23 Feb 2019
Dangers of a Minimum Wage Exposed
Constitution, Economics, Government Overreach, News

Dangers of a Minimum Wage Exposed 

Article from Reason by Veronique de Rugy.

We have a saying in France that goes something like this: With enough “ifs,” we could put Paris in a bottle. In other words, if you assume away all the difficulties of the real world, you can achieve miracles. This proverb was all I could think about when reading Ginia Bellafante’s recent column in The New York Times about making the case for a $33 minimum wage in the Big Apple.

While in her estimation, the $15 minimum wage that went into effect in NYC on Jan. 1 is a step in the right direction, she argues that it’s not enough if the goal is to enable a single parent with two school-age children there to meet his or her expenses. With that objective in mind, $33 an hour is necessary.

Many economic studies confirm the fact that while some employees will benefit from the mandated wage increase, many won’t. Businesses respond predictably to price changes, including changes in the price of labor. They may not all respond with equal speed or magnitude, but over time you could expect a reaction to mandated higher wages. Some employees will lose their jobs to automation, while others will see their full-time job transformed into a part-time or temporary job. In spite of Bellafante’s wishful thinking, this economic reality won’t be suspended in the real world, especially if the minimum wage were suddenly more than double overnight.

It’s important to understand that these distortions are the byproduct of government intervening to raise wages. The fact that mandated minimum wages are bad for some workers who will lose their jobs as a result doesn’t mean that all wage increases are bad. In fact, when wages go up naturally as a result of economic growth, improved productivity, and more competition between firms for workers, wage hikes don’t come at the expense of other workers. That’s why we can expect a sustained rise in wages resulting from a decrease in the corporate income tax rate—a tax cut that increases capital investment and productivity, and then wages. How much they will grow over time is an empirical question.

Read the entire article at Reason.

Image Credit: By Fibonacci Blue from Minnesota, USA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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4 Comments

  1. Joe

    Make a law that says no person can make more than 10 times the wage of the lowest paid employee in that company.

  2. Conservative VOTER

    Hey McDonald career burger flippers and servers…think Kiosks…they are here….robot flippers are next. Guess what ? They will cost less than $15.00 per hour. How ya gonna buy your pot?

  3. James

    Does nobody remember supply and demand? People will get higher wages when they produce more, ANYTHING else is inflation. Now, understand, to produce more has several possible components:
    1. Work harder 2. Work smarter 3. Hire more workers 4. Add some automation There are several combinations of these that could raise production. Not all are the same, and some may be more effective in some cases than others. It is not a simple thing, but if “management and labor” actually work together… It CAN be done.

  4. Scott Fowler

    Maybe, JUST MAYBE, you should consider “NOT” being a single parent, and consider learning a skill or trade, or get an education, BEFORE you start having kids. You know, like responsible adults who have an IQ in the double digit range, rather than all of you helpless libtards who think like monkeys… Why is it that we always use the worst financial situation as the barometer for establishing a minimum wage? Why not do something for yourself so you don’t end up an adult with a pre-teens lack of skills and kids to feed that you cannot afford? Give the kids up for adoption if you are unable to provide for them. If you are a single adult with kids and no job skills, you have failed, PERIOD.

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