The cruelest law of all is the minimum wage. It is the most basic law of economics: if the price rises on a good (ceteris paribus, of course), then less of it will be purchased. Labor is no exception. When you raise the price (i.e., the minimum wage in this case), less labor at the low end of the skill scale will be employed. For a thorough discussion, see here.
In a time when our economy is struggling and teenage unemployment is through the roof (especially minorities), raising the minimum wage is the worst thing that can be done. This price control hurts the most vulnerable in society and those most in need of jobs. Yet the political class knows they can depend upon the ignorance and stupidity of the voting public. By appearing to be compassionate, they gain favor and votes. This move is not compassionate, it is harmful and destructive. There is nothing more harmful to low-skilled workers than raising the minimum wage. If it benefits politicians they don’t care what havoc and destruction they impose so long as enough of the people can be fooled.
The reality is that Government schooling produced this situation of zero to low skills. Now government rides to the rescue by making laws that make it illegal for their damaged output to be hired. No employer will hire an employee that costs him money. Unless the employee has a reasonable chance of contributing more than he costs, he has no hope of escaping unemployment. Unskilled workers are capable of doing productive work, but not at a beginning wage set too high by politicians looking out only for themselves. If the minimum wage is so good, why not raise it to $20.00 per hour or $50.00? Wouldn’t that erase poverty?
The answer is an emphatic no! The higher the minimum wage the more poverty and unemployment results. This “feel-good” legislation will raise unemployment. Sadly, it will also destroy lives. It effectively makes it a crime to higher willing workers with low skills. These are people who deserve better than what they received from government schools. Entering the workforce at any wage would provide the work habits and skills that would enable them to quickly go beyond their entry levels. These low-skilled workers are no different than MBAs who enter at lower wages than they will earn after training and gaining experience.
The tragedy of the minimum wage is that it ruins lives. It condemns many to a lifetime of unemployment, welfare and living a life equivalent to a ward of the state. These “compassionate” politicians don’t care how much damage they do so long as you are too ignorant to see through their scheme. They want your vote. So long as you are ignorant enough to believe they are doing compassionate and generous things, they will continue to destroy lives.
This survey from Rasmussen is confirmation of the appalling economic ignorance of the American public.
Most voters don’t think the minimum wage is enough to live on and support President Obama’s proposal to raise it from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour. They’re more narrowly divided, however, when asked if hiking the minimum wage will be good for the economy. Read More
With every passing day, the American public makes H. L. Mencken appear to have been more of a genius than he possibly was. His evaluations of the public were merciless. Here are but a couple of his pronouncements:
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
Mencken must be chuckling from his grave at the situation we allowed our criminal class politicians to impose on us. Even he probably could not have imagined how dumbed-down the government has made recent generations. Make no mistake, it is government and its policies responsible. Despite all the blather about education, our criminal class is quite content with having stupid constituents. An educated public would have ridden these crooks out of town on a rail.