Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

04 October 2009

Minimum Wage Increase Killed Teenagers Jobs

Over and over, I have railed against the unending game that the Democrats play of being the champion of those with little power and then brutally crushing them.  One of the sacrosanct assertions of the Democrat party is that minimum wage laws raise the standard of living of the poor.  This is nonsense and good economists have long understood this.  What is understood is this:  The minimum wage causes jobs to be taken off the market which would otherwise be held by the very young, the least intelligent adults, and some of the handicapped.  Nonetheless, the Democrats continually fight for increases in the minimum wage while pretending to be the champions of the underdog.  This is disgraceful and disgusting.  All of their many underdog constituents are being played for fools.

A new article in the Wall Street Journal discusses the fate of American teenagers since the last minimum wage increase in July.  The minimum wage was increased by $0.75 to $7.25, this being the last of three increases the Democrats passed into law.  The first increase occurred in July 2007 and there are 691,000 fewer teens working now than prior to that increase. The immediate result of the most recent increase in July was an increase in teenage unemployment from 23.8% to 25.9% in September.  In these two months, 330,000 teenager jobs disappeared.  Black male teen unemployment went up from 39.2% in July to 50.4% in September.  Of course, American blacks especially love the Democrat party.  Go figure.

Ten states have enacted minimum wages higher than those of the federal government.  California, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New York have among the highest state minimum wages.  Studies in each showed that the increased minimum wage decreased jobs for teenagers.  There were one-third fewer teenage workers in Massachusetts in 2008 than in 1995 as a result of that state's minimum wage laws.

In 2008, only 1.1% of Americans working 40 hours a week or more were paid the minimum wage.  Teenagers are 5 times more likely to earn the minimum wage than adults.  Minimum wage jobs are usually part-time or first-time jobs.  About 2 of every 3 minimum wage earners gets a pay increase within the first year in the job.  A Stanford study found that teenagers who had jobs earned more and were more likely to be working 10 years later.  It is important for teenagers to acquire on-the-job skills and to develop an effective work ethic.   The minimum wage laws that prevent this are brutally harsh and should be repealed.  A second best idea would be to create a special lower minimum wage for teenagers.

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