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In addition to very kindly linking, at National Review‘s “The Corner,” to my criticism of Michael Lind’s ignorant attempt to discredit the case against minimum-wage legislation, George Leef noted the immorality of such legislation. I thank George for the link and applaud his own critique of Lind.

But I did something that I almost never do, namely, looked at the comments. In the comments section on George’s post I stumbled upon head-scratcher one from “FranklinPierce”:

You dictate your own value by what you’re willing to accept as a wage, not what’s being offered.

Corporations would pay you less if they could, which means the government places a higher value on your labor than a corporation.

This comment is of that expanding species of expressed ideas that reveal just how far the thought processes of libertarians, classical liberals, and free-market conservatives are from those of the many persons who truly believe that champions of a liberal market order are either morons or monsters.

Upon reading “FranklinPierce”‘s comment I asked myself (without arriving at a satisfying answer): ‘What can this person possibly be thinking?!?!? How can he not see that a private employer, in employing workers, spends its own money, while enacting minimum-wage legislation is the categorically different action of legislators simply voting, and not spending their own money, to command third parties – here, employers – not to pay hourly wages below whatever is the minimum that these legislators decide to dictate?’

By the ‘logic’ of “FranklinPierce,” if you offer to pay a neighborhood teenager $20 to mow your lawn, I reveal myself to place a higher value than do you on the teenager’s labor if I unholster my gun, point my loaded weapon at your head, and promise to shoot you if you offer to pay this teenager any sum less than $30.

How can any person who successfully completed first grade fail to see that the ‘expression of value’ made by the person spending his or her own money in a voluntary transaction is not remotely akin to the ‘expression of value’ made by a third party who intrudes into the voluntary transaction with only a threat of violence and without putting anything of his or her own at stake?

Here’s a serious question: What does the above-quoted comment of “FranklinPierce” tell libertarians, classical liberals, and free-market conservatives about the priors and mindset of those persons who reject the analyses and oppose the policy positions of those of us who resist governmentalization of human affairs?

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