I have another entry to add to Joe’s list of questions for “historicist traditionalists.”
Do traditionalists disavow economic laws that transcend place and time? That is, do they believe that a minimum wage law in Saudi Arabia should be judged by different standards than a minimum wage law in the United States?
I get the feeling from Ben’s response to my earlier attacks on traditionalism that the answer is “yes.” (Ben says: “If the Saudi Arabians want a more libertarian culture, then they should develop one within their own cultural context.”) If so, could someone please enlighten me as to how raising the costs of labor will tend to not discourage employment in Saudi Arabia or wherever else? (That is: tell me how raising the minimum wage, wherever you are, will not have the tendency to keep employment lower than it otherwise would be–which is different from the question of whether there may be some situations in which a minimum wage increase is accompanied by either stagnant or increasing employment rates.)
Conversely, if the answer to my question is “no,” then haven’t traditionalists given the whole game away? They will have recognized an objective criterion independent of any tradition, and standing in judgment of all traditions.