Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'minimum wage'

10 Things You Should Know About the Minimum Wage Debate

Since 1938, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced the first federal minimum wage in the U.S., a debate has raged about whether wage floors help or hurt workers. But thanks to a radical economic experiment in California, we may be only a few years away from having a definitive answer. Continue Reading...

The Executive’s Conscience: Where Work and Wage Meet

“The twin tracks of work and wage do not meet, and cannot be scientifically related. They are bridged by morality, not by mathematics.” -Lester DeKoster Low-wage workers continue to picket and protest around the country, demanding an increased minimum wage, improved access to benefits, and better working conditions. Continue Reading...

Why Minimum Wages Increases Don’t Target Poverty

If you ask most people why they support raising the minimum wage they’ll says it’s because it helps the poor. But as David Neumark, a scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco notes, numerous studies have shown that there is no statistically significant relationship between raising the minimum wage and reducing poverty. Continue Reading...

Why Does the New York Times Want to Hurt the Poor?

While it may be difficult to imagine, there was once an era when the New York Times was concerned about the poor. Consider, for example, a 1987 editorial they ran with the headline, “The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00.” As the editors noted at the time, [Raising the minimum wage] would increase unemployment: Raise the legal minimum price of labor above the productivity of the least skilled workers and fewer will be hired. Continue Reading...

3 Modern Economic Lessons from an Ancient Tax on Windows

King William III of England needed money, so in 1696 he decided to implement a new property tax. To make sure the tax was progressive (i.e., affected the rich more than the poor), the parliament devised a seemingly clever idea: they’d use the number of windows as an index for the value of a house. Continue Reading...

Are You Pro-Union or Pro-Minimum Wage?

During CNN’s Democratic debate, presidential candidate, senator from Vermont, and self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders promised that if elected he would work to “raise the [federal] minimum wage to $15 an hour.” From an economic point of view, this policy would run the risk of sparking a wage/price spiral, where wages are tied to a cost-of-living index and their increase, in turn, raises the cost of living, sending inflation out of control and ultimately working against the intended goal of helping low-wage workers. Continue Reading...

Minimum Wage OR Minimum Unemployment?

Various forms of government intervention negatively affects economic vitality in many ways, however few policies impact the market as directly as wage laws. The $15 minimum wage law in Seattle dramatically influences determinants of business owners’ hiring practices. Continue Reading...