Lefties’ double-think on the minimum wage is quite staggering. It is perfectly fair to argue against low wages as immoral and perfectly fair to suggest that the state should not be subsidising meagre wages. Howver to suggest that the minimum wage has no effect on the labour market, as Truth Reason & Liberty does, is absurd.
By comparison, the effect of the minimum wage upon the labour market has been negligible. Not least because employers have been able to offset it with reduced staff hours, increased prices, and measures to increase productivity – as the Low Pay Commission reported in 2005 (PDF).
especially if you cite “measures to increase productivity”, which typically means firing your low-skilled workers and buying a machine. That is an effect on the labour market, and he, as most lefites do, contradict themselves within a single sentence.
The losers in the minimum wage are the low-skilled who find their labour worth less than they are legally allowed to sell it for. They are forced to subsist on state hand-outs instead. Of course the minimum wage was introduced at a time of plenty, which went on for a long time. This masked the effect of the minimum wage, which is steadily rising youth unemployment. This becomes apparent when the music stops, as it did abruptly in 2008.
It is terrible that some people can’t find decent-paying work, and the minimum wage outlaws companies employing people who are only able to survive with additional state benefits. However denying people a paying job means they will never get the skills to get anything better. please don’t pretend raising the minimum wage is without cost.
Minimum wages either have little effect, or they cause unemployment. They cannot raise living standards without increasing the number of people without work.