Logical Fallacies

Non sequitur

Latin for “it does not follow,” the non sequitur is a common logical fallacy.  The statement itself may be true or false, but the conclusion it purports to support, doesn’t actually follow from the statement.

An example of this would be:

  1. Humans are mammals
  2. Dogs are mammals
  3. Therefore, humans are dogs

An example of a non sequitur in political debate is as follows:

  1. The federal government might raise the minimum wage
  2. Only X amount of people even make the minimum wage
  3. Therefore, only X amount of people would benefit from a  minimum wage increase

The first two parts are indeed true, but the conclusion is false.  As of March 8, 2014, the federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour and it may be raised to $10/hour.  So in fact, anyone making anything below $10.00/hour ($7.50, $8.00, $8.50, etc) would benefit from the increase.  And in fact, at the time of this writing, about 1/4 of private sector US workers make less than $10/hour*

* On the subject of non sequiturs, it should not be assumed that 1/4 of the workforce would necessarily benefit from a minimum wage increase to $10/hour, since some workers can legally receive below the minimum wage.  On the other hand, raising the minimum wage also has a ripple effect, which leads to an increase in pay for employee who make above the minimum wage employers for slightly more skilled employees.

Demosthenes
Demosthenes enjoys and engages in such activies as reading, sleeping, problem solving, hiking, martial arts, bar hopping and Netflix binge-watching (though not all at the same time).