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minimum wage for programmers

    It is my claim that paying programmers the minimum wage is the only ethical system that serves the good of society.

    In this blog post I will attempt to show that there would be a dramatic improvement in the quality of prorgamming if programmers were never paid more than the minimum wage.

    Currently there is a great discrepency between the pay of the highest and lowest paid programmers. This difference in pay lacks any reasonable justification and is a major social injustice.

    As late as the 1970s, most programmers were socially inept outcasts whose only skills were mathematics and logic. Once business and society started pushing programmers with Asperger’s and autism aside in favor of rich, white, middle class, American young men, all pretense of assigning jobs based on merit were completely discredited. See my previous article on lack of diversity in large U.S. tech corporations.

    As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce points out, the minimum wage is completely unethical. Legislated minimum wages wrongly hurt the profits of the stockholders (and as Milton Friedman pointed out in 1970, the only “social responsibility” of business is to “increase its profits” and all other purposes are “pure and unadulterated socialism”), artificially inflate the cost of labor, and tend to lock the poorest members of society out of jobs.

    Labor is a business expense. Under U.S. law requiring that corporations only operate in the interest of the stockholders (upheld by the courts in numerous stockholder lawsuits), it is actually illegal as well as immoral to take any business action that fails to cut labor expense as much as is possible.

    Currently, the only limit on lowering the pay of programmers is the minimum wage, a law that is clearly and unambigiously unethical and immoral.

    Ideally, programmers would not be paid anything at all. Many Silicon Valley corporations already provide free meals (only because those are tax-free and it is impossible for any animal, including humans, to survive without food, and three months of $198 a month SNAP [food stamps] benefits are clearly insufficient for the long term). Providing clothing branded with the corporate logo would serve as a legitimate form of advertising. Many Silicon Valley corporations have large grass lawns that would be more than sufficient for programmers and their families to set up homeless camps. Federal law requires all emergency rooms to provide medical care in emergencies were there is a serious likelihood of loss of limb or life, so even those who can’t afford to purchase the documentation required to be eligible for ObamaCare assistance will still be able to get the absolute minimum medical care necessary. Until the public schools are replaced by private church schools, the children of programmers can continue to receive an education.

    As you can see, all of the essential needs of programmers and their families can be met without corporations paying any money to their labor force. The minimum wage is clearly unnecessary.

    With either the minimum wage or no pay at all, barriers to minorities and third world populations obtaining jobs at major Silicon Valley corporations are completely removed. The lack of diversity at major U.S. tech firms would be solved overnight.

    This system (either minimum wage or no pay at all) would greatly improve the quality of programming in Silicon Valley and worldwide.

    By removing any pay for programming work, you automatically get rid of every prorgammer who is in it just for the money. Only those who really want to program computers would be left.

    And programmers would naturally self-select only the most socially noble programming work. The effect of Dilbertish management idiocy would be removed from the system.

    Programming would be completely decoupled from artificial business considerations, such as number of customers, amount of sales, or size of a corporation.

    Programmers would vie for jobs based on how inherently interesting the work actually is.

    Only the most important programming work would ever get done.

    Outlawing pay for programmers would eliminate one of the most serious harms to stockholders that currently occurs at tech corporations and would focus all computer programming to be exclusively on work that served a great social purpose.

    For the sake of society, please lobby your Congressional representative to pass a federal law regulating interstate commerce forbidding any computer programmer from ever being paid more than the minimum wage.

    The most recent of my free, open-source self-contained development environment is at stable version, and is intended to bring a programming environemtn to the poorest children in the world (running on extreme low cost computers).


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