Those of us who understand that coercive tampering with the price system invariably has bad results often stake our opposition to price control measures such as minimum wage legislation on its counter-productivity. Such measures indubitably have harmful consequences, but in this article, my colleague Sheldon Richman makes a strong point to the effect that it’s not good enough to just argue against these statist nostrums. We need to convince people not only that coercive laws and regulations won’t have the beneficial effects that are promised, but also that there are many ways of helping the poor that require the elimination of barriers to their own progress.

Sheldon is right. I have often made the same point. Instead of just playing defense against failed statist policies, we need to take the offensive against the array of laws and regulations that obstruct the ability of people to better their own lives.