April 8, 2013

Another View: Raising minimum wage would slow employment growth

There is a negative correlation between higher minimum wages and hiring for low-wage jobs.

By Tom Zimmerman

So the liberal Maine Center for Economic Policy reviewed studies on the impact of increasing the minimum wage ("Our View: Legislature, feds should hike minimum pay," March 30) and found that "employers benefited from less turnover, more efficient operations, reductions in higher wages and some price increases."

Wow. Why didn't employers think of that? The Maine Center for Economic Policy, comprised of folks who have likely never owned a business that depended on customers to provide the source of paychecks for their employees, had to bring this to the attention of employers?

More: Reductions in higher wages? Must be why the unions are against -- wait, unions support raising it. What gives?

Actually, if we're citing studies, one by David Neumark of the University of California at Irvine, who's studied this issue extensively, was referenced in a Feb. 15 Wall Street Journal editorial, "The Minority Youth Unemployment Act." He reviewed more than 100 studies and notes that about 85 percent of them found a negative employment effect on low-skilled workers.

Not surprising. Like anything else we buy, the more it costs, the less we buy. As true for labor as it is for steak.

A government-dictated minimum wage is price-fixing, pure and simple. It distorts markets, where free choices brought about the highest living standards the world has ever known.

But then, our federal government counts on our ignorance of the facts, abetted by the Maine Center for Economic Policy and the Press Herald, to get votes, and there's the real bottom line. (Sigh.)

Tom Zimmerman is a resident of Casco.

 

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