Minimum wage roundup

  • “No, Krueger Didn’t ‘Prov[e] that Raising the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Increase Unemployment’” [Thomas Firey, EconLib]
  • “Making Sense of the Minimum Wage: A Roadmap for Navigating Recent Research” [Jeffrey Clemens, Cato Policy Analysis no. 867] “A review and a doubt” [John Cochrane]
  • Evidence from Denmark: “the age discontinuity in minimum wages has a large impact on employment at around age 18” [Claus Thustrup Kreiner, Daniel Reck, and Peer Ebbesen Skov, Cato Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 169]
  • To quote Mencken, “Government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advance auction sale in stolen goods.” [Marina Pitofsky, The Hill reporting Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s (D-MI) comments supporting $18-20 federal minimum wage]
  • “Higher minimum wages are also a restrictionist immigration policy, at least for the poorest class of migrants. This is one of those truths that is inconvenient for people at both ends of the political spectrum.” [Tyler Cowen] “Low wage workers responded by commuting out of states that increased their minimum wage” and more on domestic migration effects of these laws [Cowen]
  • “The minimum wage is not a settled issue. Important, high-quality studies come to different conclusions on serious questions. Journalists, commentators and policy makers: Take note.” [Michael Strain, Bloomberg Opinion]


  • The idea that raising the min wage does not affect employment is daft. A simple extrapolation shows the absurdity: can any business hire unskilled or teen workers for $50/hr? So the demand curve DOES slope down, it is just a question of the slope. There is also lots of noise such that raising it from 7 to 7.25 may not have a detectable effect. That does not mean no effect if you jump up to $15.

    Many proponents see this as a moral question however: business SHOULD pay more. But the world is not quite as rich as we wish and business may not be able to pay more. A $15 wage including benefits is perhaps $37,000/yr–ask yourself if some of the workers you see bagging groceries could possibly produce that much value for the company in that job.

  • Here in Florida, the drive to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour is being led by John Morgan, who has been mentioned in this space before:

    (One of the cases deals with Morgan not paying interns for work, which is ironic giving his push for $15/ hour.)

    An article in the Orlando Weekly shows that Morgan may still not be living up to what he demands of others:

    Morgan and Morgan hired an outside firm to handle their calls and help with the $15 / hour campaign.

    According to current job postings, employees at the Office Gurus location in Pinellas County earn roughly $12 an hour, while employees at the offshore offices in El Salvador make between $600-$750 a month, which is equal to roughly $7.50 an hour, or nearly $1 less than Florida’s current minimum wage of $8.46.

    Morgan himself has had harsh words for businesses that rely on cheap labor. At a press conference last January announcing his goal of collecting enough signatures to get the measure on the 2020 ballot, Morgan passionately accused businesses that pay employees less than $15 as taking advantage of “slave labor.”

    “There’s nothing more profitable than slave labor,” said Morgan. “Our belief is that the single greatest issue facing America and Florida today is a living wage. That people are working harder and harder and getting further and further behind. That the rich are getting richer and the middle class is sinking into the abyss.”

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