Wednesday, September 20, 2006

 

The Left eats its own

Fellow Maryland Law grad and MBA-blogger Crablaw recounts a recent excursion into an economics discussion about the Minimum Wage:

“A poster on a major liberal group blog commented, in a somewhat different context, about how the problem of illegal immigrant labor competing with native citizen/lawful labor would be eliminated if higher minimum wage laws were passed.” Crablaw's Maryland Weekly: Liberal v. Libertarian

Yeah, I know that’s moronic…and so did Crablaw:

“That comment is on a blog on which I no longer participate, but it got copied to a blog I do respect. I commented that the poster was, well, a ------- idiot to think that an increase in the minimum wage was going to stop competition from illegal workers, and that I wondered if I was the only liberal left who had passed economics.

“The counter-strike from the Taliban wing of Keynesian economics was swift and vicious.”

Well Bruce – welcome to our world; Trust me, I’m laughing with you, not at you.

For the record, I oppose minimum wage laws because the record for the government – any government – correctly anticipating the market for anything is so pathetic that the tactic should be presumptively off the table. If all it takes is a bunch of legislators and a compliant executive to successfully raise wages then why stop at a mere $7 or $8/hour? Hell, why not just decree that all workers have to be paid at least $50,000/year? We can end poverty with just a stroke of the pen…and the most maddening aspect about such legislation is that the entrepreneurs out there who actually create the jobs don’t get the credit – no, instead the credit garners to the benefit of so-called public servants like Ted Kennedy.

Comments:
Raising the minimum wage is simplistic and of little use to the poor. It is very useful for politicians who are out pandering for votes. It harms all who are on fixed incomes like the retired. The worst effect of the minimum wage increase is to ignite an increase in the rate of inflation, thus nullifying the minimum wage increase benefit within a few months. In the end it leaves the poor a little behind where they started, poorer.
 
but it can be of use to people who use the minimum wagw as a base of sorts to set their own wages or to make their own wages suddenly more competitive...but you're right: the poor don't stop being the poor because we set a higher minimum wage
 
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