I rant and rave constantly about the minimum wage, which, as many people with an ounce of common sense have pointed out, is $0.00/hour. But for some reason the Left’s attempts to decouple basic economics from the discussion of the minimum wage has worked rather well.
If you ask the simple question: “What happens to the price of a commodity when the supply decreases?” most people will answer correctly. The same with: “What happens when the cost of an activity rises? Does it occur less often or more often?” Simple stuff. So why is the minimum wage an opaque concept? Why is any support for a market-driven wage immediately labelled a right-wing conspiracy to destroy the working class and put mothers and their newborns on the street in blizzards?
Don Boudreax, over at Cafe Hayek has some thoughts.
What, I wonder, is so right-wing about the claim that as the cost of doing action x rises, people are less likely to do x? Is it a “right-wing mantra” that, say, taxing carbon emissions will cause there to be few carbon emissions than otherwise? Is it a “right-wing mantra” that taxing the purchase of cigarettes causes people to purchase fewer cigarettes than otherwise? Is it a “right-wing mantra” that higher tariffs on imports reduce imports? Is it a “right-wing mantra” that imposing a poll tax reduces the number of people who vote?
Minimum wage jobs, contrary to the leftist talking points we hear every day, are not intended to support a family of four in the style to which they have become accustomed. They are entry-level jobs that teach things like, “Be On Time,” and “Don’t Be Stoned At Work,” and “Don’t Talk Back To Your Boss.” And of course the most important lesson….Do a good job, and maybe you will get a raise and a promotion. And then you will never have to worry about minimum wage again.