On a maximum wage

I was asked for my opinion on a maximum wage. They asked for a short piece.

So it’s like a sawn-off both barrels.

The idea of a maximum wage is as close to drivel as we’ll hear outside a Greta Thunberg speech. ……

25 thoughts on “On a maximum wage”

  1. I’m not sure about your answer, Tim. Surely there ought to be maximum rates for routine jobs done in the public sector. For example, is a Vice Chancellor of a small and rather inconsequential University really worth £0.5 million? (to cite just one example)

  2. Love the pugnacious B’Stardish pic, right next to that of the elderly, simpering soy-grandad.

    It’s like Duran’s Rio video for those of mature years: Goths* are smited by when-can-I-get-laid New Romantics.

    Have a bit of a soft spot for Goths, if they’re not too drippy. Recall the beautiful yowl of All About Eve?

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    The fact that they can’t get anyone to provide a second advocacy for it should be enough to demonstrate its a crap idea.

  4. The top hourly rates are rarely CEOs (ignore Deontay Wilder vs Beazale: he had to put in thousands of hours training before he got into the ring)

  5. It’s just envy. Personal envy.

    How can anyone be worth that much? So much more than me!

    People disconnected from the real world. Yes, the photos are revealing 🙂

    Got the ultra-left (and they are ultra) complaining that the owner of Inditex though his Foundation has spent €400 million on providing the latest (and I mean the latest) cancer treatment kit for Spanish hospitals after a long consultation with the health services here.

    ‘No charidee puleese. Tax him to the hilt, the bastar*’.

    He has been avoiding taxes….. Yeah? I bet their compliance dept. are thrilled.

    Inditex is exemplary in every way. And when they are not they sort it out. They are the biggest contributor to the Spanish exchequer and Amancio Ortega (he owns over 50%) is the 6th richest man in the world.

    Envy, envy, envy.

    As Tim keeps pointing out, Nordhaus (was it?) showed that only 3% of the wealth created in these situations goes to the top dog. (or summat like dat?). The real wealth is for the rest of us.

    The patients are happy though. They’ve jumped three generations of kit and now we have best in class gear.

  6. When I took the survey, there was only one vote for a max wage. A few don’t knows, but the majority was against.

  7. Genuine economic question.

    How much of “the wealthy” (or really, “high income”) get their money primarily from wages, versus from running their own business?

    Difficulties defining these things (e.g. self-employed service providers) accepted. But I can’t see how you can “maximum wage” an unsalaried business owner, for example.

  8. Ted S, Catskill Mtns, NY, USA

    Have a bit of a soft spot for Goths, if they’re not too drippy. Recall the beautiful yowl of All About Eve?

    I never thought of Anne Baxter or Bette Davis as goth.

  9. @ MBE
    Virat Kohli got £1.87m and Dhoni £16.5m in wages for 16 one-day games in the 2019 IPL, so a bit over £1m per day. Premier League footballers make tens of millions, so there are examples that the “useful idiots” can use to argue for a maximum wage.
    But this is just a first step towards a maximum income with a tax rate of 100% (or 101% in 1970’s Britain) on the excess.

  10. You’d just end up with compensation in other forms to get around it. Laws which make honest people dishonest should generally be avoided.

  11. Maximum wage of £40,000 for ALL public sector clerking jobs–regardless of inflated titles. CEO=jumped up Town Clerk.

  12. Brilliant by the Rob.
    PJ expressed this well too in ‘Eat The Rich’. If you cap the price of beef, then the people who produce beef will sell it in the unofficial market where it turns out that the price of beef is what the price of beef would be in a free market plus the cost of enforcement of the new rules and a weighted cost due to the risk of being caught.
    If this doesn’t happen then no-one produces beef and no-one benefits from consuming beef.

  13. And who determines what that maximum is?
    If I sell 500,000 books, who decides that all my sales from the next 500,000 books are to be confiscated?
    Or 50,000 books. And how do they decide?
    If *I* want to sell more of my labour to receive more reward for the sale of my labour, the only people who should have any input to how much reward for my labour I should receive is the people chosing to pay for that labour.

    It’s like the current thoughts: you don’t “need” that pension/savings, we’re going to steal them. Whatever we deem you “”need”” shall be what you shall have access to.

  14. Yea Gods! Can you beat them around the head with the image-resize club? I found myself fetching a five-foot wide image just so that I could use *my* bandwidth to resize it to fit my one-foot-wide display.

  15. Dennis the Peasant

    First, let’s note that Mark Reiff doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable with the idea that he himself is earning far more than either the average American or the average Englishman. He was most assuredly pulling down a very healthy six figure income at both UC-Davis and Harvard.

    Second, “maximum wage” is, in his own mind, going to be set at an amount he has no chance of ever receiving. That, no doubt, accounts for much of his enthusiasm for the concept.

    Third, if you look a Reiff’s bio you’ll find that he’s written four books, each of which has the sort of title you’d expect to find above a Richard Murphy TRUK blog post. In short, he’s an over-educated fool.

  16. Dennis the Peasant

    I never thought of Anne Baxter or Bette Davis as goth.

    That’s because they weren’t. I think Mr. Lud has got into the brandy.

  17. Anyone who asks if there should be a maximum wage should get the minimum wage.

    But then that would be interfering with the marketplace. Is it okay to interfere with the marketplace for those who would interfere with the marketplace?

  18. Does Prof Reiff not realize that most of this super high “earnings” garnered by some executives come from equity incentives, and that there is no precise way of know at the time these awards are granted what their eventual value might be?

  19. All About Eve was also a 1980s prog rock Goth and folk group.

    And it was voddy ackshually, occifer. Hic.

  20. in the preamble…
    “Cuba and Egypt count among the most well-known late examples of the implementation of the maximum wage in modern times. In Cuba, an active law on maximum wage fixes a monthly wage ceiling of 20 U.S. dollars.”

    Cuba 20 bucks a month MAXIMUM! jaisus,, that can’t be true.

  21. JG- so basically its 20 bucks hard currency a month. Just as much a capital control as it is a wage policy. A very bad example. Especially when Mark was talking about CEOs.


  22. MBE- these two examples there’s absolutely no way you can use to make the case for applying to UK or a USA or a Germany.

  23. @HB

    Indeed, if they were to say “nothing remotely comparable has been tried, about time someone had a bash at it”, that would be one thing. Not exactly well thought through, but it’s at least on the level in terms of truthfulness. “No more than twenty bucks a month for greedy wannabe capitalists works in Cuba, let’s try something like that here” is quite another thing – it puts up its own flashing banner declaring how barmy it is.

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