(Original post by CyclopsRock)
Thanks for the well structured reply!
Well there are a number of metrics upon which one can compete. Harrods doesn't have the economies of scale that Tesco has (or even Co-Op, as a relatively small supermarket) but it still has a large market based upon its reputation for quality.
There are a load of cafe's around where I work that are more expensive than Costa/Starbucks/Nero but get loads of customers because they offer better quality, or a fun atmosphere or their location is better. Price isn't the only metric by which small businesses can compete - service, quality, location etc. Usually these are the metrics that the huge businesses are forced to sacrificed to keep costs low.
Furthermore, if the inclination of people is towards large companies because of the products they offer (Be that price, quality, atmosphere etc) then do be it. The only alternative to that is actively handicapping said companies, and thus getting in the way of what people actually want, so that they have better access to things that presumably they do not want (otherwise the market would already be supporting such businesses).
I'd argue that there's a pretty huge difference between voluntarily giving your money to a company in exchange for a service, and involuntarily being forced to give up your money in return for some services that they may not want at all. Can you give me an example of a private company "seeping money" from hard working people? I mean, technically I suppose Waitrose "seep" money from me because I'm forced to buy food - but I could go to Tesco if I wanted, or Sainsburies, or grow my own food in a window box if I was a nutter. That's what makes the market different to government - it's very rare that you're actually forced to give your money to one company with no other options.
Well there may be some extreme libs, but scrapping the minimum wage really isn't an extreme policy. It was only introduced in 1997 in the first place! A lot of people - including myself - don't believe that people should be stopped from working voluntarily if they want to. Like most non-Libertarian policies, they come with good intentions but often have unfair or otherwise unintended side effects. In this case, it makes it very difficult for anyone who has low levels of skills to get a job. To make a point, imagine the minimum wage was £500 an hour. Very few companies could justify paying £500 an hour for most people, and we can safely assume that employment would collapse.
The only people who would keep their jobs (let's pretend, for the sake of simplicity, that the rest of the economy actually remained the same in terms of purchasing and whatnot) are people who gain their company more than that per hour. That's not many people!
The same is true when the minimum wage is only £7, only it affects far fewer people than it being £500. For those that it effects, though, it makes little difference. If someone is unskilled and lack employable skills, they might be willing to work for £5 an hour, and a shop or restaurant might be willing to hire them for £5 - but the government stops them entering into that voluntary agreement because it's telling the person that they're being exploited and so instead they have to go onto the dole. That's not really better, in my view. The majority of people earn more than the minimum wage, so I don't think we'd suddenly see a huge drop in everyone's wages. It would lower some wages, but I think it'd also increase employment
- it's like any sort of union really; Good for the people inside the union, bad for those that aren't in it.
I personally don't, but I think the system needs a great deal of reform. You're right though, there is a big split on this (and it's familiar cousin, intellectual property).
If you think it's the right party for you, you're welcome of course!