and threaten me to hand over a majority of everything I earn!
You finally regain your sanity after a few minutes, and lie back down on your couch where you are watching a Bernie Sanders for The People speech. You nearly come to tears from his empathy and compassion for The People by promising free college for all.
Here’s a wonderful and quick introduction to “Trickle-Down Economics,” one of the left’s favorite caricatures to fight tax cuts. Check it out!
[Also, if you’re on Facebook and interested in these ideas I STRONGLY recommend you “Like” We Are Capitalists’ page.]