Skunkworks Stinker of the Day: Forbes’ Tim Worstall

Tim Worstall, bloggerThe only way Forbes blogger Tim Worstall seems to know how to win an argument is to argue with himself:

[T]he basic argument of a minimum wage, any level of minimum wage, is that there’s some moral right to a certain income from providing one’s labour.

Except, that’s not the basic argument in favor of a minimum wage—at least, not the argument that has been winning the minimum wage debate in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and throughout the nation. No, our basic argument is that raising the minimum wage is good for the economy: that it increases consumer demand, increases worker productivity, and increases economic growth.

Sure, minimum wage workers may be making a moral argument in demanding a living wage—as they should—but Worstall and his free market cohort are sticking their heads in the sand if they believe that it’s the moral argument that’s been winning the day. There’s always been a moral argument to make in support of a living wage. What’s new is the powerful middle-out economic argument that comes from a more modern understanding of how a capitalist economy really works.

As for Worstall’s professed concern for working people, absolutely, he has my support for exempting the employee share of FICA on the first $15,000 or so of income—as long as their Social Security account gets credited for the exempt amount, and the revenue is replaced from somewhere else (say, by lifting the income cap). But this proposed reform and the minimum wage have nothing to do with each other.


Comments are closed.