Rev. Harry Rix is a retired pastor and mental health counselor living in Providence, RI. He has 50 articles on spirituality and ethics, stunning photos, and 1200 inspiring quotations available at www.quoflections.org.

7 responses to “Poor workers deserve a just wage, a ‘living wage’”

  1. jgardner

    by spending all their pay, the working poor create demand for more products and services. This demand ‘ripples’ from one business to the next, multiplying business spending. Thus, living wages spur economic growth—and poor workers’ increased spending creates jobs.

    Why won’t this false line or reasoning die? Your argument is effectively anyone who doesn’t immediately spend every nickel of what they earn is harming the economy. Don’t you see how foolish that is?

    Economic growth can be achieved only in a few specific ways. Either more and better resources can be found, or more and better people can be born, or technology is improved, or the capital goods structure is lengthened and capital multiplied. In practice, since resources need capital to find and develop them, since technological improvement can be applied to production only via capital investment, since entrepreneurial skills act only through investments, and since an increased labor supply is relatively independent of short-run economic considerations, the only viable way to growth is through increased saving and investment.

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    1. Steve Ahlquist

      “better people can be born”

      Where is this quote from? It’s von Mises, of course, the quack economist.

      The von Mises Institute, says the Southern Poverty Law Center, “promotes a type of Darwinian view of society in which elites are seen as natural and any intervention by the government on behalf of social justice is destructive. The institute seems nostalgic for the days when, ‘because of selective mating, marriage, and the laws of civil and genetic inheritance, positions of natural authority [were] likely to be passed on within a few noble families.’

      “But the rule of these natural elites and intellectuals, writes institute scholar Hans-Hermann Hoppe, is being ruined by statist meddling such as ‘affirmative action and forced integration,’ which he said is ‘responsible for the almost complete destruction of private property rights, and the erosion of freedom of contract, association, and disassociation.’

      “A key player in the institute for years was the late Murray Rothbard, who worked with Rockwell closely and co-edited a journal with him. The institute’s Web site includes a cybershrine to Rothbard, a man who complained that the ‘Officially Oppressed’ of American society (read, blacks, women and so on) were a ‘parasitic burden,’ forcing their ‘hapless Oppressors’ to provide ‘an endless flow of benefits.’

      “‘The call of ‘equality,’ he wrote, ‘is a siren song that can only mean the destruction of all that we cherish as being human.’ Rothbard blamed much of what he disliked on meddling women. In the mid-1800s, a ‘legion of Yankee women’ who were ‘not fettered by the responsibilities’ of household work ‘imposed’ voting rights for women on the nation. Later, Jewish women, after raising funds from ‘top Jewish financiers,’ agitated for child labor laws, Rothbard adds with evident disgust. The ‘dominant tradition’ of all these activist women, he suggests, is lesbianism.”

      https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2003/mainstream

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      1. jgardner

        I’m sorry, was there a counter argument to either what I wrote or what is written in the Mises Wiki, or just ad hom?

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        1. Steve Ahlquist

          Nothing in what I wrote was ad hominem. This wasn’t an attack on the men, it was an expose on their views regarding economics, class and human rights, which you quoted at length. An accurate representation of the views of von Mises, Rothbard and the von Mises Institute reveals ideas that are classist in the worst way. The hoped for result of these ideas if converted to policy (as many of them have been) is rule by entitled elites. Such ideas are contrary to democracy and human rights.

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          1. jgardner

            von Mises and Rothbard could be the two worst humans in the history of mankind but writing about that instead of writing an “exposé” about how their views on economic growth are incorrect (the statement I quoted doesn’t even appear to be a direct quote from either man, afaict) or how what I wrote was incorrect meets the definition of ad hom. Nice try though.

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  2. Randall Rose

    Jgardner is right that spending is certainly not per se better than savings. I like how this article refuted the propaganda that the working poor aren’t makers; Harry’s article gave a lot of good reasons to show that working people may be more “makers” and less “takers” than many of the rich are. Nevertheless, I would want to emphasize that spending is hardly the best way to be economically productive. We’re sometimes told that spending money is a great way to help the economy, but that’s hardly even a half-truth; I’d like to see more awareness of how things like saving, pressure for better products, and developing economics alternatives can help the economy not just grow in quantity, but also supply more useful things to meet people’s needs.

    That said, I disagree with jgardner on a few other points. Even apart from his claim that “lengthening the capital goods structure” is a great way to help the economy, it’s always worth remembering that “investment”, per se, isn’t always economically helpful. A lot of investing does lead to developing products that are truly useful; but a lot of investing is just glorified looting, as Harry said, and ends up harming the 99%. We should always be aware of the difference.

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  3. leftyrite

    looking forward to hearing more,

    and seeing more, from elizabeth warren

    and bernie sanders.

    As depressing as these times can be,

    help seems to be on the way

    if WE help it along.

    Happy new year, r. i. future.

    You are a daily must-read.

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