Quote Of The Day

“The nonsense we hear from liberals about “living wages” at Walmart is just another example of liberals trying to babysit everybody with their dumb economic ideas. Ideas which can be tested very easily, by the way. If Walmart isn’t paying enough, they should have a hard time filling openings, but if people are willing to work at the wage Walmart offers, then Walmart is paying a fair wage, and that’s all there is to it”. —Greg Krehbiel

71 Responses to “Quote Of The Day”


  • Talk about “dumb ideas”!

    By Krehbiel’s reasoning, if Company X can find workers to take the jobs they offer, than Company X’s wages are therefore reasonable.

    That’s insane.

    Countless counter-examples are easily found – Sweat shops and child labor industries in Southeast Asia, for example – where there is no shortage of workers willing to be exploited, yet no reasonable person would ever describe these jobs as providing a decent “living wage”. Examples of jobs that offer indisputably poor wages, yet have no shortage of workers, are abundant. Visit the tomatoe fields in Florida some day!

    But counter-examples aside, the logic of Mr. Krehbiel’s argument is non-existent. There is simply no reason why the existence of a worker willing to do a job for a particular salary should be an indicator that the salary being offered is morally acceptable. There is no reason that the two should be connected, and they are not.

    I am generally a Libertarian, but this is an excellent example of a case where Libertarians have taken their philosophy too far.

  • LaurenceB, you REALLY need a refresher in what libertarianism means. The free market means you have a right to succeed if you can excel at your endeavor, and a right to fail if you’re pounding a square peg into a round hole. It is GOVERNMENT that will continue a failed program ad infinitum; private enterprise will fold and be recycled to its raw materials. Temporary pain for those affected, but someone else will grow and prosper.

    When an uneducated field laborer happens to toil within our borders, it is because he feels better compensated, and has better opportunities for his family, than in some other country.

    If government artificially raises his wages, his customer (his employer) may decide to mechanize the job, or close his doors when the product becomes uncompetitive in price; is the unemployed worker thus better off?

    It is THIS aspect–free enterprise–that has afforded Americans such a rapid improvement in our standard of living, and life expectancy, while so much of the world lags decades or centuries behind.

  • It’s an odd day when a “True_liberal” defends reasonable economic ideas! 🙂

    But I’m sure that’s what’s he means by the “true” part. A “true” liberal doesn’t fall for modern socialist claptrap.

    LaurenceB — a lot of people choose to work in “sweat shops” because it’s the only place they can get a job to feed their family. If you insist on imposing your “living wage” ideas on them, the company will simply close its doors and leave, and, congratulations, you will have destroyed a bunch of jobs. You won’t have helped anybody.

    Labor and wages are simply a commodity and a price paid for that commodity, and they should be treated as such.

  • LaurenceB,

    That is not insane if you follow supply and demand.

    Prices are not set at some absolute level of which they cannot fall below, they are set by supply and demand – by what is currently being offered, by what people will accept, and by what competition dictates. Trying to change this will lead to fewer jobs; a misallocation of labor and a situation where a few get paid alot more at the expensive of others.

    Your sweatshop example proves my point. Sure, those jobs may seem horrible to us, after all, we live in the most industrialized country in the world, but those jobs – even with the low pay and the bad working conditions – are a god sent to the people living in the area. Compared to the standards around them, sweatshop labor is in high demand and often has long lines of people wanting to work there. If the sweatshop pay and labor conditions wasn’t above what alternatives these people had, why would so many want to work there?

    Okay you say, sure HP, these jobs are better than the alternative, but couldn’t these companies pay more? I mean, instead of paying say $1/hour, why not pay $2/hour, maybe even $3 or $4 per hour, give more to these people. But remember, one of the few ‘competitive advantages’ these countries have is their low pay – you take this away and you leave them with nothing. Companies face enormous obstacles operating in underdeveloped countries. These countries tend to have weak laws, corrupt governments, weak property rights, high risk of confiscation, etc…all things that add to the cost of operating there. Then there is the obstacles of less productivity (workers in underdeveloped countries have less human capital – experience working with machinery and so forth), language barriers, time changes, overhead costs, etc. etc.. In other words, the higher you (artificially) raise wages, the less incentives there are for companies to operate in these underdeveloped countries and the more likely these companies are going to forego opening up shop there (if wages were equal, why would a company open up a plant in Thailand instead of just opening up another plant in the United States? – we have all of the positives without any of the negatives).

