Labor Unions and the Minimum Wage: “We Got Ours — Screw You.”

by Gary North

Fred Reed wrote a gem of a rhetorical essay, “Capitalism and the Minimum Wage: ‘I Got Mine, Screw You.’” I was so impressed that I stole it, almost word for word, changing only “capitalism” to “trade unionism.”

Reed is a master of rhetoric. When his logic is sound, he is devastating — a model.

The problem comes in this case from his focus on producers: capitalists. This is mercantilist. The free market focuses on consumers. Why? Because they own the most marketable commodity: money. This point was made by Carl Menger in his final essay on economics in 1892. Ludwig von Mises wrote The Theory of Money and Credit (1912) in terms of this principle.

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