Just as the new 110th Congress is slated to pass a long-overdue increase in the federal minimum wage, George Will, one of the nation’s most prominent conservative political columnists, comes out against having a minimum wage altogether.
Oliver Willis explains why Will is wrong.
George Will speaks the gospel of the GOP elite and libertarians with his argument that the minimum wage should be $0. Trust the market, he says, and wages will be set to a decent level. Of course, that’s what got us here in the first place. Blindly trusting the market to do what’s right without any policing inevitably leads to the market’s participants doing everything within their power to line their pockets and bollocks to everyone else.
The whole reason we’ve got minimum wage law and other labor laws is that left to their own designs businesses colluded with each other, fixed their prices, and paid their workers next to nothing in horrible life-threatening conditions (and some of those laborers were children).
Capitalism is great and it works, but without policing, rules, and enforcement it is the playground of devils - devoid of morality and a pariah on our society. We learned that lesson collectively already, we won’t repeat it. America’s past that.
Well, some of America is past that.