By Thomas Sowell
A survey of American economists found that 90 percent of them regarded minimum-wage laws as increasing the rate of unemployment among low-skilled workers.
Inexperience is often the problem: Only about 2 percent of Americans over the age of 24 earned the minimum wage.
Advocates of minimum-wage laws usually base their support of such laws on their estimate of how much a worker “needs” in order to have “a living wage” — or on some other criterion that pays little or no attention to the worker’s skill level, experience or general productivity. So it’s hardly surprising that minimum-wage laws set wages that price many a young worker out of a job.
What is surprising is that, despite an accumulation of evidence over the years of the devastating effects of minimum-wage laws on black teenage unemployment rates, members of the Congressional Black Caucus continue to vote for such laws.
Once, years ago, during a confidential discussion with a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, I asked how they could possibly vote for minimum-wage laws.
The answer I got was that members of the Black Caucus were part of a political coalition and, as such, they were expected to vote for things that other members of that coalition wanted, such as minimum-wage laws, in order that other members of the coalition would vote for things that the Black Caucus wanted.
When I asked what could the black members of Congress possibly get in return for supporting minimum-wage laws that would be worth sacrificing whole generations of young blacks to huge rates of unemployment, the discussion quickly ended. I may have been vehement when I asked that question.
Read the rest here.