BreakPoint Blog

Killing Employment Opportunities

In an interview with Walter Williams, John Stossel discusses the unintended consequences of the minimum wage laws on the African-American population.

In his new book Race and Economics, Williams shows that minimum wage laws have ended up "discriminating against low-skilled people," who are the people they were intended to help. Sadly, many compassionate people don't understand that securing a first job and learning new skills paves the way for bigger jobs with more money and better opportunity. And many African-American students also receive a sub-par education from the public school system, making it even harder for them to get hired.

Minimum wage is mistakenly used as an anti-poverty measure, and as Williams states, by all measures it has failed.


Which does not change the fact that minimum is in fact a tax.
Actually, Jason, I would reach the opposite conclusion: If we want people off the welfare state, let's make it worth working.

When people claim that a decent minimum wage will cost jobs, there seems to be an assumption that employers are currently carrying an excess number of employees and will have to let some of them go if they are forced to compensate them reasonably. In truth, employers generally employ exactly the number of employees they need and will continue to do so.

When a person starts a business, he has to anticipate all the costs, such as the building, utilities, supplies, etc. If he won't be able to pay those expenses, he should not go forward with his plan. Paying his employees a liveable wage is just another expense that he should figure in when making his decision.

As a final observation, I notice that no politician who speaks out against an increase in the minimum wage ever volunteers to try to support his family on the minimum wage.
Minimum is simply charged against would-be employees. Is closer to being a de facto protection law for senior workers then a gift to workers.

It is also a tax on bidding rights. It is hard to see how one can complain about the welfare state and not complain about minumum. How many of those on the dole are there because of minimum?