by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Some have said that we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said that we are living in a post-racial era. But growing evidence suggests that we are living in a post-thinking era. …
… Even on the less contentious issue of minimum-wage laws, there are the same unthinking reactions. Although liberals are usually gung ho for increasing the minimum wage, there was a sympathetic front-page story in the July 29 San Francisco Chronicle about the plight of a local non-profit organization that will not be able to serve as many low-income minority youths if it has to pay a higher minimum wage. They are seeking some kind of exemption.
Does it not occur to these people that the very same thing happens when a minimum-wage increase applies to profit-based employers? They, too, tend to hire fewer inexperienced young people when there is a minimum-wage law.
This is not breaking news. This is what has been happening for generations in the United States and in other countries around the world.
One of the few countries without a minimum-wage law is Switzerland, where the unemployment rate has been consistently less than 4 percent for years. Back in 2003, The Economist magazine reported that “Switzerland’s unemployment neared a five-year high of 3.9 percent in February.” The most recent issue shows the Swiss unemployment rate back to a more normal 3.2 percent.
Does anyone think that having minimum-wage laws and high youth unemployment is better? In fact, does anyone think at all these days?