Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Borraggine's not the Only Businessperson Forcing Minimum Wages on Other Businesspersons

In my post, Morality and the Minimum Wage, I wrote:

[Carissa] Borraggine's vague rationalization's like "even the playing field" or an "obligation as a country" or high-and-mighty declarations of "caring about our state's lowest-wage workers" are sugar-coating  for injustice; the belief that some may force their judgment on others--or, as Ms. Borraggine arrogantly puts it: "I pay real wages, shouldn't everyone?"

Restaurateur Borraggine calls for a higher minimum wage in New Jersey ($9.00, up from $7.25) that conveniently falls below what she currently pays her employees. She claims the higher wages she pays is good business practice, because that fosters a happier and more reliable workforce. So, she reasons, I Pay Real Wages, Shouldn't Everyone is justification for attacking other businesspersons by forcing higher wages on them.

Apparently, small business owners are not the only ones Throwing Your Fellow Businessmen Under the Minimum Wage Bus. As Doug Altner at Voices for Reason notes, Costco CEO Craig Jelinek also calls for a higher minimum wage--at the federal level--with the same rationalization; it's good for business.

Whatever their motivations, both Borraggine and Jelinek are taking an immoral stand--and, as businessperson's, a suicidal one. If the government can force some businesses to pay higher wages than they are willing and/or able to pay, then that government can force any business to pay higher wages--including their own business. Whether they cynically see minimum wage laws as a means of hampering their competitors, or believe it's the right thing to do, their's is an immoral stand because they are attempting to force their ideas on others, with government as the hired gun.

All businesspersons have a right to act on their own judgement, and contract voluntarily with those they hire, based on the rights of employer and employee alike. Any time force enters the equation, individual rights are violated. Borraggine and Jelinek--and every person--should adopt a live-and-let-live philosophy of respect for the rights of others, and call for an end to minimum wage laws. That would be the moral stand.

Related Reading:

Morality and the Minimum Wage

End, Don't Raise, Minimum Wage Laws

NJ Star-Ledger's Tom Moran Replies to Me on Minimum Wage

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