Soooo…..General Election tomorrow…
I spent today looking at manifestos. It hasn’t helped much – although I’m intrigued to know how the Tories got Nicole Kidman to pose for theirs (page 10 btw) – and neither does the knowledge that Alistair Burt has essentially already won this seat. Don’t worry, I’ll still be down the polling station in the morning, but a spoiled ballot is still the most likely outcome.
I sometimes wonder if the only way to find a candidate I’d vote for is to become one. That thought is still a long way off overcoming the primal sense of ickiness I have about election campaigning and the way politicians inevitably wind up speaking about things.
Anyhoo, what actually moved me to post tonight was a Facebook comment on the LVT group about this article:
It is also the case that a lot of the chronically homeless have substance abuse issues or mental health issues which may be improved by Housing First.
But interestingly, when there’s no free land, the general rate of wages is determined by a bit of a race to the bottom.
Consider the Irish potato famine. The Irish didn’t merely choose to eat only potatoes. They were economizing in order to keep their heads above water in lieu of rack-rents.
And the more they economized, the more average disposable income was available. So once the practice catches on the landlords immediately raise the rent in response because they can. Just like they have in Silicon Valley and Williston North Dakota and anywhere else when average disposable income rises.
Thus, wages are in large part determined by how uneconomical people are.
If all the drug addicts in the world stopped wasting their money on drugs, they’d soon have to waste it on rent.
So thank every person with wasteful spending habits for keeping your rent low.
Smokers, gamblers, etc. Here’s to you.
The ‘lowest that workers will accept’ part of Ricardo’s Law has always been the vaguest part of it to me, but the statement “wages are in large part determined by how uneconomical people are” triggered a bit of a lightbulb moment.
Turns out the 2nd Law of Temping* has greater application than I first realised.
Yes, Wages can sometimes be higher because labourers simply cannot conceive of being paid less. If they ever do find a way to make pay stretch better, the efficiency gains wind up in Rent eventually. The faux-libs would normally claim victory at this point “See!! It’s all voluntary!! Stop being a statist, you filthy statist!” They miss the point. This behaviour is in response to an inequity, not a cause of an inequality.
So we can add ‘self-reliance’ to the list of things that the Law of Rent corrupts….
*Fraggle’s 2nd Law of Temping reads: There is no reward for Efficiency.