    In addition, artificially raising wages doesn’t just reduce the amount of available jobs (thereby reducing the #1 method of increasing job wages and working standards – c0mpetition), it also severely distorts the labor market. Most ‘sweatshops’ already have a high waiting time, a long list of applicants, so by artificially raising wages you have made the lines longer, the waiting time higher, and the desire to work there even stronger. Yet since labor is now more expensive you have forced companies (the ones that still find it profitable to operate) to hire less people, thereby compounding the problem. Also, who do you think is more likely to get the jobs now? Since price does not ration who works at these companies and who doesn’t, the most likely ration method will be bribery, political connections, and personal favors for managers and so forth. Thereby reducing the amount of money that goes to the very poor, reducing the amount of available jobs, and concentrating a high pay in the hands of the very few (who will tend to be more politically connected, able to provide larger bribes, and personal favors) instead of a higher than average pay for the many – all things that make the problem worse.

    If you don’t believe me take Paul Krugmans word for it, he wrote a very good article on this very thing, see here.

    I am generally a Libertarian, but this is an excellent example of a case where Libertarians have taken their philosophy too far.

    I am not the one arguing philosophy here – it is those against sweatshops that are. I have experience, a proven track record of improving the standard of living of the poor, and the human experience itself as an example that supply and demand works, it is those who question it that are performing wishful philosophy.

  • But wait, there’s more!

    While the “I’ll be generous with your money” likes to deny the link between minimum wage and unemployment rate, they’re perfectly willing to exploit that link when it suits their cause.

  • Hmmm…

    All of the responses above suffer from the same malady. They all assume that workers and employers exist in some theoretical vacuum where governments, poverty, natural disasters, etc. do not exist.

    That is not the real world.

    Generally speaking Adam Smith’s invisible hand works quite nicely, but to argue that it does under every set of circumstances is just wrong.

    A simple question: Do you consider the wage of a child labor sweat shop to be a “fair wage”? Please answer “Yes” or “No”. I think the answer to that question will illustrate my point quite nicely.

  • I think it is your view that sees the world in a vacuum, it is my view that takes the trade-offs of life seriously.

    For example, take this actual study on sweatshops:

    we admit that by Western standards, sweatshops have abhorrently low wages and poor working conditions. However, economists point out that alternatives to working in a sweatshop are often much worse: scavenging through trash, prostitution, crime, or even starvation….

    Our recent research – the first economic study to compare systematically sweatshop wages with average local wages – demonstrated this to be true.

    We examined the apparel industry in 10 Asian and Latin American countries often accused of having sweatshops and then we looked at 43 specific accusations of unfair wages in 11 countries in the same regions. Our findings may seem surprising. Not only were sweatshops superior to the dire alternatives economists usually mentioned, but they often provided a better-than-average standard of living for their workers.

    Our findings should not be interpreted to mean that sweatshop jobs in the third world are ideal by US standards. The point is, they are located in developing countries where these jobs are providing a higher wage than other work.

    Until poor nations’ economies develop, buying products made in sweatshops would do more to help third-world workers than San Francisco’s ordinance. By purchasing more products made in sweatshops, we create more demand for them and increase the number of factories in these poor economies. That gives the workers more employers to choose from, raises productivity and wages, and eventually improves working conditions. This is the same process of economic development the US went through, and it is ultimately the way third-world workers will raise their standard of living and quality of life.

    You look at the world in terms of ideal vs reality, economists tend to look at the world in terms of real trade-offs, knowing that ideal is not reality.

