That pro-Europeans are tossers* and socialists are idiots** is well known. Logic therefore dictates that pro-European socialists are idiot tossers and nothing about this proposal for a European minimum wage will persuade anyone otherwise. Because it’s not going to be a minimum wage and it’s not even going to be European. Worse, for the logic of the thing, it’s actually agreeing with the idea that there shouldn’t be a minimum wage at all – for it’s agreeing that there are differences in the minimum wage that should be paid.
So, idiot tosserism:
The EU’s centre-left is planning to introduce a continent-wide minimum wage to correct the bloc’s “neoliberal failures” if it wins control of the European Commission after this month’s elections. The socialist group, in which the UK Labour Party sits, could capture the commission presidency for the first time in decades, with Dutch social democrat Frans Timmermans as its candidate to replace Jean-Claude Juncker. With Brexit delayed the UK is set to participate in the elections on 23 May – and with a strong showing expected for Labour, it could be British MEPs that take the socialists over the line to be the biggest group in the European parliament. Udo Bullmann, leader of the parliament’s socialist group, told The Independent that the new EU-wide minimum wage should be set at around 60 per cent of the average salary in each member state. “It’s a European-wide system of minimum wage we are out for; it’s one of our cornerstones. We think that that should happen in all our member states, but not any minimum wage: we are talking about 60 per cent of the average wage as a target, criteria for a European-wide system,” he said.
Think of what the argument in favour of a minimum wage is. That there’s some value to work. Some knowable and absolute value to an hour of labour. Less than which it is unfair, possibly even immoral, to pay people. No, we don’t agree around here but that’s what the argument actually is.
Now think about this as it is being proposed. This knowable value is different in different places. Does not apply to all people. The hour of labour from a German – the hour of labour from someone simply in Germany – is worth more than the hour of labour from a Romanian. That is indeed what is being said here, median incomes being lower in Romania than they are in Germany.
Well, if different labour in different places by different people is worth different amounts of money then we’ve just exploded the essential argument that there is some minimum amount that labour is worth, haven’t we? So, by their very proposal for a European minimum wage our socialists have demonstrated, provided proof perfect, that there should not be a minimum wage.
No, really, think about this a bit. If it’s true that the moral minimum is different in Romania than Germany then why isn’t it also true that it’s different in Kensington and Kelsall or Keithley? Berlin or Bad Schandau? Bucharest or Buftea? If a European minimum wage doesn’t work because of economic differences over geography then nor does a national. Nor even regional – given the populations there should be a wage difference between Twerton and Oldfield Park*** – actually, especially so.
Idiot tossers, European socialists – but then I repeat myself.
*We’re in an election period so let’s not beat around the bush here.
***That’s just being realistic