by George Leef
In this post, Sheldon Richman contemplates the difference between progressives and radicals on the current hot topic of the minimum wage. Progressives see what they regard as a problem (some people working for what seems to be too little pay) and demand a coercive solution imposed by government: force employers to pay them more. Radicals on the other hand, look at the same thing and conclude that the government should eliminate all its numerous obstacles to personal advancement for any of those workers who are not content with their pay.
Lots of excellent argumentation in the post. What I particularly like is that it doesn’t juxtapose “liberal” and “conservative” positions but instead uses more revealing terms.
I have long argued that while the minimum wage has bad labor market effects, its worst effect is on people’s minds, by creating the notion that if you’re not content with your standard of living, the proper thing to do is complain about it to politicians, who’ll then pass a law.