Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The minumum wage

A blog post at the Washington Post suggests that the recent increase in the minimum wage was a bad idea.
Back in 2007, Congress enacted a three-stage increase in the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25, the last installment of which took effect just last July. This was done with the best of intentions, of course. But what it meant in practical terms was that, at the height of a savage recession, the government essentially imposed a substantial tax increase on hiring. No wonder the unemployment rate among black teenage males is at an all-time high of 57 percent.
If Obama and Congress were really as serious as they say they are about reducing unemployment, they would at least be willing to discuss rolling back last July’s minimum wage increase. It would create some jobs for those who need them most, and it would not cost taxpayers a dime. Yes, those who get hired at a reduced minimum wage would have to work for less. But at least they'd be working.
The reaction of the commenters is interesting. The majority berate the idea with invective with comments like these:
Mr. Lane, I would suggest that you experience of joy and comfort of living on a minimum wage salary for a few months, and then write an article about it. People like you are what got our country where it is now economically. President Obama, with the grace of God, will heal your years of abuse.
I agree with the other posters. How can this guy even write this crap? Lower the minimum wage when it took so long to get it raised? Of all the suggestions on increasing jobs in this country, this has got to be the most stupid one yet.
The minimum wage was low and employers still weren't hiring and the employees had to get government help just to eat.
Easy for an idiot like this to make this claim when he doesn't have to feed a family on the minimum wage.

I wonder if they have any idea of how stupid they appear to those who actually know some economics.

Meanwhile, Tigerhawk is worried about the increase in costly regulations and its effect on hiring:
Already our economy is struggling against health care "reform," massive new regulation and/or taxation on any business that emits carbon, the proposed "Employee Free Choice Act," new regulation in financial services, new corporate "governance" requirements, fiscal catastrophes in all the large states controlled by the Democrats, and huge new tax increases for the people who actually decide to hire people (whether they are corporate tools or individual entrepreneurs). Do we really need "an array of 90 rules and regulations" from the Labor Department on top of all that?

Just when you think "they can't keep making it harder," they do.
I thought this comment especially interesting:
I just bailed out of a deal to buy a company which has gone from a money-making position to a money-losing position in the past two years and is in need of a turn-around. The services provided by this company are extremely carbon-intensive. There is just no way I can justify risking capital on a business like this in this regulatory environment.

There are no other buyers on deck. I suspect this business will be liquidated within 6 months. Another 150 jobs gone. Way to go, Obama.

This is what you get when nobody in the Administration has any private sector experience.

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