It’s worth repeating: Minimum wage increases cost jobs. When Ontario raised its minimum wage by roughly 20 percent, politicians certainly patted themselves on the back for “helping” low-wage workers. The result of their policy, however, has been quite a different story. of the higher wage — and many companies are cutting back on costs in other ways, such as reducing benefits, ending paid breaks and hiking prices. As Ontario is quickly learning, there still is no such thing as a free lunch.
What is the greatest libertarian accomplishment? According to David Boaz at the Cato Institute, it’s the abolition of slavery. In an article about Black History Month, Boaz explains that “Much of the progress we have made in the United States has involved extending the promises of the Declaration of Independence — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — to more and more people.” And he’s right. The abolition of slavery, and the 20th century’s civil rights movement, was a quintessentially libertarian moment. After all, it was a movement that prioritized the rights of individuals over the oppressive nature of government.
Every four years, the American people have the opportunity to vote for the President of the United States. Indeed, all of our elected representatives must win the approval of their constituency to remain in power. It’s such a basic feature of our representative government, most people never give it a second thought. It is simply a given that voters should have a say over who represents their interests in government. And yet, millions of workers across America are never given the opportunity to vote on who will represent their interests in labor agreements. In fact, unions are actively fighting the concept — arguing instead that once a union gains power in a workplace, workers should never again have the opportunity to vote on representation. Would we tolerate such an anti-democratic arrangement in any other aspect of daily life?
When governments in California sue energy producers — such as Exxon Mobile — for “contributing to climate change,” they insist that local damage from global warming will cost billions of dollars to mitigate. When those same governments talk to investors, however, they sing a different tune — essentially shrugging off concerns that apocalyptic climate change will have an impact on the government’s finances. So which is it?
As it turns out, capitalism is awfully persistent. Whether it is a cultural upheaval, economic depression or any other “bad news,” capitalism faces the challenges and then goes right back to generating widespread prosperity. As Nick Gillespie explains it at Reason.com, “Capitalism's genius, it turns out, is a form of ‘repressive tolerance’ that, as economist Joseph Schumpeter observed, brought more and more stuff to more and more people.”