by Juliette Akinyi Ochieng | August 5th, 2014
When did being in a majority with respect to a given opinion become the sole prerequisite for the validity of that opinion? Even Christians, who have a long record at their disposal, can’t seem to grasp a simple pattern: when the majority is moving in one direction, it is often wise to move in the opposite direction.
This phenomenon is called the Bandwagon Fallacy, which is
committed by arguments that appeal to the growing popularity of an idea as a reason for accepting it as true. They take the mere fact that an idea suddenly attracting adherents as a reason for us to join in with the trend and become adherents of the idea ourselves.
This is a fallacy because there are many other features of ideas than truth that can lead to a rapid increase in popularity. Peer pressure, tangible benefits, or even mass stupidity could lead to a false idea being adopted by lots of people. A rise in the popularity of an idea, then, is no guarantee of its truth.
There are countless examples from which to choose, but here’s one relevant to August of 2014: that raising the minimum wage benefits any employee base. It’s easy to figure out why this is false.
- If an employer must pay his employees a higher minimum wage,
- The fewer employees that employyer will be able to afford, and separately
- Producers of goods and services will, naturally raise their prices.
Therefore high minimum wage produces fewer jobs and higher prices.
But don’t try to tell majority of minimum wage earners this or any minimum wage advocate this. Most of both groups think that more of anything–especially paper bank notes– is better. Tell to the Zimbaweans.
“Majority rules” are two words that should scare the crap out of any thinking person.
Like Dr. Sowell, I wonder if thinking has been abandoned. Or maybe it has merely been squashed by covetousness.
The results are the same, in the long run.
Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!