Barbara Kiviat asks
Why do people care so much about the minimum wage?
Which you would think was answered by her own statement
Yes, it’s true, in Econ 101 we all learn that price floors disrupt the most efficient allocation of resources in a marketplace. When it comes to low-wage workers, that leads to companies hiring fewer people than they would otherwise, leaving some folks who want jobs without them.
So, all economists agree that in the very basic model minimum wages should lead to lower employment among the low skilled. Recently economists have struggled over whether or not in practice our policies are reducing employment among the most vulnerable members of our society.
But, Kivait says, meh.
If we want to help low-income families, we could do a lot more than change a wage many of them don’t make anyway. And if we want to minimize government intervention in free enterprise, we might choose a battle that is meaningful to companies outside of such a narrow range—half of all minimum-wage workers have jobs in the leisure and hospitality industries.
If we don’t care about providing jobs to the lowest skilled, least employed portion of our society then what do we care about?
I understand that among the politicians the minimum wage really is just a political football to show how pro-worker or pro-businesses they are.
However, you do understand that actual people with actual lives are on the line here. That if we choose unwisely that literally thousands of families will suffer.
We need to get this answer right and so far it looks to me like the weight of the evidence suggests the minimum wage is harmful and it is harmful to the weakest among us.
Sorry Rebecca if this rubs you the wrong way, but I just couldn’t help it