Unions are calling for a “living wage” for everyone of at least $19 per hour, enforced by government on every employer. People “need” this they say, therefore they should have it.
This idiocy is not primarily economic—although economist Matt Nolan does give it a thorough spanking, pointing out that “by imposing a ‘price floor’ you are ensuring there are a group of people who can’t get jobs and will get hurt—but unions don’t care because they don’t represent the unemployed.”
See, it is idiotic. But the idiocy is not primarily economic; the idiocy is primarily philosophic. You see, these people are utterly blind to causality. They see no connection at all between how much a person can produce and how much they are able to consume: as if wishing for a loaf of bread were enough on its own to bring that bread on your plate. They se no causal chain connecting what is produced and what is consumed: as if the two were separate things going on with no reference to each other. They see no causal link at all between between production and consumption: as if need itself is sufficient to set the wheels of production in motion.
Yet not an ocean of tears nor a plane-load of hand-wringing former Hobbit actors can bring into existence the bread you will need tomorrow—not unless those hand-wringers are able to put those hands into productive ends.
Taken seriously, the call for this “living wage” is nothing but a whim—that is, “a desire experienced by a person who does not know and does not care to discover its cause.”
The thing these people need to learn is that wishing doesn’t make it so. Reality just isn’t made that way.