just procrastinating

Monday, January 19, 2004

Minimum Wage
Great post on minimum wages by Kevin Brancato over at Truck and Barter. Kevin takes a look at the data showing that the minimum wage in real terms is approaching an all time low. However, if you look at the data, fewer workers are earning the minimum wage, so that the outrage over this is a little misplaced.

I tend to break with my compadres on this one. I understand the arguments on labor supply and demand, but this is one of those things where I guess I have to side with the liberals. There are certain labor markets where employers can take advantage of uneducated workers who have the kind of desperation that makes people work for peanuts, and I think the minimum wage should be there to prevent that kind of thing. I think the "living wage" folks are going a bit too far, becuase at some level wages will be too high and impact employment levels. I don't know where that is, so just to be safe, I say increase the minimum wage to something, say a 30-year median, like $6.50, and just index it from then on. Bush should probably do something on this pretty soon; that would be the compassionate thing to do.

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