Sunday, June 12, 2011

Race:  Does the Minimum Wage Help or Hurt Blacks?

... Walter Williams of George Mason University. Williams, who is black, says "there's a huge segment of the black population for whom upward mobility is elusive, and it's because of the welfare state -- because of government."

Williams elaborates in a new book, "Race and Economics." A chief culprit, he insists, is the minimum wage. "Let's not look at the intentions behind minimum wage," he said. "We have to ask, what are the effects? Put yourself in the place of an employer who must pay $7.25 no matter whom you hire. Will that employer hire a person who can only add $3 or $4 of value per hour?"

He will not. And so fewer young people get hired and "get their feet on the bottom rung of the economic ladder." This hurts all young people, but black teens most, he says, because "many of them get a fraudulent education in the public school system. So a law that discriminates against low-skill people has a doubly negative effect on black teenagers. The unemployment rate among black teens today is unprecedented in U.S. history. In the '40s, black teenage unemployment was less than white teenage unemployment."

And yet a Pew survey says 83% of Americans support raising the minimum wage.

"People have the misguided notion that the minimum wage is an anti-poverty tool."

Economists understand the truth. A survey of the American Economic Association found that 90% of economists say the minimum wage increases unemployment.

For more, see Is Government Aid Helping or Hurting Blacks? by John Stossel, June 2, 2011 at Fox News.

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