Tim Worstall, over at Forbes, is one of my favorite writers. I generally find myself in agreement with him, and when I don’t it causes me to reevaluate my thoughts. However, there is one item I wish to disagree with him on. The other day, he wrote:
Also perhaps, to wonder at how various left liberals are still making the mistake that a medieval saint was making near a millennium ago, that a Greek philosopher was making near three millennia ago. For the truth is that there just isn’t any such thing as a “just price.” There’s only one that clears that market and any number that don’t.
I agree that there is no one just price, but I disagree that there is no such thing as a just price. The just price is whatever price is agreed upon by the parties involved. If a man agrees to sell his labor for $7/hr, and another decides to buy it for that price, then $7/hr is just. Neither’s rights were violated, no injustice has been visited upon them, so the price is just. But, if one man held a gun (either literal or proverbial) to another’s and said “you will work for $7/hr,” then that price now becomes unjust, since the laborer’s rights were violated; an injustice has been visited upon him.