Once again Democratic politicians want to increase the dosage of a popular but extremely toxic form of public policy snake oil. In his State of the Union message Tuesday President Obama proclaimed, “Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth no one who works full time should have to live in poverty, and raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour. We should be able to get that done.” Pat Quinn, the governor of Illinois, last week proposed raising his state’s minimum wage from the current $8.25 an hour to $10 an hour.
A spokesman for Governor Quinn said, “The governor feels very strongly that nobody should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty. It’s obvious the governor feels such an increase will be good for the economy and good for workers who drive our economic growth. So many people are struggling to make ends meet earning the basic minimum wage—and these ends never get met.” If that’s what the governor thinks, he couldn’t be more confused.
As H. L. Mencken observed, “There is always an easy solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.” Minimum wage laws score extremely well on all three counts.
Minimum wage laws are an important public policy issue not only for the damage they do to individuals and the economy, but also as an illustration of the profound difference between liberal and conservative approaches to problem solving.
Read More at spectator.org . By Ron Ross.
Photo Credit: The US Army (Creative Commons)