Do minimum wage laws help low-skilled workers? No. Workers are thrown out of work if they cannot produce more than the minimum wage stipulates. If the minimum wage is $15/hour and a worker can only produce $13/hour worth of goods, they will not be hired since no profit-seeking employer would employ someone at a loss.
Despite the name, progressive economic policies actually end up having regressive effects. Let’s consider a couple of examples
Why are minor league players only getting paid around 1/2 the hourly federal minimum wage?
Dear Ms. Murray, Your article in the Baltimore Sun (“A $15 minimum wage benefits Baltimore business”) almost completely ignores the most important economic argument against minimum wage laws: that they cause unemployment. Young people from awful schools in awful neighborhoods with skills worth only $8 an hour will not be hired at $9 an hour. […]
The glowing claims about minimum wage laws don’t pass the most basic economic smell tests. Just look at the data from Europe.
Early proponents of the minimum wage advocated it not in spite of, but for its deleterious effects on minority populations.
In my mind, then, Castro is a lot like the minimum wage: something we must stubbornly decry even though there are far greater ills in the world.
California’s minimum wage is set to rise to $15 an hour by 2022.
“We’re going to need to see your birth certificate,” the manager said, making a notation on my employment application, “But you’re hired. Show up a 10 a.m. on Thursday for training.” I was too young and dumb to realize he was calling my bluff. I had to be 16 to take the job and I […]
U.S. policymakers cannot base their estimates of how refugees will impact the labor market on the situation in Germany. Labor market institutions in the United States are better equipped to handle an influx of new workers.
Economics can be counterintuitive and abstract, but it is also essential for understanding how the world works—especially when we’re trying to make policies in the spirit of good intentions.
The real minimum wage is zero, despite the best efforts of the economically illiterate public sector do-gooder.
The relative worth of a dollar is dependent on a range of factors that vary from state to state.
In the current debate about the minimum wage, some argue that higher minimum wages boost the economy overall. If workers receive higher wages, the reasoning goes, then they will have more money to spend, and their increased spending will boost business all around. In this news video, for example, an activist in the citizen action […]
Editor’s Note: This is part 2 of an open letter from Prof. Howard Baetjer to a friend who commented on one of his Facebook posts about minimum wage laws. You can view part 1 here.Baetjer and his friend, Adam, look at the minimum wage issue from very different perspectives, so Baetjer wrote an open letter. […]
Editor’s Note: This is an open letter from Prof. Howard Baetjer to a friend who commented on one of his Facebook posts about minimum wage laws. Baetjer and his friend, Adam, look at the minimum wage issue from very different perspectives, so Baetjer wrote an open letter. What do you think about the issue? Check […]
In a recent post at Cafe Hayek, Professor Donald Boudreaux answers the question, “Why not regard minimum wages as social experiments? If they succeed, great. If not, they can be undone.” There are a number of reasons Professor Boudreaux cites for why this isn’t a practical way to look at the minimum wage, including politician’s […]
Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown and the state legislature agreed to a plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour across the state by 2022 in order to gradually increase the earnings of 6.5 million Californians. Regarding the proposal, Brown said: This plan raises the minimum wage in a careful and responsible […]
A lot of people – especially the kind of people who read blogs like this! – have very strong views about politics. This is especially true when our political views are based on moral views. If we think that universal health care is a good idea because we think it’s likely to result in more […]
With all the excitement of the 2016 presidential election ramping up, it’s even more important to think critically about proposed government policy. Not only are voters biased, they’re often swayed by policies which sound good, but which don’t always have good results. Randal O’Toole, a policy analyst at the Cato Institute, illustrates the careful balancing […]
Is a $15 minimum wage a free lunch? George Mason University Professor Don Boudreaux says no. In the brand new video below, he points out that minimum wage hikes may sound good in on their face, but in reality they result in job loss because they increase the cost of labor, making low-skilled employees more […]
A student recently asked me why unemployment remains so stubbornly high, especially for lower-skilled people. Here’s an adaptation of my answer. No one can know for sure the precise causes of unemployment; the economy is a fantastically complex system, like an ecology but still more complex, so unemployment is sure to have a variety of […]
Preston Cooper over at Economics 21 has written an excellent piece about minimum wage’s effects on employment. Economics teaches us that when you raise the price of a good, the amount of that good which is demanded goes down. This is true whether the thing for sale is ketchup or labor. Supporters of the minimum […]
This week, another round of fast food protests occurred in major cities nationwide. The protests are part of the broader “Fight for $15” movement that seeks to more than double the existing federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. While such a policy sounds like it could help low-wage employees, it would actually end up […]