Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nine reasons why the minimum wage should not be raised

In an article at Reason.com, Ira Stoll identifies nine reasons why raising the minimum wage rate is a bad idea.  They're not listed in order of priority, but he does capture most of the major points against minimum wage laws.   I've posted frequently here about the job-destroying effects of minimum wage laws (see here, for example), and Stoll notes these in his article as well.  For variety, here's an excerpt from item 6 in his list:
6. Even if the freedom of contract isn’t protected by the Constitution, it’s a natural right that should not be infringed. As President Kennedy put it in his inaugural address, “the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.” If two free people want to enter into a voluntary, consensual agreement that doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s rights, why should the government stop them? If someone wants to work for $5 an hour, and someone wants to hire that person for that much, and no one is forcing either one of them to enter into the agreement, by what authority does government step in and stop them?  [Emphasis Marc Street].
And the emphasized question is not rhetorical, though it is problematic for statists.  The answer is by no authority. Period.