Monday, January 02, 2006

The evils of minimum wage legislation

An excellent post at The Liberal Order on the evils of minimum wage legislation.

It's always tough arguing against something like raising the minimum wage since it seems like a decent thing to do if you don't think about it too hard. You risk looking like a heartless bastard. But the difference is I have nothing personal to lose or gain from changes in the minimum wage. The true heartless bastards are those like labour unions who do stand to benefit at the expense of others.

Wages are nothing more that the price of labour. For those who missed Economics 101 if you raise the price of something you reduce the demand. It's as simple as that. And it's the poor struggling sorry bastards who are only just productive enough to justify being employed under current minimum wages that end up out of work (often replaced by a machine).

So at the end of the day raising the minimum wage amounts to taking the very lowest paid people in the workforce and giving them the pink slip. Does it still seem compassionate?

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