Friday, June 6, 2014

Are People in Seattle Free?

By Michael S. Rozeff

What is freedom? To have freedom is to have decision rights to act, exclusive of initiating violence or violent threats against other persons. Freedom is a general right to act as one wants without restraint by other persons, as long as one does not interfere forcibly with their same general right.

No one in America is free. Government violently interferes in countless innocent actions of its citizens, thereby curtailing their general right to act. But the Seattle question is meant to spotlight a special case, which is the fact that the Seattle government has passed a $15 minimum wage. Is someone free who is told that he or she must not pay anyone less than $15 an hour? Or $12 an hour? Or $1 an hour? Or any legislated pay rate? If a potential employer cannot contract with a potential employee for doing work at a price, an innocent action involving no violence by either, we cannot possibly say that the employer is free. And neither is the potential employee free who is forbidden from accepting an agreed upon pay rate less than the legislated minimum.

No one in America is free. America is not a free country. Legislation like that in Seattle infringes on the general right to act that we call freedom. It reduces freedom. Great numbers of American laws reduce freedom.

Obama speaks this day of “America’s commitment to human freedom”, but the U.S. government and other American governments continually restrict human freedom. In numerous cases, they do not even know what freedom is, offering perverse definitions of what it is and claiming that their laws are enhancing freedom. In other instances, they knowingly curtail freedom for the sake of some other supposed values.

The above originally appeared at


  1. If Seattle passed the increase to keep the cheap labor lobby out, are libertarians going to dance like marionettes for the for the cheap labor lobby?

    No dog. Fight.

  2. The EPJ community needs to take a look at this:
    Rossini must dissect this line by line. It begs for it.