Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Congressional Issues 2010

The Minimum Wage

The Problem: Poverty
The Government's "Solution": The Minimum Wage
The Result: Unemployment
The Real Solution: Liberty Under God

  • Abolish minimum wage laws; let young, unskilled workers bid for jobs to increase their skills, move up the ladder

The Facts:

  • The average family affected by the minimum wage has an annual income of $38,000 because 70% of minimum-wage workers live with a working spouse or relatives.
  • The average income of minimum-wage workers increases by 30% within one year of employment on the basis of learned skills.
  • Wage increases due to increased skill levels explain the remarkable fact that only 2.8% of workers over the age of 30 are receiving the minimum wage.
  • If an unskilled worker is forced by law to charge more than he is worth, his chances of learning skills and moving up the economic ladder are suffocated.
  • Americans are the most generous people on earth, in terms of both time and money. When Liberty Under God flourishes, you will see people helping people -- from the heart, not under government compulsion.

The Bible says "The laborer is worthy of his hire." But

Minimum wage laws force businesses to be charitable. Businesses cannot be charitable if they go out of business. A business will go out of business if forced to pay $8.00 an hour to someone who only produces $3.00 worth of goods and services. Instead of getting a job, experience, skills, discipline, a recommendation, and a future, minimum wage laws force the unskilled into perpetual unemployment, poverty and welfare dependence.

Why Labor Unions Advocate a Government-Imposed Minimum Wage

Workers who are willing to accept a low wage compete against workers who demand a higher wage. This is why unions of high-paid workers want the government to force competing workers to be paid a higher salary than employers are willing to pay them. An employer might get as much work done by two low-paid workers as he would from one union worker -- and pay less in salaries.

Raising Rival's Costs - Why does WalMart support minimum wage legislation?
"[T]hese employers will benefit from an increase in the minimum wage because it will raise the costs of their rivals. This is why unions have typically been in favor of the minimum wage even when their own workers make much more than the minimum."
Why Labor Unions want to Raise the Minimum Wage | Progressive U
Union Members, Not Minimum-Wage Earners, Benefit When the Minimum Wage Rises
Supporters of raising the minimum wage argue it will raise the earnings of low-income workers. Labor unions are among the most prominent of these supporters, a fact that makes little intuitive sense, because very few union members work for the minimum wage. Unions, however, are not just being altruistic when they push to raise the minimum wage. A higher minimum wage increases the expense of hiring unskilled workers. This makes hiring skilled union members more attractive and could raise the earnings of union members who compete with minimum wage workers by 2040 percent. Meanwhile, non-union, low-skilled workers' earnings actually fall due to reduced working hours and fewer job opportunities.
The Minimum Wage: Washington's Perennial Myth
The success of a union depends on its ability to maintain higher-than-market wages and provide secure jobs for its members. If it cannot offer the benefit of higher wages, a union will quickly lose its members. Higher wages can be obtained only by excluding some workers from the relevant labor markets. As [Nobel Prize-winning economist] F. A. Hayek has pointed out, "Unions have not achieved their present magnitude and power by merely achieving the right of association. They have become what they are largely in consequence of the grant, by legislation and jurisdiction, of unique privileges which no other associations or individuals enjoy."
As would be expected, labor unions are the main political force behind minimum-wage legislation. Although unions already hold privileged positions in labor markets, minimum wages further increase their gains by raising employers' labor costs. As long as union members earn wages above the minimum rate, their positions are made more secure by the government policy that eliminates those who might undercut the union wage. People willing to work for less than the government's minimum are not allowed into the labor market at all. Indeed, union leader Edward T. Hanley stated in a catering industry employees' publication, "The purpose of the minimum wage is to . . . provide a floor from which we can upgrade your compensation through collective bargaining."
The Union Hunt for More Victims - George Reisman - Mises Institute

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