    An economist puts the different world views this way:

    Powell’s and Skarbek’s lesson is straightforward and important. But it’s a lesson too often ignored by “activists” who would rather pose and prance as moral crusaders than analyze situations in ways that might actually help people. The lesson is summarized by what I call “The Economist’s Question: “As compared to what?”

    In and of itself, situation A is neither good nor bad; it is good or bad only in comparison with it’s real alternatives. This lesson is a hard one, perhaps — it’s certainly an unromantic one — but it’s indispensable for sound analysis.

    More studies on sweatshops can be found here and here.

  • Was that a “Yes” HP? You feel that children in sweatshops are being paid a fair wage?

  • How do you define ‘fair’? Fair to our standards, no, fair to the standards of the country, yes. Fair is relative. All of this, of course, assumes that the child is atleast marginally better off than all of the other alternatives available.

  • The living wage for a single adult in Washington state is about $11.80 an hour. That is the wage in which somebody can get by without having to rely on the support of some government or private service. The living wage for a single parent is almost $30.00 an hour here. I don’t really know what the average Walmart employee makes but I’m willing to guess it’s around or slightly above minimum wage, which falls short of the two figures. It would seem that supporting a society of Walmart employees would be like supporting some crazy socialist system. 😉

  • Fair is relative. All of this, of course, assumes that the child is atleast marginally better off than all of the other alternatives available.

    So what about the child prostitutes in southeast asia? I’m guessing the reason their families push them into that line of work is that they live better off than whatever the alternative might be. What about the Africans who were brought during the slave trade? They were given a free trip to America, had a steady job, healthcare, room, board lined up… sounds like a nice fair deal. 🙂

  • Wal-Mart employees make an hourly wage of $10/hour, significantly higher than small businesses, which is one of the reasons why Wal-Mart campaigns hard to increase the minimum wage – it knows that the minimum wage will disproportionately harm small businesses and reduce overall competition.

    It’s not Wal-Mart’s that create ‘some crazy socialist system’, it’s crazy liberals that do that. 😉

    As far as prostitution goes, I am not making any moral judgement on any particular job, but only on relative terms to something else. In underdeveloped countries you basically have two options,

    A. Having employees work in low paying jobs, low standard of living jobs

    B. Having them work in even worse paying jobs and even higher risk jobs (often times B really just means prostitution, starvation, etc)

    While A may seem bad compared to the ideal, in underdeveloped countries we don’t have the ideal (if, on the other hand, you know a way we can have the ideal, I am all ears), so I would say that YES, A is a fair wage compared to B. But remember, my solution, my scenario, leaves the workers in the underdeveloped world atleast marginally better off, the alternative, leaves them with nothing, with B instead of A.

    So it is those against sweatshops who prefer prostitution and slavery, not those for sweatshops.

  • It’s not simply a matter of “fair wage” (fair by some bureaucrat’s standard) vs. some sub-fair wage. That is the alternate reality that activists in government, labor, or academe would frame for you. (Labor in particular has a hidden agenda–eliminating cheap competition!)

    In the real world, things are a lot less rosey, and the only standard of comparison is what’s AVAILABLE.

    Don’t let the ivory-tower looneys tell you what’s fair, and what isn’t.

  • It’s true that on average, Small Businesses pay lower than a Walmart job. However, consider that with small businesses there is always at least one proprietor that with relative success can do very well compared to a Walmart job. If a Walmart opens in a small town and forces all of the small family owned shops to close… sure, the people who worked in the shops can likely work at the Walmart for a few dollars more than they were making, but what about the business owners?

    I hate to rebeat a dead horse 😉 but it’s the same issue with the Mexico/NAFTA/ag thing. Sure, the maquilas pay more than what most traditional small agriculture jobs in Mexico, but the average farm owner (in most cases, these farms were family projects) would earn several times what a maquila job would pay (I think the number is about $1800/month). It’s skewed to only look at the issue from that one perspective.

