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IPFS News Link • Minimum Wage

The Minimum Wage: Enemy of Blacks

•, by Jacob G. Hornberger

A good example of this phenomenon is an op-ed in yesterday's New York Times entitled "To Reduce Racial Inequality, Raise the Minimum Wage" by Ellora Herenoncourt and Claire Montialoux, who teach at the University of California, Berkeley.

In their article, the authors call for an increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour. They say that this will help the "Black working class" by increasing their income and by reducing income disparity between whites and blacks.

With all due respect, that's just pure nonsense. The best way to help blacks is by abolishing, not raising, the minimum wage.

First of all, notice something important: Herenoncourt and Montialoux do not call for an increase in the minimum wage to $100 an hour. Why not? If $15 an hour would help blacks and reduce income disparity, wouldn't $100 an hour help blacks and reduce income disparity even more? Why are these two professors so mean as to want to limit the well-being of blacks to $15 an hour when they could be calling for a minimum wage of $100 an hour?

The reason is that they themselves understand employers simply cannot afford to pay $100 an hour to their workers. They know that if they do so, their losses will exceed their income and they will soon go out of business. The workers are simply not worth $100 an hour to them.

Does that mean that employers are mean, greedy, selfish, malevolent people? Of course not. Like everyone else, they are simply trying to survive and prosper. To do that, they have to ensure that income exceeds expenses. To stay in business, they have to make a profit.