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Another Minimum-Wage Challenge for the Daily Kos and Alternet


In my April 2010 article Why Do Daily Kos and Alternet Support a Racist Program? I pointed out that liberals, including those at Daily Kos and Alternet, support minimum-wage laws notwithstanding the fact that such laws have horribly adverse consequences for the poor, especially black teenagers. As I pointed out in that article, the minimum wage locks out of the labor market those people whose labor is valued at less than the mandated minimum, a phenomenon with disproportionately racial consequences.

On May 3, I wrote a follow-up piece entitled Free Teenagers: Repeal the Minimum Wage, where I quoted a New York Times editorial that stated The problem of joblessness is far more severe in poor, minority communities.

Given liberals steadfast insistence that they love the poor, needy, and disadvantaged, and their self-proclaimed sympathy for racial minorities, the obvious question arises: Why do liberals continue supporting a government program whose consequences are so horribly adverse for the poor, especially blacks?

The best explanation I can come up with is economic ignorance. When it comes to understanding basic economics, liberals simply have a blind spot. They honestly believe that welfare-state laws can repeal the natural laws of supply and demand and bring wealth and prosperity to the poor. But in their ignorance, they end up harming the very people they purport to want to help.

Here is another minimum-wage challenge for the liberals at Daily Kos and Alternet and all other liberals:

In an article about American Samoa in the June 25, 2010, issue of the New York Times, the reporter, Sarah Wheaton, states the following: The 2007 federal law increasing the minimum wage prompted the Chicken of the Sea Samoa fish cannery to close, eliminating more than 2,000 jobs.

In a May 25, 2010, article entitled Minimum Wage Laws Dont Fight Poverty George Mason University economics professor Walter Williams stated:

The 2007 legislation mandated 50 cents annual increases in Samoan minimum wages until it reached the U.S. mainlands hourly minimum of $7.25. In response, Chicken of the Sea International moved its operation from Samoa to a highly automated cannery plant in Lyons, Ga. That resulted in roughly 2,000 jobs lost in Samoa and a gain of 200 jobs in Georgia. Prior to minimum wage increases, Samoan wages were about $3.25 an hour. With the legislated increases, Samoas minimum wage is $5.25.

Now, I ask the liberals at Daily Kos and Alternet: Would you please explain to me and everyone else how the minimum wage benefited those 2,000 people in Samoa who lost their jobs at Chicken of the Sea because of the minimum wage? How are they better off than they were before the minimum wage law was enacted?

Undoubtedly, liberals will be tempted to quickly answer, Because theyre no longer being exploited by capitalism! But as Professor Williams pointedly asked, Which is preferable for the Samoan worker being employed at $3.25 an hour or being unemployed at $5.25?

How about it, liberals? How about some articles, op-eds, editorials, commentaries, or blog posts answering Professor Williams pointed question. Tell us how those 2,000 poor people in Samoa have been helped by your beloved minimum-wage law. And while youre at it, would you please explain why you continue supporting a government program whose adverse consequences have been shown to fall disportionately on racial minorities, to wit: American black teenagers.

Oh, one more thing: Liberals, please dont spending any time telling us about your good intentions and how how much you love the poor, needy, and disadvantaged. Those 2,000 poor people in Samoa and those thousands of American black teenagers who are locked out of the labor market because of minimum wage laws dont give a whit about your good intentions or about who you purportedly love. They just want to hear how your minimum wage law has supposedly made them better off.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.