Minimum wage

Minimum wage laws: Helpful or harmful?

A version of the following appeared in the Wichita Eagle (Wage hike isn't that simple, September 8, 2007). Will raising the minimum wage help or harm low-wage earners? And are the policy goals -- taken in their entirety -- of the groups pressing for a higher minimum wage in the best interest of workers? The great appeal of a higher minimum wage mandated by an act of the legislature is that it seems like a wonderfully magical way to increase the wellbeing of low-wage workers. Those who were earning less than the new lawful wage and keep their jobs after…
Read More

Economic freedom ads debut in Wichita

This week the Wichita Eagle reports that Charles Koch, chairman of the board and CEO of Wichita-based Koch Industries, is starting a local campaign to educate people on the benefits of economic freedom and the harm of government overreach. (Charles Koch launching Wichita campaign about economic freedom, government overreach, July 9, 2013) So far one video advertisement is available, shown at the end of this article. In announcing this effort, a statement at the Charles Koch Foundation reads: “We believe the best way to promote progress and societal well-being is through free societies,” said CKF founder Charles G. Koch. “The…
Read More

Minimum wage increase not a solution

Those who advocate for a higher minimum wage law appear to have the best interests of workers as their concern. But as is almost always the case when government intervenes into markets, the unintended consequences create more harm than good. In the case of the federal minimum wage, we need to remember that this law -- as well-intentioned as it may be -- is not the solution to unemployment or raising the standard of living of workers. The great appeal of a higher minimum wage mandated by an act of Congress is that it seems like a simple and harmless…
Read More

Regulation for the sake of business

There are many examples of how the conventional wisdom regarding regulation is wrong, That wisdom being Republicans and conservatives are in bed with government, seeking to unshackle business from the burden of government regulation. Democrats and liberals, on the other hand, are busily crafting regulations to protect the middle class from the evils of big business. As it turns out, both Democrats and Republicans love creating regulations, and big business loves these regulations. Business often uses government regulation as way to harm its competitors or gain advantage for itself, which is contrary to the principles of free markets and capitalism.…
Read More

Raising minimum wage not the solution

As calls mount to raise the federal minimum wage, we need to remember that this law -- as well-intentioned as it may be -- is not the solution to unemployment or raising the standard of living of workers. The great appeal of a higher minimum wage mandated by an act of Congress is that it seems like a wonderfully magical way to increase the wellbeing of low-wage workers. Those who were earning less than the new lawful wage and keep their jobs after the increase are happy. They are grateful to the lawmakers, labor leaders, newspaper editorialists, and others who…
Read More

The use of regulation by business, contrary to markets

There are many examples of how the conventional wisdom regarding regulation is wrong: Republicans and conservatives are in bed with government, seeking to unshackle business from the burden of government regulation. Democrats and liberals, on the other hand, are busy crafting regulations to protect the common man from the evils of big business. As it turns out, both Democrats and Republicans love creating regulations, and big business loves these regulations. For example, in 2005 Walmart came out in favor of raising the national minimum wage. The company's CEO said that he was concerned for the plight of working families, and…
Read More

Regulation supports business, not capitalism and free markets

There are many examples of how the conventional wisdom regarding regulation is wrong: Republicans and conservatives are in bed with government, seeking to unshackle business from the burden of government regulation. Democrats and liberals, on the other hand, are busy crafting regulations to protect the common man from the evils of big business. As it turns out, both Democrats and Republicans love creating regulations, and big business loves these regulations. For example, in 2005 Walmart came out in favor of raising the national minimum wage. The company's CEO said that he was concerned for the plight of working families, and…
Read More

Stossel: The state against blacks

John Stossel's most recent television program was titled The State Against Blacks, and it dealt with the topics of affirmative action, welfare, and the minimum wage. A featured guest on the show was Dr. Walter E. Williams, an economist at George Mason University. His most recent book is on this topic, and it's titled Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination? A preview of the book is available at that link. On welfare, Williams told Stossel: "The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery could not have done, the harshest Jim Crow laws and racism…
Read More

