Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on March 17, 2022

in Hubris and humility, Other People's Money, Seen and Unseen, Work

… is from page 88 of Lionel Shriver’s great 2016 novel, The Mandibles:

Like Tom, Avery was queasy about these heedless opinions, which applied exclusively to other people and cost their advocates nothing.

DBx: Very many pet causes of Progressives are little more than heedless opinions that apply either exclusively, or at least disproportionately, to other people – and in all cases cost their advocates nothing, or vanishingly little, to express.

Perhaps no real-world example of such a pet cause is better than minimum-wage legislation. No intellectual who supports minimum wages – no professor, no pundit, no politician – holds a job from which that intellectual will be removed as a result of a minimum-wage hike. No such intellectual likely has children or grandchildren who will be pushed by a minimum wage into the unemployment ranks or into jobs worse than would be the jobs those children or grandchildren would hold absent a minimum wage.

And yet because of widespread economic ignorance, elite supporters of minimum-wage statutes are widely admired as they slather themselves in the ink of their own self-righteousness whenever they emote in support of raising the minimum wage. These elite supporters of minimum wages are applauded whenever they propose to make it illegal for low-skilled workers to compete for employment by offering to work at wages lower than that which elite supporters of minimum wages somehow divine is the minimally acceptable wage that anyone should be permitted to agree to accept as payment for his or her work effort. The arrogance and ignorance are stunning.

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