Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Minimum-Wage Laws Versus Free Markets

As part owner of a business it is amazing to me how many of my fellow Americans are so totally enamored of the notion of the "minimum-wage". They innocently think this actually helps the low wage earners. But report after report states that minimum-wage laws DO NOT HELP THE POOR or TEENAGERS trying to get that first job!

The Wall Street Jr has another article in their Review and Outlook section today about this issue just in time to celebrate our day of liberation from the tyranny of a King. Here are a few quotes from the article: (read).

"Congress recently raised the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour by 2009, in the name of helping low-income families escape poverty. But a sobering new report from the New York City-based Center for an Urban Future shows how minimum-wage laws are already hurting the unskilled and inexperienced."

"...Today, however, the New York program serves 20% fewer young adults than it did in 1999, and last year it turned away 30,000 mostly black and Latino applicants. The report cites minimum wage-increases in the Empire State -- one of 30 states that mandates a minimum higher than the federal floor -- as a factor in the program's decline."

"...The harm from minimum-wage laws is well-documented, and even government job programs aren't immune. As an antipoverty measure, these laws are inefficient because most people who are poor already earn more than the minimum, and most who do earn the minimum aren't living in poverty. They are retirees, homemakers, part-time workers, and teenagers in the Big Apple -- fewer of whom will have summer jobs in the future thanks to the higher minimum wage."

If the harm from these Minimum-wage laws is documented then one can only chalk this one up to another area where our politicians display their utter contempt for reality and the needs of the business world and individual citizens. I say on this July 4th of 2007 let's renew our dedication to freedom by allowing markets to do what they do best when they are free from government intervention - grow and make all prosper.