Warren Meyer at Coyote Blog explains why the minimum wage is a disaster. An excerpt:
The minimum wage raises the first rung on the ladder of success higher than Bobby can possibly reach. This is not an accident. Early proponents of the minimum wage in the early 20th century supported it precisely because it protected white workers from competition from blacks attempting to enter the work force. The minimum wage began as, and still is, a tool of oppression,preventing young men like Bobby from gaining access to good employment.
Today, the unemployment among black teens has risen to nearly 40%. This is because the government has been working for years to help older white workers with political clout keep men like Bobby out of the workforce, and the minimum wage is their most powerful tool for doing so.
Understand now why unions are so often for the minimum wage? It creates another barrier to entry to protect their jobs.
All the talk about the new Lincoln movie has rekindled some interest in history. For example, few know (or care) that Lincoln’s goal after emancipation of the slaves (which was in and of itself a last resort) was to deport them to Africa, as he was a white supremacist.
Anyway, there’s some interesting racially charged history when it comes to the minimum wage, as well. See back in the day, some folks in Congress actually did understand the economic ramifications of minimum prices. Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek has more.
Mark Perry and the WSJ point out what anyone who understands basic Economics already knows… the overall effect of a minimum wage increase is always negative and can not be positive.
After all, if minimum wage laws could have positive net effects and politicians can legislate the creation of wealth with artificial price controls, why are they always being so stingy and miserly with such pitifully small increases; why don’t they boost the minimum wage for unskilled workers up to something more respectable like $25, $50 or $75 per hour?
As I’ve said before, if what you do isn’t worth the minimum wage, the law requires you make $0
I present, Nancy Pelosi.
She completely ignores the point he’s making, and refuses to answer his question, eventually calling for security; all because she simply can not defend her position.
(I really appreciated the way he phrases some of his questions, that it’s illegal for someone to volunteer to work for less than the minimum wage, even if it is in their best interest. I’ve said before, if what you do is worth less than the new minimum wage, you won’t make the new minimum wage, you’ll make $0.)
People are getting tired of this. That’s what’s fueling the tea parties, it’s what’s fueling the responses at town halls on health care, and I think people are waking up, recognizing they have been electing people from both parties who have completely lost touch with what they are supposed to do (and not do), and they might just do something about it in 2010.
Hat tip Carpe Diem