2 Stars for Steve Baba’s Book Detailing His Arguments Against Raising Minimum Wage – BOOK REVIEW

 

Cover Photo Obtained From Amazon


Title: TEN UNAVOIDABLE PROBLEMS WITH A “LIVING” MINIMUM WAGE: From 100% Waste of Your Money to Millions Unemployed

Author: Steve Baba, P.H.D.

Type of Book: eBook

Length: 117 pages 

Genre: Non-Fiction, Economics

Release Date: June 12, 2014

Publisher: EEENI Inc. 

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️

~ I received a free copy of this book from Amazon. 

FROM THE INTRODUCTION: 

“Using non-technical language and a dialogue format, this short book explains the problems with a high “living” minimum wage and the misleading minimum wage arguments. Economic concepts are presented in a Socratic discussion with a labor activist at McDonalds.”

MY REVIEW: 

According to the author, “… a high, living minimum wage is strategic folly from the start or as Milton Friedman stated, ‘a monument to the power of superficial thinking.'”

What the author is trying to prove to readers is that raising the minimum wage for workers to an actual living wage is a bad idea. 

Obviously Steve Baba does not get paid anything close to minimum wage. 

According to this book, “…EMPLOYMENT would not change or fall very slightly. But EMPLOYMENT, people working at jobs, is not the same as UNEMPLOYMENT which is people looking for jobs who can’t find jobs… the number of workers employed remained constant, but work supplied by other workers increased, so at $10 or $15 an hour, the supply of labor is greater than the demand for labor.” 

As far as I am concerned, this is incredibly flawed logic. He states that more people will be looking for work if the minimum wage is raised and he is probably correct about that. However, these people are already unemployed, it is just that their numbers are not included in unemployment statistics because they are not even looking for jobs currently. Some of these people are receiving welfare, some are receiving pensions, some are young people whose parents are covering their expenses. But, if the minimum wage was raised to a “living wage” of course these people would have an incentive to seek employment. They would have the opportunity to get off welfare or to supplement their pension income, etc. THIS IS A GOOD THING! 

Lives cannot be wholly measured by statistics, labels and numbers. Just because they are not officially labelled as unemployed, does not mean they aren’t employed. It just means that they are labelled something other than “unemployed”. 

I found it frustrating that the author who purports to have a Ph.D. Is trying to mislead people with this book. And, I feel that he is insulting the reader’s intelligence. 

He states that “It is 100% waste of the $7.75 pay increase since nobody is better off.” This is a total crock of crap. (Excuse my candour.) He uses the example of a stay-at-home Mom to try to prove his point. He says that by the Mom entering the workforce, the kids become “latch-key kids” and no one is better off. I would have to disagree. The kids would be much better off. By working for a decent, living wage, the mother is now able to afford to buy nutritious food for her children and is able to provide them with proper winter coats and boots rather than having to send them to school cold and miserable. Perhaps she might even be able to enroll them in sports or tutoring programs. Any or all of these examples could only come about if the mother was able to earn a decent, living wage and all of these examples enrich her children’s lives. 

I could refute just about everything Steve Baba writes about, but if I did that this review would be way too lengthy, so I will not do that. Instead, what I will do is give this book a rating of 2 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️ 

I found the “conversational” style that this book is written in to be extremely annoying. If this had been an actual conversation, it would not come across so stilted. It would also not be so adamantly one-sided. 

I also found the author to be condescending. He comes across as if he thinks the reader is ignorant and/or just plain stupid. In my opinion ‘talking down’ to your readers will not win you any fans. However, I also got the sense that the author would not care if he had fans or not. It is his opinion that is the right one and anyone that disagrees with him must be “stupid”. 

I am very glad that this book was free on Amazon because that means that I didn’t waste any money on it. I only wasted my time.  

While I disagree 100% with the author’s theories and I am doubtful that the author has much “real-world” experience with people who work for minimum wage, I do agree that his arguments might be persuasive to people who are in a similar socioeconomic class to his own. It is for that reason that I am willing to rate this book higher than I really want to. I rate it as 2 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Author Photo obtained from http://www.amazon.com

 
Steve Baba has a Ph.D. In Economics from the University of Maryland at College Park and has taught economics in USA, Europe and Asia. 

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