From our Swindon Correspondent:
From the FT
Prolific a Uk-based crowd-work platform for surveys and market research, imposes an hourly pay floor by calculating the average time it takes to complete each task. But while the UK’s minimum wage for over-25s is £8.72 an hour, Prolific’s is £5 an hour.
This is one of the reasons that I object to all minimum wage laws. Because there are circumstances around the things you do. Risks, the amount you use your brain, how much you just like what you are doing, who you are working with and what else you can be doing.
I often get little questions from Google about places I’ve visited. Like, does a restaurant do take aways. In exchange, I get vouchers to rent a movie. What’s my hourly rate to do this? No idea. But I’m stood at a bus stop, I have nothing better to do, so why not answer it? It’s also making maps more useful for everyone else, so let’s count that as a bit of philanthropy. Maybe someone who is disabled can find a place with good access better.
We can count so many other things that are similar. Brass bands that get tea and sandwiches for playing at a band stand on a Sunday. I’m pretty sure they’re on less than minimum wage. People who clear litter out of the canal. They get £0 for their efforts, so well under the minimum wage. Why is £0 acceptable, but £5 isn’t?
We do charity things because there’s some personal non-financial benefit to us: our canal looks nicer, maybe a warm fuzzy, maybe some social interaction as you get to hang out with others. And there’s degrees of that everywhere in life. Actors get paid far more for appearing as a villain in a superhero movie than a film of The Seagull, because the work they really like doing is Chekhov. Programmers quit corporate work to do startups because they hate the corporate work, not because it’s better paid in startup land.