The Minimum Wage Law: Will Paying Workers More Raise Their Productivity? Not Likely.

From: M
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2019 11:49 AM
Subject: On your article in Ethics & Politics

Dear Walter, I’ve just skimmed over your article on the minimum wage law. It’s certainly provocative. A rather basic question strikes me: how is it possible that you do not take into account the increased surplus on labour? Did you considered that the minimum wage has positive effects for the dispute between unions and capitalists? I’m not sure that the minimum wage institution (in the sense of a principle in labour law) does intend to promote employment. I hope that you also write a sequel about how stupid is the neoliberal credo and its everlasting and never-coming-true promise of getting rid of poverty.

Best regards,


Dear M:

That’s because I don’t things there’s much to the theory that paying people more will boost their productivity so that they’ll be worth the higher wage set by law. If there were really true, entrepreneurs would have an incenive to do this in the absense of the minimum wage law.

Best regards,



3:23 pm on May 5, 2019