Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

By definition, a person who is working only because he must will not get a fair wage. One side has leverage, one does not. So the worker gets screwed.

The ideal society is one in which no one has to work but everybody does. A basic income grant (which everyone, working or not, gets) would get us pretty close to this, because most people would still work for reasons of pride and the desire for a better lifestyle than what's available if they don't. Those who would use the grant as an excuse to slack off are the least productive members of society anyway, so we'd not be losing much if they stopped working.

Minimum wage has its problems, because it's a very clumsy implementation of basic income that falls hardest on those who are trying to employ low-end workers. Better would be to give everyone enough basic income to live at a reasonable standard, and let a free market decide what's a fair wage. If that's 75 cents per hour, that's fine because work isn't the person's only source of income.




> By definition, a person who is working only because he must will not get a fair wage. One side has leverage, one does not. So the worker gets screwed.

By the same definition, a person who is hiring because he must also will not get a fair wage. He needs to get the job done, so the laborer can charge him an unfairly high price.

Of course, it doesn't work that way. While a person needs to work, he doesn't necessarily need to work at your job. And while an employer needs a job done, he doesn't necessarily need you to do it.

Wages are fair in a free market because workers hunt around to find the highest employers will offer, and employers hunt around to find the lowest laborers will settle for. The result is a nice compromise between the lowest people will work for and the highest people will pay.

Do you have a better definition of what would make a wage fair?




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: