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Minimum Wage and Fairness

by Scott Swain

Is it fair to initiate forced fairness when fairness is subjective and when the person to be forced has not initiated force, themselves? I thought in Kindergarten we learned the person who started the violence was in the wrong. Yes?
"My widgets should be worth $1000 each!" [so it's okay to force people to pay for them?]
"People should like my music so much they pay me $10 per song!" [so it's okay to force people to pay for them?]
"My burger flipping is so awesome, people should pay me $15 per hour to do it!" [so it's okay to force people to pay this rate?]
Oh wait... maybe your beef (haha) is more like this:
"My living expenses are so high that people should pay me enough, no matter what job I choose." [so it's okay to force people to pay this rate?]
Oh yeah, let's take it a bit further:
"I was born into a shitty situation. So you owe me. So yeah, you should pay me [insert omnisciently calculated perfect fair amount of money-that-you-hate-but-still-want-more-of here]."
The only way to justify forcing someone to "be more fair" is to stretch the definition of the term "force" to include someone not doing a thing. Example: "That man committed suicide because you didn't say the thing that might have saved him." or "You didn't pay him $15 per hour, therefore, you forced him to work for $10 per hour." That is not force. If we defined force that way, I'm killing countless people every day by not hiring them or not feeding them or not saying the right thing to them. Sadly there are many who do not understand the lack of reason that goes with the idea that there are things we must do for each other so then if you do not do these things, you are [insert moral judgement here]. That is why the term "negative obligation" exists. It is a zillion times more reasonable to say, "You are obliged to not hit or steal from others."
Or do you think it is more reasonable to base rules on positive obligation where you might say, "You are obliged to protect everyone from harm all the time, every chance you get"? If you took that route, that rule would not be enough. You'd realize pretty quickly that many more rules, very specific, would be needed, such as: "When someone is hungry, you must give them food." But that wouldn't be enough because what if you barely have enough food for yourself? So we would need exceptions, handicaps, sub-rules, etc. Sound familiar?
What is wrong with making everyone responsible for everyone else? Hmm. Seems obvious to me where that can lead. But please, tell me if any of you see that as a good thing? And I'm not talking about consideration and compassion. I'm talking about responsibility. To feel consideration and compassion for others does not put an obligation of action on us, only inaction, as in "no harm", with an option to "do good" for someone if you have the resources and want to expend them. But to be responsible for others puts an ambiguous obligation on us to be superhuman.
Which world would you prefer:
(1) A world based on the idea that the obligation of every person is to "do no harm"; or
(2) A world based on the idea that the obligation of every person is to "always help others"?
Yes, both "do no harm" and "always help others" have ambiguity but hopefully it is obvious which is more clear. Which requires more monitoring and middlemen? Which requires more rules, exceptions, and loopholes? Which leads to the corporatism, favoritism, hypocrisy, oligarchy, self consumption, and corruption we have now?
Everyone wants "profit". Everyone wants to get as much as they can get for as little effort. From the employee to the employer. From the baby that first suckles the boob to the old man on his death bed profiting from the last glimpse of the woman he loves. The only time profit is a bad thing is when you add other words to it, like "profit from stealing" or "profit from killing". Let's not lose the positive connotations by building an argument upon shaky foundations. It is human and natural to want more. Few of us are Buddha-like enough to not want more.
Go at least a little deeper and ask yourself why a person wants more money, even if they have what you consider to be "enough" or "too much". What does money represent to them? Power? Security? Guess what? Everyone wants more power and more security. You just may not want the responsibility that goes with those things. Are you demonizing people for wanting the same things you want? 
99% of the merchants out there are people like you and I. Many of them have more than the average person of courage, drive, good ideas, and/or whatever it took to propel them into a position of responsibility for the fate of a company and the people who work for that company. Who is wise and knowing enough to say the exact "fair" amount of money that is "right" for a person in that position to receive? I say any "do-gooder" seeking to take without consent (steal) money from anyone not proven to be a thief, must either be omniscient or a fool. And again: a thief is not a person who failed to give something that some group believes must be given. A thief is a person who takes something that is not theirs, without consent. 
Back to the 99% of merchants that are us. I'm one of them. But also, we are the people who pay taxes, go to jail for bullshit reasons, sometimes sweat paying the bills. We say "yes sir" to cops while often wondering what the fuck the cops are actually doing for us, ha! We certainly don't start wars with other countries.  We are the cattle. We are the ones the government wants to "protect" and control. So please. Stop. Fighting. Yourself.
If you have a hard-on for hating on corporations, keep it to the very specific few that are very obviously doing stuff to us (like Monsanto or the Military Industrial Complex or Big Pharma or the Prison Industrial Complex). Or look just a tiny bit deeper and realize that those guys wouldn't survive without the State. No one could fuck us as hard in the ass as we are getting fucked right now if they didn't have the backing, protection, guarantee, and guns of the State in the way that only the super rich can really afford.
Stop feeding the beast your energy. It uses that energy to grow in power, screw up the market (do you really think the economy has been "slowly recovering" over the past 8 years or 6 years or 4 years?), kill people (do you really believe in the "war on terror"?), make more of us dependent on it, disarm us, and turn us on each other.
At this point you might say, "You encourage us to go deeper. Why not then go deeper to look at those who control our government?" You could. But that is a shady and even more powerful target. It's much easier to withdraw support for the State and there are so many ways, including:
You are most powerful, have the most influence, with you. Look inside yourself and start with you. This site,, has many ways you can use. Here is a list: how-do-we-get-there.html. This is the least expensive strategy, energy/time-wise, that you can use to (a) be more powerful; and (b) empower others by merely being seen and heard to show in your interactions with others that "authority" and force have many alternatives that work better.
Finally, we could talk about people born into sad situations with little opportunity. That sucks. I was one of those people. For a time when I was a kid, my mom and I traveled around via hitchhiking and stayed with whoever would take us in. Someone always did. Not everyone was nice but wow most people were pretty freakin generous with no one forcing them to be!  Perhaps it's why I have so much understanding of how messed up dependency can be. Perhaps it's why I have so much courage being okay not knowing what will happen tomorrow and in the general good will of most people.
But my real point here is that I would not change any of it. It was my path that brought me many lessons. It was what shaped my current zest for every moment of living. Especially the painful lessons. Every time I have woken up in the hospital, I've felt elated and excited to be alive! It was what made me appreciative of so many little things! Having a roof over my head! Having food in the fridge! Feeling safe. It's easy to confuse "selfishness" with a person advocating it being okay to not interfere with the path of others because of a kind of compassion that wants to be very sure interference will not take away valuable lessons. And please don't confuse a person saying it is wrong to steal-and-give as if they are saying it is wrong to give. 
So let's think a bit more before we advocate stealing from some in order to "help" others. Are you sure you know all the ways the person you want to steal from has actually helped others? Are you sure they haven't paid their "debt" already? And are you sure the "help" you give with that stolen money is (a) actually getting to the "victim"; (b) the "victim" is actually being helped; (c) the "victim" is not being denied valuable lessons; (d) the "victim" is not more dependent after the "help" than they were before the "help"; and (e) how the "help" affected those surrounding the "victim"? 
#minimumwage #language #freedom #independence #libertarian #liberation #voluntaryism #agorism #anarchy #anarchocapitalism #ancap #ronpaul #liberal #conservative #respect #ideals #principles #empowerment #nvc #nonviolentcommunication #nonaggressionprinciple #nap #coercion #compassion #empathy

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