    And as far as preferring sweatshops or prostitution for kids… I favor schools. 😉 Even a poor and politically isolated country like Cuba can still manage to send their kids to school and boasts a literacy rate that rivals any industrialized nation. I think corporations should be held accountable for taking advantage of lax laws and corrupt governments to get away with unethical actions.

  • Wal-Mart never eliminates all small businesses, many small businesses – specifically those that are compatible with Wal-Mart – thrive or are created, see here. So on net balance, Wal-Mart brings in more jobs and an upward push on wages.

    Even a poor and politically isolated country like Cuba can still manage to send their kids to school and boasts a literacy rate that rivals any industrialized nation.

    School is fine but it doesn’t go very far if there are no jobs. Cubans, for example, “are the only people in Latin America who have seen their intake of calories decrease. It is now better than in the 90s, but more than every tenth Cuban is chronically undernourished”.It has one of the highest infant mortalities, low standard of living, etc…

    Which brings me to my next point,

    I think corporations should be held accountable for taking advantage of lax laws and corrupt governments to get away with unethical actions.

    Remember msondo, lower pay and working conditions are the only real competitive advantages these countries have, if they didn’t have that, companies would not operate in these countries, their simply are too many negatives – corrupt governments, weak property laws, lawlessness, low human capital, costs associated with operating in a country with a different lanugage, different time zones, etc…So by doing the above you have basically doomed these countries to poverty. You have given them no avenue by which to escape poverty and raise their living standards.

    History gives examples of country after country – whether that be Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea or even Indian and China – rising out of poverty and raising their standard of living because of free trade, but there is not one instance of a country rising out of poverty without free trade, not one! Not the United States, not Britain, nowhere in Europe, nowhere in Asia, nowhere in Latin America, nowhere has a country rose out of poverty without free trade. So by doing the above, you have essentially cut the life blood of these countries and doomed them to poverty.

    Which is why I said above: it is those against sweatshops that are essentially for prostitution and slavery, not the other way around.

  • I think it was Sowell or Friedman who pointed out that if natural resources determined a nation’s wealth, then Hong Kong and Singapore would be dirt poor, and Sierra Leone filthy rich!

  • Its such as you learn my thoughts! You seem to understand a lot
    about this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something.
    I believe that you just can do with some % to pressure the message
    home a bit, but other than that, that is wonderful blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  • Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers?

    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on.
    Any tips?

  • It’s really a cool and useful piece of information. I am glad that you simply shared this useful information with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • You are a very capable individual!

  • It’s remarkable to visit this website and reading the views of all friends about this post, while I am
    also keen of getting knowledge.

  • Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article. Thank you for providing these details.

  • always i used to read smaller articles which also clear their motive, and that is also happening
    with this post which I am reading at this time.

  • I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I
    never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all
    site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be
    a lot more useful than ever before.

  • Your means of telling all in this article is genuinely good, all can effortlessly
    know it, Thanks a lot.

  • My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none
    the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on numerous websites for about a
    year and am concerned about switching to another platform.

    I have heard good things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into
    it? Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Hello to every , as I am actually eager of reading this blog’s post to be updated on a regular basis.

    It carries good information.

  • Hi there very cool web site!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful ..
    I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I am
    happy to seek out numerous helpful information here in the post, we’d like
    work out extra strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing.

  • Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up
    losing months of hard work due to no back up.
    Do you have any methods to stop hackers?

  • I was examining some of your content on this internet site and
    I think this internet site is real informative! Continue posting.

  • Simply wish to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your
    post is simply great and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding
    work.

  • I read this paragraph fully on the topic
    of the comparison of latest and previous technologies, it’s remarkable article.

  • Hello there, I found your blog by the use of Google
    while looking for a similar matter, your website came up, it looks great.
    I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hello there, simply become aware of your blog thru Google, and located that it’s truly informative.
    I’m going to watch out for brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue
    this in future. Numerous folks might be benefited from your writing.
    Cheers!

