There Should Be No Minimum Wage
Milton Friedman once stated (link to timestamped video below):
"The Minimum Wage laws - are supposed to be to help the poor, to help the disadvantaged, they are the most Anti-Negro laws on the books."
In my last article discussing homelessness in San Francisco, I mentioned how the $15 minimum wage implemented there makes the homeless problem worse since it prevents the homeless from getting a job at all.
Growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta in mostly a black community, I would sometimes notice that teenagers would be "employed" to sweep the hair off the floors to keep them clean.
As I grew up, I saw this less and less. Georgia still has the federal minimum ($7.25) but I do not think sweeping the hair off the floor is a $7.25/hour job. In the example I above the teenagers would have be paid under the table, but why does this have to be an illegal activity?
The truth is minimum wage increases unemployment since it is illegal to work for a penny less.
By mandating a minimum wage how can the government be so wise as to determine how much the fry cook or the barista should make? It is absurd to think they can put a price floor for all entry level jobs.
Minimum wage destroys competition at the lowest levels. Fry cooks, cashiers, and baristas have no incentive to compete with one another, as they will simply be paid the minimum. This notion may seem silly, but only because we have been indoctrinated to believe there should be a minimum wage in the first place.
If a fry cook does not make mistakes, has high productivity and makes damn good, crispy fries consistently then why shouldn't they make a little bit more money?
Employees have no incentive to work harder, as a minimum wage serves as both a floor and ceiling since their negotiation power and incentives to compete have been taken away by the government.
Employers have no incentive to pay an entry level worker more than the minimum, since they can find any entry level worker that will take the minimum, as the demand has artificially increased at that wage level simply by the government passing a law.
Minimum wage also results in an overall price increase since companies must pay for increased labor costs, therefore will pass along the increased costs to the consumer.
This further contributes to further wealth inequality (homelessness for example) the exact problem it was designed to address!
The only two people that should decide an employee's wages are the employee and the employer. The government has no place.
The main argument against minimum wage is that these companies will pay employees $1-2/hour instead.
This begs the question - who the hell will choose to work for $2 dollars an hour?
The removal of this law will empower the employees to negotiate their wages and customize their benefits directly with their employer. No need for a "trusted" 3rd party in the middle telling them how much they should earn. Peer-to-peer negotiation.
Minimum wage should be repealed, freeing the market for our youth and unskilled, enabling them to lift themselves out of poverty and build skills in an entry level position.