His boss responds sympathetically to Chris’s ultimatum, “I like having you around. But I can’t spare the money.” The math comes to him quickly. An extra 35 cents an hour “is $28 dollars a month, three cartons of milk a day, two boxes of Mike and Ikes an hour!”
The boss knows what no distant technocrat can know, what Friedrich Hayek called the “particular circumstances of time and place.” He has that special knowledge regarding his flow of business, his profit margins, his viability of surviving with higher labor costs, and his long-term reinvestment projects.
Paying the minimum wage would have driven the shop out of business, the boss tells him, and this would have put Chris out of work. It would have also ended the trajectory of the boss’s own future American success story of “opening a Walmart.” In paying $3 an hour, therefore, the boss is saving both jobs and dreams.
Teenage Chris nonetheless protests, “Where are you going to find somebody as reliable and trustworthy as me?” The answer is immediately and comically provided. A cherub-faced white kid (wearing a Boy Scout uniform!) enters and asks if they are hiring.
When we raise wages, more people enter the labor market. Those people will often be, in Boy Scout terms, more trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. And, as Walter Williams observes, they will be more white. Jobs shift to these new entrants.
The Myth of American Inequality argues that the American Dream is alive and well. Contrary to accepted wisdom, the country shows a high rate of income mobility despite the government essentially discouraging many individuals from rising above relative poverty.
Some things I believe about the misinformation sciences, such as they are:
1. Everyone gets things wrong sometimes, especially about science.
2. Groups that police others for misinformation often get things wrong, especially when they invoke science. When they do, they often libel the people who are right.
3. Governments are a primary source of misinformation, especially about public health and science.
4. The academic discipline purporting to police disinformation selectively ignores government disinformation. As such, their primary purpose is to promote the propaganda of the powerful.
5. There is no shortcut for scientists arguing with each other to inch towards scientific truth.
6. Anyone or any group claiming to be the sole arbiter of scientific truth is very likely promoting propaganda.