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April 26, 2016

The Minimum Wage: How To Prove It Is Bad For Our Economy (CBD)

Don Beaudroux over at Cafe Hayek suggests an interesting minimum wage experiment. I am not sure that he has designed it perfectly, and some of the commenters suggest modifications, but the premise is interesting, if completely unworkable in today's childish political environment.

Readers urge me: "Why not regard minimum wages as social experiments? If they succeed, great. If not, they can be undone." The more intelligent of these readers understand that real-world minimum-wage legislation is instituted for political and not objectively scientific reasons. But these readers hold out hope that the political zebras who alone can inflict minimum wages on workers will lose their stripes and begin to be more "scientific" about enacting minimum wages.

It's an interesting thought experiment, and it also exposes the lack of intellectual rigor on the Left. Or more precisely, the conscious rejection of empiricism in the form of clear economic axioms. It is the minimum wage more than any other progressive shibboleth that convinces me that they are uninterested in reform, and very interested in power. That their power comes at the expense of real people is unimportant to them.

Here is a 10+ year old blog post from Coyote Blog describing his own experience with the minimum wage, but this time from the other end of the age spectrum. We mostly see the minimum wage as a hindrance to hiring teenagers and people entering the work force for the first time (i.e. no experience), but he hires retired folks with lots of life experience. The numbers are dated, but the points he makes are valid, since Obama has been unable to repeal the law of supply and demand.

Addendum Because apparently nobody is reading the linked article....

Here's a scientific experiment that I propose: abolish the minimum wage completely and for a long stretch of time and then see what happens over time.

And there's more!

If minimum-wage opponents (such as me) are correct, we'll see over time that elimination of the minimum wage increases the employment of low-skilled workers, as well as eliminates or greatly reduces the differences between the unemployment rates of black and Hispanic low-skilled workers and the unemployment rates of white low-skilled workers. We'll see a slight reduction in the incomes of middle-class households and increases in the incomes of lower-income households. We'll see also fewer people in their 20s and 30s who have never gained on-the-job experience and skills.

Of course, if minimum-wage opponents (such as me) are incorrect, then we'll not see these consequences. A much-more-solid scientific basis than what we have today will thereby be created upon which to found the case for minimum wages.


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posted by Open Blogger at 01:48 PM

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