The persistence of the issue of raising the minimum wage is an indictment of public education, for at least two reasons:
- It shows that “our” schools are not teaching basic economics. Generally, those who think minimum wages help the poor do not understand what wages are (price of labor), why they are paid (worker productivity bolstering the bottom line) and what a minimum wage law is (a prohibition on contracting for work below the arbitrary government-prescribed rate).
- It shows that schools aren’t preparing the young for real-world activity. Wages track productivity. If disturbingly large numbers of people are affected by the minimum, that means they haven’t been adequately trained in the skills they need.
Bernie Sanders wanted a 15-buck minimum. Hillary went on record supporting a 12-buck rate. Donald Trump would prefer that the minimum wage regulations be enacted by the states, though he says a hike to ten dollars per hour would really help the less fortunate.
That is the tacit theme in a Wall Street Journal piece on the recent minimum wage rate hikes in 14 American cities, including the nation’s capital. A classic, succinct article on BET makes the point even more stark: a duo of economists from Trinity University “report that when a state, or the federal government, increases the minimum wage, Black teens are more likely to be laid off. The duo analyzed 600,000 data points, which the Employment Policies Institute says included ‘a robust sample of minority young adults unprecedented in previous studies on the minimum wage.’”
Just as theory predicts.
Could it be that politicians promise a raise because they believe government-schooled Americans too miseducated to know better?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.