I am not going to back off my contention that minimum wage increases unemployment, but I am going to qualify it: among unskilled, first time workers.  As a general rule, virtually everyone who has been working more than a couple years is not going to be paid minimum wage, so what it is is relevant only for unskilled workers.  Managers at Burger King make well above minimum wage.



First off, here are some statistics: We have gotten so used to seeing unemployment rates of 30 percent or 40 percent for black teenage males that it might come as a shock to many people to learn that the unemployment rate for 16- and 17-year-old black males was just under 10 percent back in 1948.
Let me put a concrete case in front of you.  As things stand currently in inner cities, some 40% of black kids are unemployed, and realistically will stay that way for some time, with all the negative social consequences that follow.

Let's take a kid, Mike, who is 17, has never had a job, dropped out of high school, and who was raised by a single mother working two jobs.  He has nothing to do all day but watch TV, and wonder if he should start selling drugs to earn some money to chase girls.

If businesses could hire him for, say $5 an hour, then they would grab him in a heartbeat.  It's a great deal for them, since he's cheap, and it's a much better deal for him than what he has now.

The "liberal" argument is both that he should not be allowed to work for that wage, since it is "exploitative", and that if he just votes Democrat he will eventually be taken care of.

But he won't be taken care of.  Unemployment rates in the inner cities have been astronomical for 50 years.  This is in large measure why there is so much violence there.

My question, then, is if people are willing to work for lower wages, why are the choices between either not hiring that person, or hiring someone who WILL work for $5 overseas?  Why not let Mike make his own decision?

OF COURSE it makes "liberals" feel good.  But is feeling good the goal, or is it helping people?  I would argue that the part of wisdom and compassion is the latter.

Minimum wage laws are very destructive, but, as Sowell points out:

    This was not the first or the last time that liberals did something that made them feel good about themselves, while leaving havoc in their wake, especially among the poor whom they were supposedly helping.