Acton Institute Powerblog

The ‘Moral’ Minimum Wage Increase Hurts Teens and Minorities

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Religious activists are stumping for a minimum wage increase as a way to help the disadvantaged. But do they understand the economics? Anthony Bradley observes that government-mandated pay hikes “actually hurt teens and low-skilled minorities in the long run because minimum wage jobs are usually entry-level positions filled by employees with limited work experience and few job skills.”

Read the full commentary here.

Jonathan Spalink


  • James Schaeffer

    You all claim to be a faith based organization, but you write like you are all Sean Hannity in a clerical collar.

    James Schaeffer
    memphis, TN

  • reinkefj

    I’ve ranted about this before. The Republican Statists are just trying anything to avoid being defeated in November. So they try and make themselves more like the Democratic Statist. Guess the figure you won’t be able to tell them apart.

    The article misses the impact on the politican’s salaries, the gubamint workers’ salaries, the union members’ salaries, and such related since they will all go up in lock step with the minimum wage. Then when all those added costs come due, there will have to be additional taxes to close the budget gaps that they created. Or, if it’s the federal gubamint’s cost we’re talking about they will just raise the inflation tax we pay to cover the gap.

    They know we are too dumb to realize it.

  • James – that’s not really a response to Bradley’s argument, which lays out the case that increasing the minimum wage is actually counterproductive and harmful to those it is intended to help. The least you could do is to cite some statistics and lay out an argument to counter the one given by Bradley. An ad hominem attack may make you feel good, but it certainly isn’t convincing.

    I would encourage you instead to respond thoughtfully to the question posed in the article: why are the practical effects of a minimum wage increase (increased teen unemployment, increased minority unemployment, and encouraging the circumvention of the law by employing illegal immigrants and paying under the table) not considered a moral outrage?

  • James,

    In addition to Marc’s fine comment, I think you should be aware of the fact that there is another possibility. The reason that “we” write like Sean Hannity in clerical collars, is that it is Sean who dresses up to look like “us”.

    Besides, even if “we” write like Sean Hannity in clerical collars, who concerned should we be that you think so. You write like a mouthy teenager who, when confronted with an argument citing true facts, responds by saying, “Your mamma wears combat boots!”

  • Marco

    James, what does your response have to do with the articles premise? And, how are faith based organizations supposed to act? Should they wear braids, have long hair and write articles about making "love" not war? You seem to have a warped view of economics and religion. In particular Christianity.

  • Matt Goldseth

    James seems to share some traits of those who support minimum wage laws.

    His comment lacks any substance, instead leaning upon the liberal tactic of making demons.
    Ooooh…..Mr Hannity……<gasp>! Dastardly.

    The article is right on. The liberal do-gooders of society continue to justify the force of government wealth confiscation/transfer so long as such tyrany is exercised under the guise of some emotional good.

    As usual, the claimed intentions are what matters…actual outcomes be damned…and a new generation of victims are born so that the do-gooders may fell better about themselves.

    And such spreads the sickness that is liberalism.

  • Hoyt Ross

    Sometimes we over analyze things. If we could take this oppertunity to stick together we may be able to turn this into a winning situation. The average person making minimum wage is the poor, the uneducated and the young. Kind of sounds like the same people that are flooding our prison systems. I say we support the increase. Then boycot any company that changes it’s policy so that our children, brothers, and fathers can’t benefit from it. Personally I just believe with America being the richest country in the world the lowest paying job should pay enough to not only cover a persons bills but they should be able to save 25%% of their weekly pay for retirement.