I've Fired The New York Times
For years I subscribed to The New York Times online. Then I took the Sunday Times only for a couple of years but they managed to annoy me nearly as much as the daily edition. (I still have the online version, mainly so that I can check in on the latest balderdash by Paul Krugman and leave a comment busting his bubble once in awhile. (Of course, his head is far too big to ever pay attention to readers' comments!)
In time I decided I want to see less and less of The Times in any form, so I subscribed to The New York Observer and The New York Sun. I get both online as well as. They are both more easily read, since they aren't pretending to cover the universe and so readers can keep up with their offerings.
Okay, so what's the problem? Nothing much except that in a recent editorial in The New York Observer one of those critiques of impossible public policies is offered but without the proper moral high ground backing it. This one, titled "It's the Economy, Silly," published in the February 25th issue, goes after Mr. Obama for his insistence that the minimum wage be raised, nationwide. It points out a lot of problems with the idea of the minimum wage per se, how it leads to unemployment among the unskilled throughout the country, how it often bankrupts businesses that just cannot afford it and how it mostly costs customers on whom the increased costs are, of course, dumped by businesses that cannot absorb the extra production cost imposed on them in this artificial way.
Then what is wrong? Well, The New York Observer ends its proper and meaty critique with the following sheepish statement: "Mr. Obama's goal of a prosperous work force is admirable. But he must reconsider the best way of achieving it." Wrong!
There is nothing admirable about the government even just trying to impose a wage policy upon businesses in a supposedly free-market economy. And I remember very clearly when Mr. Obama stood up during the first election campaign for the presidency and announce to the American people that contrary to his unfair critics, he is a champion of the free market. But, of course, he is nothing of the sort.
No one who advocates governments imposing labor costs or wages in any country could possibly be a champion of the free-market system of economics. It is a flat out contradiction to make that claim while advocating minimum wage laws and hikes! It's akin to claiming to be opposed to slavery except from 4 to 11 PM every day!
What is worse is that none of the mainstream media identifies this outlook by the president and those who share his views as something bizarre and unjust, indeed tyrannical. Even The New York Observer, with its pretty sensible economic philosophy, cannot bite the bullet and fess up to the fact that imposing a minimum wage on the country is morally vicious, reminiscent not of free-market advocacy but of elements of the Soviet planned economy!
Tibor Machan is the R. C. Hoiles Professor of Business Ethics & Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business & Economics, Chapman University in Orange, CA.
Posted by Szatyor39 on 03/09/13 11:41 AM
Firing The Times does not mean it no longer exists! I can be fired from my current job and still have or find a different one! Also, I can let my cook go but still hire a different cook long or short term. It is the relentless statism of The Times that is likely to be an irritant to Machan. But the paper contains other stuff that can be valued.
Posted by timoore on 03/08/13 06:57 AM
Good article by Dr.Tibor and good feedback, especially by Friend of John Galt.
Posted by Friend_of_John_Galt on 03/07/13 09:18 PM
1. I dropped subscriptions to all main stream print media long ago (2002 or so). I started with my local paper when day after day when the paper presented ad hominem attacks on the Bush administration (rather than providing thoughtful, logical criticism). I then allowed various subscriptions to a multitude of other magazines expire without renewal -- all "mainstream" magazines that supported various leftist viewpoints. I came to the conclusion that there was absolutely no reason for me to subsidize those who wish to destroy what little is left of our country.
2. If the minimum wage was such a good idea, then why not increase it, not just to $9.00 per hour, but to $900 per hour (or $9000 per hour)? For most, it's easy to understand that at $900 per hour few people could produce enough for an employer to be able to afford such employees. This is, of course, true at $9.00 per hour as well.
As a (former) small business owner, I could only afford to add employees when the value that their work created exceeded my payroll costs (including the fees and taxes I had to pay in their behalf). Although only one of my employees earned minimum wage (but eventually earned higher compensation) -- and a couple of outstanding employees earned well above the typical wage for their positions -- the calculus was always, does the value of the production exceed the cost of labor, capital, and materials used to produce it? If so, my business would be profitable and I could continue in operation. If not, I would be depleting the working capital and would eventually be forced to cease business operations. It's really as simple as that.
Of course, the point is that many potential beginning employees are not worth hiring at current or increased minimum wage rates. Such employees are a net cost to a business until they learn the basic skills of an employee, including being able to arrive at work on time, sober, and ready to work. Then applying themselves to the work and delivering value to the clients exceeding the total costs of the production. My one employee that started at minimum wage was a part time worker who was a high school student... that proved to be a good worker and quickly learned the various tasks and applied himself with good dedication to efficient production -- generating value well in excess of the cost of the inputs. Once he reached that level, I was able to give him a raise, commensurate with the value of his output.
