“The Minimum Wage: Immoral and Inefficient”

by Walter Olson on January 15, 2014

Your periodic reminder.

{ 6 comments }

1 Ron Miller 01.15.14 at 1:20 pm

I tend to slant conservative on the minimum wage because I took too many economics classes from politically conservative law professors even thought I strongly support redistribution to the working poor. There are, as the title suggests, more efficient ways to do that.

But boy I wish people would move away from incendiary words like immoral. One, there are people smarter than the author who believe the minimum wage helps poor people. Also, the working poor want a higher minimum wage so it is just paternalistic and annoying to say that the want they want for themselves is immoral because it is bad for them. I would think a libertarian would appreciate that sentiment.

Moreover, could you just call immoral anything that you disagree with? Because, with this logic, if my idea is better than yours, every good faith argument that does not agree with me is still immoral.

Walter, when you see Mr. Bandow at the next Cato shindig, suggest this title: “The Minimum Wage: Paradoxically Hurting the People It Intends to Help.” I demand no royalties.

2 Walter Olson 01.15.14 at 1:36 pm

In general, Ron, I think there’s much to what you say. One thing that distinguishes this particular topic is that those of us who don’t go along with the majority viewpoint (at least it’s the majority here in Maryland) grow weary of getting beaten over the head with commentary saying we’re immoral, we’re immoral, we’re immoral for not supporting whatever legislated wage nostrum is on the agenda this month. It’s ever so tempting to snap back, “Oh yeah? Well *you’re* the one who’s being immoral.” But it’s probably more convincing to people in the middle to phrase it the way you did.

3 Jack Wilson 01.15.14 at 3:17 pm

I agree with the label of ‘immoral’ to laws that make it illegal to work unless your skills are worth the arbitrary amount set by bureaucrats.

4 Silence DoGood 01.15.14 at 3:41 pm

An explanation of how one can save themselves out of poverty. Appreciate any feedback. Good luck.

5 ras 01.15.14 at 10:05 pm

We can eat what we grow, no more.

6 Carol Herman 01.16.14 at 12:06 am

As soon as wages go up, prices go up.

Also, as soon as wages go up people get attracted to the job, so those on the bottom lose what they have.

Money doesn’t grow on trees. Small businesses have to make ends meet. When they’re forced to pay more, the first thing they cut are the personnel earning minimum wage.

Comments on this entry are closed.