Today on Roy Green’s radio show, he discussed the Occupy protests in New York and other cities, and he had on a caller who argued that (my paraphrase):
Our elected representatives should be the People’s representative, not the Corporations’ representatives. The government shouldn’t pass laws that limit individual freedoms.
I could agree with that – sounds almost Tea Party-ish! But then:
Corporations are not my enemy. But they should be regulated to limit their profits. It isn’t fair for them to make money if they aren’t paying a living wage to their workers.
Egads! – that’s Marxism in sheep’s clothing. You see, this is the problem with the Occupy Protestors. Their understanding of economics is so incomplete and poisoned by socialist claptrap that they can’t see the contradictions in their own arguments.
If you want less government interference in your life, then you must accept less government interference in everyone’s life. And if someone wants to start a business (i.e. a corporation), then the government shouldn’t interfere in whether the business is making 2% profit or 2000% profit. Because the ability of the corporation to make money is the difference between it’s input costs (materials and labour) and the price it can charge for it’s product. Since all of these costs are negotiated in the free market (materials are someone else’s products and the workers can negotiate their wages) then the corporation only makes a profit if it can convince suppliers and workers to work for less than they can get from willing buyers of their product or service. If Apple can convince us to pay far more for their product than it costs to make, so be it!
The Marxist idea of a “Living Wage” is another dangerous concept. Minimum wages drive up prices in the bottom of the market, because businesses need to make money. And minimum wages create unemployment – and the higher the minimum wage the more unemployment it will create – for if the minimum wage is $10 / hr, then any worker who cannot produce more than $10 /hr in benefit to the employer (i.e. productivity) is unemployable. Those who are the least educated and less skilled will be left with no employment opportunities at all.