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A government can set a minimum wage to legally prevent an employee accepting what is declared to be unfair income from an employer. The strategy is one of many cases of contentious economic regulation, where advocates of free markets may claim its distortionary effects neutralize its supposed benefits.
Capitalism is an economic system where wealth is privatized, that is, controlled by individuals. It stands in contrast to socialism, where wealth is controlled by the government. Western economies are said to be capitalist systems, though in reality they are a blend of capitalist and socialist systems, where the left and right wing advocate socialist vs. capitalistic leaning economic policies respectively.
The now infamous Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are publicly traded mortgage finance companies. They make a profit by buying mortgages from banks, repackaging them, and then selling them as securities, and more recently, simply by buying high-yielding mortgages. Their liability is $5 trillion (roughly half of all US mortgages). Their lack of transparency, privileged relationship with the government, and sheer size, were all cause for concern before the government had to bail them out.
The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 enabled the US Government to bail out failing financial institutions. The bailout was deemed necessary to increase liquidity in frozen market, where a fear to lend would have crippled the economy.
Robin Hanson
This seems to me a common situation – things said to be critiques of capitalism are often just critiques of humanity. Humans vie selfishly and self-deludedly for status. Some succeed, while others fail. The struggle, and the failures, aren’t pretty. Yes capitalism inherits this ugliness, but then so does any other system with humans.
Historically, capitalism has fostered freedom and an increase in the standard of living and human rights, and vice versa. Societies that have tried non-capitalist systems inevitably fall into tyranny.
Ayn Rand
Today’s widespread unemployment is the result of organized labor’s privileges and of allied measures, such as minimum wage laws.
Ayn Rand
The moral justification of capitalism does not lie in the altruist claim that it represents the best way to achieve “the common good.” It is true that capitalism does—if that catch-phrase has any meaning—but this is merely a secondary consequence. The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature, that it protects man’s survival qua man, and that its ruling principle is: justice.
Joseph Stiglitz
The recent increase in the minimum wage will further enhance the poverty-reducing power of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Joseph Stiglitz
Price floors have predictable effects too... ...those who are lucky enough to get a job will be better off at the higher wage than at the market equilibrium wage; but there are others, who might have been employed at the lower market equilibrium wage, who cannot find employment and are worse off.There will be an excess supply of labor. ... Most poor people earn more than minimum wage when they are working; their problem is not low wages. The problem comes when they are not working.
Tyler Cowen
My colleague Dan Klein continues his pathbreaking work on the sociology of the economics profession. He asked petition signatories why they favor increasing the minimum wage. The results are striking, most of all for how far they stand outside traditional economic reasoning... Bernard Wasow is the guy who makes the most sense [who says it's] "A low cost demonstration of concern for low wage workers that causes little damage. Elicits a buy-in by low wage workers to the polity".
Paul Krugman
...this rather iffy [study supporting minimum wages] has been seized upon by some liberals as a rationale for making large minimum wage increases a core component of the liberal agenda. Clearly these advocates very much want to believe that the price of labor ... can be set based on considerations of justice, not supply and demand, without unpleasant side effects. ...[They] not only take the [study] as gospel, but advance a number of other arguments that just do not hold up under examination.
Milton Friedman
The programs that are labeled as being for the poor; for the needy almost always have effects exactly the opposite that those that their well intentions sponsors intend them to have. ... The minimum wage law is most properly described as a law saying employers must descriminate against people who have low skills. To employ [a person] at [a higher wage] is to engage in charity. Now there's nothing wrong with charity, but most employers are not in a position [to] engage in that kind of charity.

New Comments

0 Points       dionisos       22 Aug 2016     Is capitalism good? Disagree
It can’t be good nor bad in itself.
It could be better or worse than another economical system, given a particular ethical system.

I think there is a lot of better economical systems than capitalist. (given most consequentialist ethics).

