You said the right and the duty go together, and so did all those non-western countries I mentioned. (Well, maybe not Democratic Kampuchea…)[/quote]
I said a right and a duty. Some sort of quid pro quo. You’re putting words into my mouth here for strawman purposes. I think it was jotham put it a bit better than me: the right is reciprocal (or, if you prefer, the duty is reciprocal).[/quote]
My humblest apologies, Comrade Finleysky! I failed to grasp that when you said
for every right received, one must be prepared to grant some broadly-equivalent right to another person.
Creation of rights must be matched with creation of responsibilities. You might think I’m being melodramatic, but there are countless historical examples of physically-impossible economic “rights” leading to misery, revolution and bloodshed.
If I have a right to employment, I have a responsibility to give back to my employer in kind whatever he gives to me
you most certainly did not mean
Citizens’ exercise of their rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of their duties and obligations.
nor any of the variations on that theme that can be found in constitutional law. To facilitate my re-education, I shall write ten pages of self-criticism tonight.
But seriously, if I’m the one making strawmen, what do we call your relentless effort to equate any raising of labor standards with giving handouts to people who choose not to work?
Sure, everything is temporary. Including life.
What makes him not-poor is the asset in his head, which has motivated him to offer a win-win trade.
You suddenly remind me of the lady from the Heritage Foundation who explained to the people of Hong Kong (c. 2010) that having a minimum wage would ruin their economy and that they didn’t need one anyway because most of their jobs were in the service industry, and service industry jobs are high paying.
You do realise, incidentally, what he’s doing would be illegal in yyylandia? Or more accurately, he’d be allowed to hold the sign, but anyone offering him food for work would go to jail, do not pass go, etc.
Not necessarily. Payment in kind does not need a total ban, but it needs to be regulated to prevent exploitation. It’s one thing to sing for your supper (literally), say once a week for a few minutes. It’s another thing to have a full-time job paying “minimum wage” minus a compulsory room & board fee.
Incidentally, in Taiwan the relevant law is LSA Art. 22 Par. 1:
Wages shall be paid in the statutory, circulating currency; provided, however, that part of such wages may, by custom or business nature, be paid partly in kind in accordance with the labor contract. If part of the wages is paid in kind, the conversion price of such wages in kind shall be fair and reasonable to meet the needs of both the worker and his/her family members.
It’s true that one size does not fit all, but your priority seems to be not making more sizes available but absolute freedom of contract. You claim to approve of a minimum wage in theory, yet you think everyone should have the right not to abide by any standards at all, at least when it comes to labor (and transportation licensing). Are you not then an idealist like Jotham’s hero Salerno?
Speaking of which, I’m actually such a masochist that I watched that whole Salerno clip. His starting point, almost verbatim, is this:
- There is no such thing as price gouging.
- Sellers don’t set prices. Buyers do. (The sellers merely offer prices that the buyers can choose to accept.)
Okay, let’s try this logic in other contexts.
- Pregnancy is caused by eggs, not sperm! (The sperm merely offer DNA to the eggs.)
- It does not take two to tango! (The lead merely offers a move to the follow.)
- Posts are deleted by users, not moderators! (The mods simply offer a website in which the users can have posts deleted.)
- And so on…
Even if we only find this logic acceptable in economics, it still has a very interesting application:
- The minimum wage is a price. An employer is a “customer” (as von Mises would say). Ergo the government does not set the minimum wage. The government offers it, and the employer sets it (by accepting it).
Like I was saying about the Doctor’s aphorism, there is a “market” for progress. Most people in the first and second worlds don’t want to participate in a race to the bottom because they see the difference between worlds and want to go up, not down. They demand state regulation of labor, commerce, and many other things.
If you refuse to recognize the state itself as part of the market system, insisting instead that the state is an anomaly, an intruder in your pure market utopia, then your theory may be nice but is of limited use in the real world.
Don’t forget: if you want less (or more flexible) state regulation, you can always move your business to a less developed society (like across the Strait).
It might surprise you to learn that, compared to you (or me), poor people have very different views on self-actualisation. Their life goals are not your goals.
It might surprise you to learn that, compared to Motherlanders, Colonists have very different views on self-actualisation, not to mention classism.
I believe I’ve had enough characters of this and that sort in my life, yet my mileage varies radically from yours. Money affects us all, but I find other factors more relevant in assessing a person’s character.
Anybody who wants to waste time drinking tea and eating ginger biscuits. All their reports and conclusions would be carefully collated, then burned. They’d then be patted on the head, told they’ve done a great job, and sent home to watch funny poor people on TV hoping to become singing stars.