Letters for Wednesday, May 17, 2023
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Economists have consistently shown, a minimum wage doesn’t help the unskilled labor class. It blocks employers from hiring anyone whose earning or productive capacity is below the enforced minimum hourly wage, creating permanent unemployment among the least productive people. e.g. people who have not prepared themselves for productive work or are just entering the labor market at the entry level after living at the expense of parents. Economist Murray Rothbard noted, “laws that prohibit employment at any wage that is relevant to the market must result in outlawing employment and hence causing unemployment.”
So Gregory, all good intentions aside, your screed does not make a viable case or economic good sense. Forcing businesses to pay wages above the productive capacity of some individuals will also result in elevated consumer prices…all this in the face of the current escalated level of prices caused by the Fed’s promiscuous expansion of the money supply and politicians insatiable appetite for spending other people’s money beyond any rational or sustainable levels.
To be fair, your own screed made no case at all, as a minimum wage was in fact introduced in Hawaii & has never produced this theoretical result. It’s been raised for 30+ years and consistently maintained a neutral to positive effect.
More problematic, Rothbard’s economic theories were informed by his politics, which included Holocaust denial, anti-civil rights, anti-women’s rights & anti-child labor regulation.
Minimum wage jobs call for minimal skill, education, and other training. They are not meant to be permanent jobs, and most people use them as stepping stones to higher paying employment. The fact that Kauai is an expensive place to live should have no bearing on how high the minimum wage should be. There are all sorts of opportunities for free or very low cost training and education in public high schools. The fact that people don’t take advantage of these opportunities shouldn’t mean that they are rewarded for their neglect by given high hourly wages for flipping burgers. Don’t raise the minimum wage.
Economics. On Kaua’i, what have you got? For the average person working. With just a high school diploma. The minimum wage is lower because the economic factors surrounding businesses does not support a minimum wage hike. Say if they just wanted a job at Targets, the minimum wage will be set according to these other factors. Business wise.
So making ends meet is everyone’s problem. And I don’t see how your county council can set bills that will affect the outlook on business. They too lack an education to make any impact. So two factors already against the minimum wage hike. Very much a set and rigid lost cause trying to do this. Set the minimum wage hike from the average Joe like your county councilmen. And mayor