“Let’s Turn Back the Clock . . . When There Was No Minimum Wage.”

Matt Bevin, newly elected Kentucky Governor

from Think Progress via Bob Wenzel at Economic Policy Journal

This is good news on the economic front.  Newly elected Kentucky governor, Matt Bevin, reversed the minimum wage, set by his predecessor, from $10.10 to $7.25 an hour.  Bevin said himself that “Wage rates ideally would be established by the demands of the labor market instead of being set by the government.”  He really wants no minimum at all.  Let people negotiate their own wages with the employer.  It is after all a private contract.

So he’s right.  Let wages float in the market.  Doing so gives more workers more leverage.  If a young man with no experience has to compete against older, more experienced workers, the absence of a minimum wage at least lets him compete on wages.  He can offer to undercut what the other workers are getting paid, thereby attracting the interests of the business owner.  But with minimum wage laws, owners are handcuffed when it comes to hiring a kid who wants to work for less.  The result is that young kids looking for summer jobs or any jobs are priced out of the market. This benefits colleges and universities.  Kids go to school, and into debt, to get the requisite education.  Getting the government out of the labor market you will find that people really love work and want to work.  It’s where they get to prove themselves.  “The minimum wage stifles job creation and disproportionately impacts lower skilled workers seeking entry-level jobs,” Bevin wrote in his executive order.

Robert Wenzel at EconomicPolicyJournal states that Bevin could become one of the most significant governors in decades. He understands free market economics and has an appreciation of liberty.

Walter Block, Economics professor at Loyola University New Orleans, also presses convincingly for the elimination of a federal and a state minimum wage. It really is the ethical thing to do. “Let’s turn back the clock,” he says “when there was no minimum wage.” Those who think otherwise don’t understand the importance of inexperienced or younger workers’ need to prove themselves, to learn along the way, and to save what they earn as a life-long work ethic. As to covering the expenses to live on a wage lower than others, kids will find a way. They always have.


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