Let’s concede for a moment that a legislated minimum-wage has no negative effect on employment (I find that hard to believe), or that the effect is minimal (I suppose that’s possible in some scenarios depending on other factors, for example, if it was only $1.25) … that discussion only satisfies one of the three problems in play, the economic one. There still two important problems with a federal minimum-wage.
First, it seems completely unconstitutional (yeah, I realize that ship sailed long ago). Second, (I believe this to be by far the most important problem) is the moral issue. I don’t believe some people have the moral right to interfere with a consensual voluntary agreement between two parties, using the threat of violence. And that’s exactly what it is. This is ultimately and most importantly, imho, a moral issue.
Some related links:
Minimum Question for Mr. Obama
Thoughts on the Minimum-Wage - via Dr. Boudreaux, a must-read
Dr. Higgs On The Moral Case For Liberty
Kids Prefer Cheese: Please to calm down about the minimum wage
Some Minimum-Wage Links - again from D. Boudreaux, and again a must-read
How Govt. Edicts Are Enforced
Walter Williams on Taxes, Redistribution, & Morality
And I thank Dr. Newmark for this quote from Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas:
““Of the tendencies that are harmful to sound economics, the most seductive, and in my opinion the most poisonous, is to focus on questions of distribution. In this very minute, a child is being born to an American family and another child, equally valued by God, is being born to a family in India. The resources of all kinds that will be at the disposal of this new American will be on the order of 15 times the resources available to his Indian brother. This seems to us a terrible wrong, justifying direct corrective action, and perhaps some actions of this kind can and should be taken. But of the vast increase in the well-being of hundreds of millions of people that has occurred in the 200-year course of the industrial revolution to date, virtually none of it can be attributed to the direct redistribution of resources from rich to poor. The potential for improving the lives of poor people by finding different ways of distributing current production is nothing compared to the apparently limitless potential of increasing production.”