Charity and Welfare

Banning Jobs for the Poor

At, I have a post on minimum wage laws, “currently one of the Left’s favorite causes, in part because it is one of the few items on their agenda that enjoys wide support.”

I think continued hikes in the minimum wage are undesirable because whatever their supporters’ intentions, such laws amount to saying, “It should be illegal to hire the poor!”

A minimum wage law is not a measure that says in effect, “Please be generous and try to pay your employees X dollars an hour.” No, it is a law that says, “All the police powers of the state will come down on your business or nonprofit if you dare to hire a single person for X-minus-one-penny per hour.”

Minimum-wage laws are not carrots that incentivize generous pay. They are clubs that punish the hiring of any persons who cannot provide their employers, during every working hour, with goods and services that are worth not only the minimum wage itself but also the cost of mandated employee benefits — a total you can roughly estimate at 125% of X.

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Scott Walter

Scott Walter is president of Capital Research Center. He served in the George W. Bush Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and was vice president at…
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