Sunday, May 15, 2005

Thomas Sowell confronts demands for Wal-Mart to pay based on "Need" rather than "Worth".

One of my favorite books of all time is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. True, it's way long-winded, and is too preachy, but its theme and message perhaps reflects many of views (and fears) within a society that, among other things, constantly panders to the "needs" of individuals instead of empowering them to earn their "wants". You should read it if you haven't. It's a monster of a book, and I'll admit, I didn't read it either, but heard it on tape (cd if you want to be technical) during a 24 hour drive from California to Texas.


The fashionable notion of "a living wage" is a wage that will support a family of four. And, sure enough, the New York Times finds a Wal-Mart employee who complains that he is not making "a living wage."

How is he living, if he is not making a living wage?

Should people be paid according to what they "need" instead of according to what their work is worth? Should they decide how big a family they want and then put the cost of paying to support that family on somebody else?

If their work is not worth enough to pay for what they want, is it up to others to make up the difference, rather than up to them to upgrade their skills in order to earn what they want?... (full article)

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