It’s just nuts, Paul Constant. As a former industrial business owner in a low-wage industry (waste management and recycling), I can attest that minimum-wage mandates are absolutely necessary. Labor being my biggest expense, it was critical for me to have a level playing field with my competition.

I tried hard to pay my guys well, and I was proud to be able compensate them better than lots of other places like mine. Not only was paying a living wage the right thing to do in terms of corporate responsibility, but it bought me loyalty and high qualify work.

But here’s the thing. Without a minimum wage, I’d have been competing with pricing levels set by guys who were racing to the bottom, to pay their people as little as possible.

The only thing that kept wages at all stable for my manual sorters and warehouse labor was the minimum wage.

The mind boggles at the horrible things that would happen without it.

But then, we already know, don’t we?

History is full of examples of unrestrained capitalism. How can these market ideologues overlook those lessons?

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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