Econ prof Sandy Ikeda has one of his uniformly sharp Freeman pieces today, this one looking at the debate over the minimum wage. He notes that instead of intelligent argumentation, this debate is dominated by slogans and memes.
The economic damage that is done to employment prospects for low-skill, inexperienced workers is clear. But the strongest argument against the minimum wage, in my view, is that it’s a misuse of governmental power. Threatening legal action against someone merely because he doesn’t want to pay a worker more than he has been is no better than threatening legal action against someone for asking too high a price for his services or threatening legal action because someone doesn’t want to send his kids to a government school, or any other victimless crime that politicians feel like prosecuting.