Porter Leighton’s Jan. 9 letter (“Mayor’s minimum-wage idea ignores laws of economics”) contained a number of factual errors.

The first error was implying the mayor is unschooled in economics because he proposed increasing Portland’s minimum wage. It’s more likely the proposal was made because it’s a sure thing for increasing economic activity and ultimately getting low-wage workers off welfare rolls so taxpayers won’t be subsidizing corporate profits. That’s good economics.

The second factual error is implied that jobs would be lost, in particular by teens. If one intends to write on a legal subject, it might be useful to check the law. It is available online as 26 MRSA Section 664(3), 29 CFR Part 541. A shorter route is checking the U.S. Department of Labor site for “Minimum Wage Mythbusters.”

In terms of a loss of jobs because of a minimum-wage hike: That never happened during 22 times it was raised before 2006. Instead, more jobs were created, and gross domestic product continued on an uphill trend.

In terms of “economists of every political stripe” agreeing on how to raise the general wage level: Any economist who ignores historical facts might want to rethink their career choice.

The federal government established the minimum-wage law following passage of the 13th Amendment. Slave labor, child labor and sweatshops clearly needed to be stopped, and establishing a minimum livable wage for adults 20 and older was one of the answers. Even Henry Ford understood that when he raised employee wages by 30 percent, workers would be able to purchase the cars they were producing.

Minimum-wage increases in 2014 continued to increase jobs in the 29 states where that happened. Reducing welfare is icing on the cake, to the tune of billions, according to writer Kim Krisberg, who used Economic Policy Institute data.

Jarryl Larson