It was nice to receive this ask because the rest of tumblr thinks I am such a proletariat-hating capitalist.
1. The question of whether a minimum wage is bad for low-skilled workers is far from settled, and anyone who claims that it is either unambiguously good or bad just hasn’t done much reading on the topic.
2. Why would people contribute to society when they can get things for free? Well, people are slightly more complicated than you’re giving them credit for, but no matter. Welfare is not a rational alternative to work in the United States or anywhere else in the industrialized world, and instituting a minimum income would not make it a rational alternative to work, because those checks would go to people who have jobs as well as those who don’t.
3. Just as a general point, I think there is a habit among a lot of people (myself included) to take one economics class in college and think that we are experts, but generally it’s better just to do some research and understand that even economists who do this stuff for a living disagree all the time. Economics is not a science like other sciences: No one is definitively right. (That said, Keynes came out of the Great Recession looking pretty damned good, even according to his detractors.)