Discussion of minimum wage with a defender of labor price mandates

Defender of a minimum wage that is enforced under penalty of very mean guys with guns doing bad things to you:

With a rise to $12, spread as a $.50 raise every 6 months, business owners have some time to make their adjustments, refigure their costs, evaluate the consequences, and make get settled into the new patterns. With a raise in labor costs of 700% they have to get it right and get it right right now, or go out of business next Friday. There is no time for the marketplace to adjust. The marketplace is sloppy, it is always making small changes, adjusting, moving, and just in general turmoil. A rise like you suggest is an explosion, not an adjustment.


Ah, so the minimum wage DOES affect the labor marketplace.
When the business cost of something goes up, does a businessman keep on buying it no matter what? Or does he look for alternatives?

Defender of self-contradictory logic:

ah... lets see.... if the price of gasoline goes up, do we look for alternatives? Yeah. That is exactly what happens. But lets use gasoline as an example. If gasoline rose by $.10 you'd grumble but buy. If it raises by $1.00 you grumble and don't drive as much. If it raises to $10.00 you take the bus. If it raises to $100.00 you get an electric car. So yes, the amount of the increase DOES make a difference. 

And after giving that evidence against the minimum wage, that it does indeed disrupt the labor market, he added this priceless gem:

Thank you for helping me make my case.


Not everybody. For a business, a 10 cents rise in gasoline is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Let’s take an example from my personal experience, but in a different context, to show this from logic, since the higher numbers of unemployed after a minimum wage hike don’t seem to matter, since the Lying Gray Old Lady says not to worry about employment-destroying orders from the imperial capital…

When I was a young lad, I remember my chain-smoking uncle saying that when cigarettes hit $1.00 a pack he was going to quit. That was when it was around 90+ cents. Of course they rose to a dollar a pack, and true to his word, he quit.

Businesses always check their (accounting) books. They’re always looking to reduce costs. When labor costs rise by fiat mandate, it reduces the profitability of their output, as recognized by the same people who think how they’re told and support the fiat. It’s a price control for labor. The business owner either raises prices to cover the cost, and swallows the difference and takes home less money for his wife and kids, or he finds a machine to do the work. The machines are what made possible the multiplication of fast food restaurants in the latter half of the 20th century. That and the franchise model that helped a small store owner get more market recognition.

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