The Democrat-Gazette shamefully “reports” that, in passing the minimum wage increase, the Legislature showed that it was “ready to give the state’s lowest-paid workers a raise.” Actually, it showed that it’s ready to force other people to give them a raise. Except that’s not accurate, either.
Raising the minimum wage by law will cause people who do not produce that much per hour to lose their jobs or to have additional burdens piled on them. Some low-skilled people won’t get jobs in the first place. But the legislators don’t care about that. They will tell themselves and their constituents they did good, and the unemployed will be safely out of sight and on the dole. If the legislators are so generous, why not raise the minimum to $50? Because even a politician knows that this would destroy jobs. How do the legislators know their increase won’t destroy jobs? They don’t.
Considering this harebrained action along with the violation of property rights and freedom of contract entailed by the workplace smoking ban, the old New York judge was right: “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.”
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
My letter to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette appeared this morning:
Posted by Sheldon Richman at 5:50 AM