Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Right and wrong capitalism

Announce you are setting your company's minimum wage at $70,000, probably above the market rate for some of those covered, and people line up to opine.  This NY Times piece reports on some of the views. But this is not a case of a legally mandated minimum wage. So let the employer/owner (of Gravity Payments of Seattle in this case) go forward with his experiment. As far as I can tell, all of the commentators cited have no direct stake in the outcome.

The real stake we all have is in the survival of trial-and-error entrepreneurialism. These are real life experiments involving willing participants. My own impulse is not to buy a stake in Gravity Payments. But I can be wrong in my skepticism. If so, I pay the price as I sit on the sidelines.

With all of the talk of "secular stagnation" (what is it? what are its causes and possible cures?), many people lose sight of the big picture.  We will do well if and only if entrepreneurial trial-and-error capitalism survives. If it does not (the real crowding out we should think about), we will have lost the game.

Here is the wrong capitalism -- all around us. (H/T Newmark's Door).

Here is a book on the entrpreneurialism that I have just started to read.