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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Pro free-markets and pro-business are not the same

George Mason University economics professor Don Boudreaux draws the important distinction between supporting free-markets and supporting businesses.

For example, he writes: "Like many economists, I oppose minimum-wage legislation. But this opposition has nothing to do with concern for businesses' welfare. Instead, I worry exclusively about the low-skilled workers who are unable to find jobs because minimum-wage legislation prices them out of the labor market. I've spoken and written on this issue probably 2,000 times in my career without once having uttered any concern that legislated minimum wages reduce firms' profits."

Read all of Boudreaux's column in today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I get the difference between the two. The things is I don't think a low-skilled worker could get priced out of flipping a burger. If a business needs a cashier they hire a cashier. If they pay that cashier a livable wage that person doesn't need to work fifteen hours (two jobs) in order to make ends meet. They become a happier employee more likely to stay with the company, and more able to buy the company's product(s). There are fewer and fewer manufacturing jobs in the US, and it's fairly appearant that they won't be coming back soo. The jobs that are available are service jobs which you can't get priced out of, because companies need a way to make people feel comfortable while getting food, clothes, alcohol.