Wednesday, January 31, 2007

How the minimum wage hurts the poor, and Mom and Pop :: FreeXchange

From the Economist blog, FreeXchange:
It is probable that the minimum wage increase will not cost enough jobs to make its effects readily distinguishable from random economic variation. It is also probable that it will improve the lot of a few poor people, though not many, as fewer than 20% of those who earn the minimum wage live in poor households now. On the other hand, it also seems probable that much of any benefit that goes to poor families will come out of the pockets of other poor people—very probably even poorer people, such as convicts, who are currently barely hanging onto the fringes of the labour force.
CEO's who support higher minimum wages are not, as the media often casts them, renegade heros speaking truth to power because their inner moral voice bids them be silent no more. They are by and large, like Mr Sinegal, the heads of companies that pay well above the minimum wage. Forcing up the labour costs of their competitors, while simultaneously collecting good PR for "daring" to support a higher minimum, is a terrific business move.
Read the whole thing.

And then there's all the benefits of the minimum wage that goes to voting white middle-class families via the summmer and part-time jobs of their teenagers. That's a great political more for Republicans and Democrats.

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