0 Points       Nashhinton       20 Apr 2013     Should the US privatize Social Security? Disagree
Privatizing social security is one of the dumbest things you can do. Not only will it cause sudden volatility in the economy, it will financially ruin the disabled and the elderly. Their reliance for assistance will be left in the hands of private individuals. F... libertarians and f... these greedy corporate asses. It's unimaginable! The combined annual (just one year) salary of the top 100 richest people in the entire world can cure global poverty fourfold. That is a fact! Just the slightest increase on their tax rate will be able to solve this social security dilemma. Why do they need to obtain more money when the vast majority of their cash is currently not used? We could vastly increase education in 3rd world nations and stimulate the global economy with such money. But of course, the sad truth is that humans are inherently selfish.

0 Points       TheSentinel       30 Jan 2013     Is capitalism good? General Comment
wow, didnt even know about those. nice post!

0 Points       TheSentinel       30 Jan 2013     Is capitalism good? General Comment
or you will need to fight, and the lion has been training hard to fight on his own, that is why he is strong. The Hyenas can laugh but the Lion will roar feircly and scare the cowards away.

0 Points       TheSentinel       30 Jan 2013     Is capitalism good? General Comment
benefits were earned buddy. They are not simply given. Also "anti-sharing act"? Try " you get what you work for". How many people are born into wealth and keep it all by spending like crazy and not working? none, you have to work hard to make and keep your money. They dont have to share what they worked very hard for. Especially with someone like you who is ungrateful for what he has, you wouldnt even be grateful if they did share it with you.

0 Points       TheSentinel       30 Jan 2013     Is capitalism good? General Comment
well said, that is a very honest statement on Capitalisms strengths and weaknesses. Like you, I belive that a balanced system is good. However I also agree with having more economic control being left with the nature of people in the private sector.

0 Points       TheSentinel       30 Jan 2013     Is capitalism good? General Comment
your misconception is that the ONLY desire Capitalism attempts to satisfy is money. This is incorrect, and before you write off Capitalism, you should actually understand its true nature. If after truly understanding, you still disagree, then American is a not a place that would be optimal for you to live in.

2 Points       Nashhinton       19 Nov 2011     Is capitalism good? Mostly Agree
Capitalism is very productive in the market world, but it is not successful for providing necessities and universal access to health care, education, police, etc. But overall capitalism is excellent for increasing innovation and productivity in the work force. I believe in somewhat of a mixed economy, but I lean more towards promoting a larger expanse of the private sector where businesses are free to compete and operate for profit.

1 Point       Robert B       19 Oct 2011     Is capitalism good? General Comment
Proverbs 28:19
He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.

Proverbs 31:31
Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Ecclesiastes 2:21
For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune.

What do you think the priest would say about this??????? Right from the B I B L E

2 Points       Anonymous       01 Jul 2011     Is capitalism good? Agree
Oh yes capitalism works, but why? I will tell you, with the free education system here, we all have an equal opportunity to be successful, lower class or higher class. These "wealthy" people are either born into it, but most work very hard to where they are. People who complain it's only because money is easy to get, think about this, if it's easy to get, why are there only a select few who have it? It's because they're not fatasses who lay around and wait for the government to take money from those who worked all their life to get where the are, and bill it to them. Capitalism follows nature, if you want something, get up and get it yourself.

2 Points       Anon       11 May 2011     Is capitalism good? Agree
@Tim Peterson

Most of the millionaires and billionairs not born into there wealth. They work hard and have the right to make a profit off of their idea.

1 Point       J. Pareja       13 Apr 2011     Is capitalism good? General Comment
Silly you, of course they have Marx because he is the antithesis of Capitalism. Communism was "invented" to try to "fix" what were seen as the abuses of the Capitalistic system.

Of course they have Adam Smith as well, as his "Wealth of Nations" made him the "Father of Capitalism."

Osama bin Laden is there for the same reason Marx is there - to represent the abuses of Capitalism.

What I don't know is why entertainers are there?! Except that maybe people who have not studied the writing of the others, may be familiar with the visual "pop culture" work of these entertainers?

Tax Question Index

Is capitalism good?
Does minimum wage help the poor?
Was the US government's $700 billion bailout ultimately good for the taxpayer?
Did the Fed bailout Bear Stearns to benefit the taxpayer?
Is the US Federal Reserve to blame for the 2008 financial crisis?
Is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a huge risk to the economy?
Should the Federal Reserve have bailed out Long Term Capital Management?
Should the US privatize Social Security?