The Minimum Wage Is No Friend of the Poor

Main St. Agenda by from Barron’s, February 22, 2014

The debate over raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from the current $7.25 heated up last week with the publication of a Congressional Budget Office study, which estimated that total employment would likely be reduced by “500,000 workers” if the hike were implemented.

While the CBO’s scenario made sense, a truly substantive debate about the minimum wage would start with the merits of abolishing it altogether, while seeking to help poor people through more direct means. Instead of decreeing that the unskilled can’t accept certain low-wage offers, thereby condemning many to joblessness, allow them to consider all of the potential options. But to the extent that low-paid workers are part of poor families—and many are not—help them in other ways.

Continue reading this piece from Barron’s here.