Stossel on politicians’ promises

Recently John Stossel produced a television show titled Politicians’ Top 10 Promises Gone Wrong. The show features segments on government programs and why they've gone wrong, with a focus on the unintended consequences of the programs. Particularly illuminating are the attempts by programs' supporters to justify their worth. Now the program is available to view on the free hulu service by clicking on Politicians’ Top 10 Promises Gone Wrong. One of the segments on the show explained the harm of Cash for Clunkers, in which serviceable cars were destroyed so that new cars could be sold. The program simply stole…
Read More

Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Friday October 22, 2010

My best tweet yesterday. I just uninstalled the NPR News app from my iPhone. #NPR #Juan Many have already voted. Wednesday Sedgwick County Election Commissioner Bill Gale told commissioners that his office had sent 63,000 mail ballots to voters in the county, and 20,000 had been returned. In the 2006 general election, a midterm election comparable to this year, 118,258 ballots were cast in Sedgwick County. Gale's numbers tell us that around half of voters will use the advance voting system, and perhaps 17 percent have already voted as far as two weeks in advance of election day. Goyle on…
Read More

In Central-Northeast Wichita, government is cause of problem, not solution

From the November 2007 archives. Since then, the Wichita schools have a new superintendent, and Kansas has raised its minimum wage. An article in The Wichita Eagle “Plan offers hope for city's troubled heart” (November 14, 2007) reports on the development of a plan named New Communities Initiative, its goal being the revitalizing of a depressed neighborhood in Wichita. The saddest thing in this article is the realization that there is consideration of a plan for large-scale government intervention to solve problems that are, to a large extent, caused by government itself. The article laments low high school graduation rates…
Read More

Who will watch for Kansas minimum wage victims?

Oops, there's a mistake below. I've just been told the higher wage doesn't take effect until January 1, 2010. So if this law is such a good deal for Kansas, I wonder what's the reason for the delay until it takes effect? Today, the new Kansas minimum wage law takes effect. It's likely that as employers are required to pay their workers more, some will lose their job. So now minimum wage supporters have a duty to perform. They need to watch for people who may lose their job and for companies that may close due to this law's effect.…
Read More

Kansas minimum wage advocates now have a duty

A higher Kansas minimum wage has passed both houses of the Kansas legislature and is waiting for the governor's signature. Now minimum wage supporters have a duty to perform. It's likely that as employers are required to pay their workers more, some will lose their job. Senator Dick Kelsey, originally opposed to raising the Kansas minimum wage, asked its supporters to introduce him to someone who actually earned that low wage. He never received such an introduction. It could be the case that everyone is already paid more than the new, higher minimum wage. If so, we wouldn't expect to…
Read More

Kansas minimum wage: wrong questions

A recent letter in the Wichita Eagle asks these questions: "Who would work for $2.65 an hour? State legislators don't get paid much, that is true. But would they work for $2.65 an hour? Would they send their sons or daughters to a job that paid that little?" These questions are intended to stir up sympathy for low-wage workers in Kansas. It is, indeed, not a good situation when someone has such low productivity that they can't command a very high wage. But passing a law can't fix that. A related comment left on this blog asks these questions that…
Read More

Kansas minimum wage

A group in Kansas is pressing for raising the state minimum wage. Will raising it help or harm low-wage earners? And are the policy goals -- taken in their entirety -- of the groups pressing for a higher minimum wage in the best interest of workers? The great appeal of a higher minimum wage mandated by an act of the legislature is that it seems like a wonderfully magical way to increase the wellbeing of low-wage workers. Those who were earning less than the new lawful wage and keep their jobs after the increase are happy. They are grateful to…
Read More

Kansas minimum wage at issue again

In Kansas, some want the state's minimum wage to rise to match the federal minimum wage. The Lawrence Journal-World reports on this in its story Lawmakers asked to increase state’s minimum wage. This issue has been covered on the Voice For Liberty in Wichita in several articles: Unintended But Foreseeable Harms of the Minimum Wage Minimum Wage: Helpful? Or Not? Problem of Low Wages Not Easily Solved The Descent of The Good Column
Read More