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Minimum wageHere is part of my response to a reader who proposes a higher minimum wage of $15 an hour in the United States, arguing that it can result in higher pay with minimal price increases. But I ask, what about overall employment?

I have personally seen the case where an imposed higher than market wage has resulted in better pay with the same number of employees as there would otherwise be, and the company still being able to make a profit.

The example I’m referring to is a franchise coffee shop at the university I went to where the workers are unionized and get at least several dollars above the minimum wage.

While you are right about scenarios where an imposed minimum wage increase could result in big gains for affected employees with relatively minimal cost increases, one thing that generally will be affected is employment.

It is for that reason that I feel I don’t feel I should support restricting the job opportunities of others, and this is particularly noticeable with youth unemployment, where, due to other factors like a relatively high high school dropout rate of 15% and over, such students will have a difficult time seeking as many jobs at a highly increased minimum wage.

The university coffee shop is a special case, because of the power of the university in being able to regulate employment and competition of food options in light of a high on-campus demand.

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New York stock market index

When I applied for a pre-approved mortgage at the height of the financial crisis in early 2009, the bank asked for the current market value of my assets.

At the same time, many U.S. banks were marking their assets to model, meaning they could decide what to value them at based on a model they created.

While the very banks that marked their assets up based on pre-crash levels  to sell mortgages to customers on the basis of having the collateral, they expected something different from their customers. Namely, the current market value of their assets, which were mostly highly depreciated relative to a year prior.

The world’s richest man as of the end of 2010, Warren Buffett, before he turned his back on his principles, wrote in 2002:

In extreme cases, mark-to-model degenerates into what I would call mark-to-myth.

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A typical Wal-Mart discount department store i...

On the first weekend edition of 2011, LewRockwell.com featured the article by Gary North with the headline:

I’m Thankful for Shopping Malls
Gary North also appreciates strip malls, chain restaurants, Wal-Mart, and other glories of capitalist civilization.

In the article, Gary North writes:

Inside a Wal-Mart or a Target or a Sam’s Club, I have a range of choices so spectacular that nothing in my youth compares with it. There were no such local emporiums in my youth. The famous multi-story department stores did offer a wide range of choices, but not at low prices like today.

For a different perspective on Wal-Mart than the one presented by North, check out this interview with former Wal-Mart employee, Lamon Griggs, on Erskine Overnight, on December 19, 2010.

Griggs talks about his 2009 book, After the Verdict: You Be the Judge, wherein he describes the strong-arm tactics and arrogance exhibited by Wal-Mart and their legal team in silencing him for speaking up about business practices he witnessed.

The site walmartsubsidywatch.org tracks government subsidies received by Wal-Mart all across the U.S.

As a publicly-traded profit-seeking corporation, Wal-Mart is expected to generate the maximum return for its shareholders, as best determined by its Board of Directors, so it should be expected that they will take advantage of “free” handouts, from whatever source.

However, it is a very different matter for Gary North, writing for a site with the headline, “anti-state” and “pro-market,” to not utter a single word about the complicity of federal and state government representatives in providing these handouts at taxpayer’s expense, thereby disguising one way that Wal-Mart is able to offer the “low prices” that North refers to.

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