I should note that during the several years I owned the business that there were a few promising workers, who proved incapable of being able to produce more value than the costs of the input. Those employees became former employees quite quickly.
To me, there should be no minimum wage at all. Indeed, at one employer, I know of supervisors who'd started with the company many years earlier (when minimum wages were not an issue), getting paid (for example) to light the fire in the stove on cold mornings and to sweep out the store -- as 12 or 14 year olds. The value of this work was low as was their wage -- but it gave these youngsters a small sum of money (that most used to help out their families) and valuable lessons in how to work (one such person had worked for the company for 49 years before his retirement).
Posted by seer on 03/07/13 06:56 PM
I am Sure the Times are very distressed over your decision. LOL Sometimes Ego can be blinding.
Posted by victorbarney on 03/07/13 02:27 PM
Dr. Tibor Machan you're the best, but as Obama certainly knows, you also must realize that women & blacks, both are "gatherer's," and they make-up about 74% of our population! Thus, as Obama, they too are into a "welfare-statist" mentality! Statistics do not lie & within the standard error of measurement from a good representation sample of the targeted population are uncanny in accuracy! Again, just saying what is from a retired statistician...
Posted by tanstaffl on 03/07/13 01:03 PM
Obama is a welfare-statist and an advocate of the tribal premise theory of wealth (see Ayn Rand's What is Capitalism). Politicans cannot pronounce themselves to be advocates of anything free- including free markets- since they are the instruments of involuntary exchange also known as force.
Posted by Hoss on 03/07/13 11:42 AM
The title is, "I've Fired The New York Times".
So. You didn't fire the Times. You still pay them to spew their filth all over society. And the article is a complaint about a different paper (why would anyone be surprised at mindlessness of the daily cud served up by them either?).
The article should have been titled, "You Get More Of What You Pay For".
Posted by lpdictum on 03/07/13 09:41 AM
While I've cancelled my paper subscription, I still check the NYT online version occasionally to see what the power elites are up to. I believe Bernard Goldberg was correct when he asserted in his book "Bias" that all other [controlled] print and broadcast media take their cue from the front page of NYT for the daily news agenda. Skimming the NYT headlines will tell you exactly what all other controlled news outlets will be printing or broadcasting in one quick scan. I quit reading Krugman (and Nick Kristoff, and the rest of the editorial staff) to keep my blood pressure down.
Posted by mava on 03/07/13 09:32 AM
Dr. Tibor Machan,
That's the problem. I often ask myself, what if raising minimum wage (in this instance it is about minimum wages) worked? Would that mean we should be doing it?
I agree with you, of course not! Because there is no high moral ground behind that idea, whatsoever.
The moral ground behind raising wages is the reversed Robin Hood, a high power individual that lives in luxury by theft and violence, issuing a mandate to take from those who do have shoes to give to those who doesn't want to get any shoes anyway and therefore walks barefeet.
Of course, Obama wants higher wages simply to shift all nominal pay-scale up and into a higher tax bracket, as Joelg below pointed out.
One question though? Why would you "subscribe" to anything? This makes you sound as if you were way older than you are. Not cool.
Posted by mava on 03/07/13 09:21 AM
Very sharp mind there. Most people will never see why raise the minimum wage beyond the lame explanations that the government itself offers.
Posted by Joelg on 03/07/13 04:05 AM
If Mr. Obama really cared about those working for low wages, he would not have raised the payroll tax 2% this year. Cut the payroll tax, and the low wage worker has an instant take-home pay raise. Saves employers money, too.
Raising the minimum wage, also raises the government revenues. Perhaps the gov has crunched the numbers, and figures it will bring in more money regardless of job losses or reduced job creation. The government has armies of economist, and one might think someone somewhere has figured these things out.
Posted by elray on 03/07/13 02:24 AM
One way or another we are influenced by what we read, see and hear.
Modern views on how the human brain works show that "Stories" are very powerful.
Reading functions on a different level within the brain bypassing critical protection systems.
"Stories can be incredibly powerful therapeutic tools. They help bypass rigid views about life"
Click to view link
The sucess rate of HumanGivens therapy is testamony to how powerful these techniques can be.
Just as stories can be used to heal they can also be used in a negative fashion.
You may think you are in control but those words are sliping past your defences.
I belive our main defence/weapon is to Refuse to play "Their" game at every level, this includes not reading their pap.