Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Quit Trying To Help. You Only Hurt. The Gov't and Minimum Wage

Here is just one reason why I don't support government intervention to set a(n artificial) minimum wage: "The ‘Moral’ Minimum Wage Increase Hurts Teens and Minorities" by Anthony B. Bradley.

Forced government wage increases are supported when people forget that the money used to cover the increase does not magically materialize. It must come from somewhere. Since Americans love the best products for the lowest prices, businesses will not likely pass the cost of the wage increase on to consumers in the form of higher prices. They will, instead, reduce their costs by laying off workers with the lowest skills, relocating the jobs (or the entire business) to another country, or skirting the law altogether by paying employees “under the table” or by hiring illegal immigrants.
Those in favor of the increase believe that they stand on the moral high ground. Rev. Suzanne Meyer, president of All God’s People, a multi-faith social advocacy group located in St. Louis, calls the current $5.15 rate “a moral outrage. It effectively sentences millions of workers and their families to live in abject poverty.” Why is it not, instead, a moral outrage to increase teen unemployment, increase minority unemployment, and encourage the circumvention of the law by employing illegal immigrants and paying under the table?

Employees who become more productive by gaining experience and improving their education earn larger raises and salaries in the long term. A minimum wage set by agreement between employer and employee establishes the best entry point for people with few skills to gain experience and develop the abilities needed to advance. It is in keeping with both human dignity and economic reality to give employers and employees freedom to negotiate employment on terms set by themselves, not by politicians.

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