Friday, July 10, 2009

"Zeal For Truth" on the minimum wage

Colin at Zeal For Truth on the minimum wage:

I wasn’t surprised to see that Oregon’s unemployment numbers have steadily risen over the past five years. I’m even less surprised that it has reached a whopping 12.4% and is second in the country.

A lot of people will point to the recession as the chief culprit for high unemployment - not merely in Oregon, but around the world. And while it is true that businesses closing puts immediate pressure on unemployment figures, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

The state of Oregon, for example, decided to tie the minimum wage to rising prices in 2004. This was put to the voters as a way to “lift all boats” in a rising tide of wage-increase and general prosperity. It was argued that the poorest would benefit as employers were forced to pay them more and that the increased wages would stimulate the economy.

Oregon now has the second highest minimum wage and the second highest unemployment rate (behind Michigan). These two statistics are directly correlated. The minimum wage is not a rising tide that lifts all boats - rather it is a barrier over which one has to jump to get a job. Raising the minimum wage does not force employers to pay their employees more - rather, it forces them to fire anyone who is not productive enough to earn for them at least their worth in the new minimum wage....

Go here to read the rest of the piece. I like these folks.
Go here to read about the ridiculously high levels of teenage unemployment and why government is to blame.
Go here to read a series of predictions that this would happen. Not that I like it or anything.


Flee said...

Capitalism is dead. Greed killed it last fall, when we bailed out the banks for Wallstreet.

Rob said...


We haven't had an actual capitalist (free market) economy for over 100 years. We've been living under a mercantilist / corporate-fascist state and it's not dead yet (although we're starting to go through its death throes.)

Ed said...

21 states already pay above the Federal minimum wage, and guess what? The 6 states with the highest minimum wage are also 6 of the brokest states.
Read about it, and stick around for more good content.

Browncoat Libertarian said...

Flee - What Rob said. Do not, for a second, fool yourself into thinking we've had free-market economy for the last hundred years or so. If you are, then you're just drinkin' the kool-aid.

Fester said...

flee, I am not sure how you can honestly associate government bailouts with capitalism. Especially the bailout of banks which are already quasi government institutions.