Wednesday, May 24, 2006

capitalism is great!

Good article in the telegraph today. Not so long ago I was discussing with a friend the merits (or otherwise) of a minimum wage. He said that in his heart he supported a minimum wage, but since he was unconvinced it actually helped the poor he didn't really support it in practice. If it doesn't help the poor why support it in your heart? A minimum wage only exist to try to help the poor, it is a symbol of that, which is why I think people like it. But if we are interested in actually helping, we should champion the most effective method. In this case a basic income, or negative income tax, or earned income tax credit. But somehow a minimum wage retains its luster over these other schemes. Proponents of these alternatives shouldn't mumble apologetically into their feet when they make their case, if it's the best way then that's good! The same goes for capitalism, it's not a tragedy that it works so well and other systems don't. We should be excited that there is way out grinding poverty and set to work on implementing it correctly.

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