The standard economic argument against legislating a minimum wage is that no worker who is unable to produce an equivalent amount of value will find a job at that wage. So any wage mandated above the market-set level would harm the very people that the mandate is supposed to help.
We can see the logic of this argument, while recognizing that markets, being composed of people (who in fact don’t only care about money), never respond infallibly and instantaneously. Moreover, it may be difficult to ascertain what a given worker’s contribution is, so it’s possible that he or she might be paid less than is economically justified. But none of that supports a government mandate.
The only way to maximize the market’s tendency to accurately reward people for their productivity is to remove all government barriers to competition and self-employment. This includes occupational licensing, land-use restrictions, permitting, intellectual property, and more.
Alternatives, not political machinations, are what maximize workers’ clout and ensure their just reward.Read it all here. The op-ed was picked by the Chicago Sun-Times.