  • Thanks in support of sharing such a pleasant thinking, paragraph
    is nice, thats why i have read it fully

  • Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have really
    enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to
    your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  • I am in fact thankful to the holder of this website who has shared this wonderful post at at this
    place.

  • This article will assist the internet viewers for building up new web site or
    even a blog from start to end.

  • I’m not sure why but this web site is loading
    incredibly slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is
    it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and see
    if the problem still exists.

  • Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
    as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You clearly know what youre talking about, why waste
    your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog when you
    could be giving us something informative to read?

  • Thanks to my father who told me about this weblog, this weblog is really
    awesome.

  • I am not positive where you’re getting your info, but great topic.
    I needs to spend some time studying much more or figuring out more.
    Thank you for magnificent information I was in search of this info for my mission.

  • This text is invaluable. When can I find out more?

  • Very good article! We will be linking to this particularly
    great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.

  • I was excited to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for
    this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely savored every little
    bit of it and I have you saved to fav to look at new stuff in your website.

  • magnificent points altogether, you simply received a new reader.

    What would you recommend in regards to your
    publish that you simply made some days ago?
    Any positive?

  • Someone essentially assist to make critically articles I
    would state. This is the very first time I frequented your web page and
    up to now? I surprised with the analysis you
    made to make this particular put up amazing. Wonderful job!

  • This article will assist the internet visitors for setting up new web
    site or even a weblog from start to end.

  • May I simply say what a comfort to discover someone who truly understands what they are talking
    about over the internet. You actually understand how to bring a problem to light and
    make it important. More people ought to read this and understand this side of your story.

    I was surprised that you aren’t more popular since you definitely possess the gift.

  • 5Lndvh pftuuptwkpqf, [url=http://bfprjtwusrhf.com/]bfprjtwusrhf[/url], [link=http://oeeiiaaugmri.com/]oeeiiaaugmri[/link], http://aeiphhmlzxvu.com/

  • Right here is the perfect webpage for anybody who hopes to
    find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost hard
    to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa).

    You certainly put a new spin on a subject that’s been discussed
    for years. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

  • Wonderful beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you
    amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a blog site?
    The account aided me a applicable deal. I were tiny
    bit familiar of this your broadcast offered vivid transparent idea

  • I constantly spent my half an hour to read this website’s articles or reviews daily along
    with a cup of coffee.

  • Hi! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My website looks weird when viewing from my apple
    iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to fix this issue.
    If you have any suggestions, please share. Many thanks!

  • I wanted to thank you for this fantastic read!!
    I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I have you book marked to check out new stuff you post…

  • It’s an amazing piece of writing for all the web visitors; they will obtain benefit from it I am sure.

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts about driving instructors sydney.
    Regards

  • Right now it seems like Movable Type is the best blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  • I’m gone to convey my little brother, that he should also
    go to see this webpage on regular basis to get updated from latest reports.

  • 4qa1gy itwvdbknttwc, [url=http://glyceslwvdtg.com/]glyceslwvdtg[/url], [link=http://cjnnnkindkpl.com/]cjnnnkindkpl[/link], http://igctjkfmjqan.com/

  • Today, I went to the beachfront with my children.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit
    crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is completely off topic but I
    had to tell someone!

  • Intervenciones en caso de Reparaciones Eléctricas Urgentes 24 horas al día, los 365 días al año, con 2 horas de mano de obra y desplazamiento gratuitos y un año de garantía sobre las mismas. Intervenciones de Especialista Eléctrico: Servicio Manitas: 2 servicios gratis al año que incluyen: desplazamiento y dos horas de mano de obra del profesional para tareas eléctricas en el hogar, tales como; colocar enchufes, interruptores y timbres, instalar lámparas y apliques, cablear puntos de luz. Reparaciones no urgentes: con asistencia de profesionales de la máxima confianza en menos de 24h.

  • I’ll immediately snatch your rss feed as I can’t in finding your
    e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Please permit me understand so that
    I could subscribe. Thanks.

Leave a Reply