Originally posted by shavixmir
There is no unemployment in socialism. And no homelessness.
I presume you mean a natural result of capitalism.
Consider a "socialist" measure: the minimum wage law.
It seems like a compassionate idea. Why not make life easy for the poorer workers and stiff it to the richer employers? Why not transfer money from the housed to the homeless?
(Ignore the fact that most richer people today were poorer in the past, and most poorer people today will be richer in future, so that "richer" or "poorer" are not essentially and eternally fixed classes, but highly fluid categories through which people pass.)
But the actual effects of the minimum wage law are counterproductive.
It's key effect is to reduce employment for anyone who is not productive enough to merit it at the critical wage. This is because, although employers can be legally obliged to pay someone they do hire above a certain amount, they cannot be legally obliged to hire someone for the purpose of paying them above a certain amount.
And rightly so: why should employers be forced to incur a loss, and thereby jeoparize a business that might otherwise provide consumers, including other people who are employed at a lower wage, with a good or service they want at a price they are willing to pay? Is it because they have the temerity to make a profit at the same time--a profit being an economic signal that one has produced what others wish to consume, and that further resources should be focused to producing it? Selfish, heartless, pigs! Intolerable!
In any case, the actual result of the minimum wage law, whatever its noble intention, is that people at the very bottom--including the homeless--never get on the employment ladder to begin with. The bottom rung is cut off. They never develop their skills or lengthen their CV. They languish and fester. In conjunction with social welfare, which permits them to subsist rather than to aspire, they lose their work ethic and develop an entitlement complex, happily consuming wealth for themselves, not caring to produce it for others.
Are sink estates, where generations of families have not worked, really caused by all those selfish employers in the local area? Does Sam sit on the couch all day because Suzie opens a Starbucks?
This is the zero-sum ideology that socialism preaches. It was refuted even in Marx's day: against prediction, the impoverished grew slowly richer, not still poorer. In reality, the interests of employers and employees are positively correlated, not negatively correlated.
Getting back to the minimum wage, here is another option. The government could up its game: it could make employers its slaves! It could force employers to hire the poorer at a particular wage. If charity doesn't come natually, coerce it into existence!
Now, that would provide just the incentive entrepreneurs need to start a business employ all those raw employed people, right? It's just a matter of a sufficiently enlightened and just minority of people, with sufficiently concentrated political power, taking measures to force the wicked unwilling employers to do the bidding of the saintly employees, right? And then utopia will result, right? I mean, given World history, nothing could go wrong with trusting elites to override liberty right?
Voluntary exchange, worldly ambition, incentives for enterprise--there are all unnecessary for maximizing production of the very wealth that will be redistributed, right? Better we all chew crusts together than that the poorer munch burgers and the richer dine out, right?