Arguing Against Myself

I’m going to take a risk on my blog. Admittedly, anything I write here is not much of a risk because it won’t reach many people. I’ve done nothing to try to build readership and don’t intend to start now. Minimal readership notwithstanding, I’m going to tackle some issues that will fly in the face of my willfully progressive political and economic perspectives. In so doing, I may offend people who share my perspectives and I may offend others who don’t.

First up: the minimum wage.

I will argue against my long-held position in favor of raising the minimum wage. It has been my position, heretofore, that raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do for humanitarian reasons. Moreover, I have believed that raising the minimum wage will boost the economy.

But I will argue against those positions. I will argue that forcing businesses to raise the amount they pay their least productive or least skilled workers will actually hurt the intended beneficiaries of an increase in the minimum wage. And I will provide rationale and data to support those arguments against my long-held positions. And, then, I will attempt to logically, rationally, and unemotionally decide whether my arguments and my data have won me over. That will be the hardest part.

Tomorrow, I will begin in earnest.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to Arguing Against Myself

  1. jserolf says:

    I’m like you — advocate for increasing minimum wage — but you are right to play the devil’s advocate here, because we cannot sharpen our argument unless we can build a discourse / dialogue from that other point of view.

    Priming the pump here a bit, I cannot help but think those in opposition to increase minimum wage are either very short sighted people who are narcissistic and without any real sense of empathy — maybe even sociopaths. Their narcissism limits their thinking to bumper sticker ideologues of “I did it, why can’t you?”

    What say you?

  2. Thank you, Juan. I will included Elizabeth Warren’s assertions in my assessment after I make the case against raising, or even setting, a minimum wage. I should admit that I don’t think I’ll be persuaded, but I’m going to try to see things from a different perspective. And maybe I will, indeed, come to a different conclusion.

  3. jserolf says:

    Well you might begin with what Elizabeth Warren said, “If we started in 1960 and we said that as productivity goes up, that is as workers are producing more, then the minimum wage is going to go up the same. And if that were the case then the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour…”

    With a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, how does anyone make a living off of that?

    A hundred years ago when we were young men, John, a person could make it on minimum wage. That’s not the case anymore.

    BTW, I follow your blog religiously. 😉

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