A minimum fuss

July 25, 2008

Some might have expected me to write about the 70-cent minimum-wage increase that kicked in yesterday, since my rants in the past have been in line with this, from the Wall Street Journal:

Repeated studies have shown that minimum-wage increases are more likely to slow job creation than reduce poverty. A large share of the costs of these mandates are borne by the same low-income families the wage hike is supposed to help. Employers inevitably pass wage increases onto consumers as higher prices for goods and services, which erodes the spending power of all consumers but especially the poor. Employers also respond by hiring fewer unskilled workers, a disproportionate number of whom are teenagers and minorities.

But this is an issue I’ve sort of burned out on. It’s the kind of government stupidity that will never go away, and at least the damage inflicted will be minimal. Only about 2 million workers — that’s less than 1.5 percent of the nonfarm workforce — will be affected, so it’s hard to see why there’s still so much passion spent on either side of the argument.

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