Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Let's Just Pay Black People Less!

That will solve our economic and racial disparities, according to Walter William's latest article. Or at least the minimum wage subsidizes racist hiring practices (which has been a Republican argument for a while now).
What minimum wage laws do is lower the cost of, and hence subsidize, racial preference indulgence. After all, if an employer must pay the same wage no matter whom he hires, the cost of discriminating in favor of the people he prefers is cheaper. This is a general principle. If filet mignon sold for $9 a pound and chuck steak $4, the cost of discriminating in favor of filet mignon is $5 a pound, the price difference. But if a law mandating a minimum price for chuck steak were on the books, say, $7 a pound, it would lower the cost of discrimination against chuck steak.
This is again an interesting argument - black people are, as near as I can tell, Chuck State, while white people are Filet Mignon.

At this point, I'd like to remind everybody once again that Walter E. Williams is in fact Black.

There are two ways to take this argument - one is to assume that Williams does believe that Blacks are really inferior to whites, and that it creates a market inefficiency to pretend that they are equal. I'll be charitable and assume he probably doesn't actually believe that.

The other is that white racist business owners believe blacks to be inferior because they are not exposed to them - as blacks enter the workforce making far less than whites, White business owners will realize how great they are, and will abandon their racist ways. This is a bit of a stretch, of course. We saw how southern employment of Blacks did not, in fact, lead to Black equality. Quite the opposite - White Factory owners were smart enough to play whites and blacks off of each other, screwing both in the process.

This theory, that white racists will like blacks if they are able to pay them less, is contradicted by his own parable. I mean how much exposure to Chuck Steak will make you prefer it to Filet Mignon?

No comments: