Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Minimum wage

Donald Boudreaux and Walter Williams write about the minimum wage in today's WSJ ("How to Keep More Kids on the Streets ... New Jersey is the latest state that may price teens and young adults out of the labor force").

I think that most people understand that demand curves are downward-sloping.  So what gives?  Boudreaux and Williams write that "Proponents of raising the minimum wage assert in effect that the laws of economics don't apply to human labor."

Perhaps.  I think that another explanation is that minimum wage proponents believe that all businesses have deep pockets.

Many people are supremely ignorant of the world of business.  Some lump all businesses with "corporations" and all "corporations" are big and predatory and exploitative.  Listen to what comes out of the mouths of the "Occupy" people.  See how much deference they received in the media.  In that world, enlightened and caring lawmakers are the proper antidote.  They are there to "help people".

I cannot prove any of this, but we know how business is widely depicted in the popular culture.