Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Thomas Sowell on the Minimum Wage

Thomas Sowell on the Minimum Wage

Over the last several years, labor union activists have tried to organize service sector workers to unionize under the banner of "Fight for Fifteen".  Some progressive patches of America, such as Seattle and Los Angeles, have passed legislation which will eventually force employers to raises the minimum wage to a "living wage" of $15 an hour.  Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump has mused that the minimum wage should be increased: “I mean you have to something that you can live on."

But as economist Thomas Sowell opined, the real minimum wage is zero.  Businesses are preparing for forced wages in the minimum wage by reducing reliance on unskilled labor.  For instance, Wendy's is rolling out automated ordering kiosks for its franchisees which will reduce the number of workers at their restaurants who will ask: "Would you like fries with that?" 

Such a reaction makes one wonder if "Fight for Fifteen" was really to help low skilled workers eek out a living wage, or if it was a union tactic to grow outside of the government sector as well as to force across the board wage increases at the cost of many entry level workers. 

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