Minimum wage is a bad idea | Letter

Jun 09, 2017

(Minimum-wage) laws always hurt young and unskilled workers. It is fascinating to see brilliant people belatedly discover the obvious – and to see an even larger number of brilliant people never discover the obvious.

It is not a breakthrough on the frontiers of knowledge that these laws reduce the opportunities for the young and the unskilled of any age. It has been happening around the world, for generation after generation, and in the most diverse countries.

Go to your public library and pick up a copy of the distinguished British magazine The Economist. Whether it is the current issue or a back issue doesn't matter.

Spain, Greece and South Africa will be easy to locate in the table near the back, which lists data for various countries.

Just look down the unemployment column for countries with unemployment rates around 25 percent. Spain, Greece, and South Africa are always there, whether or not there is a recession. Why? Because they have very generous minimum-wage laws.

While you are there, you can look up the unemployment rate for Switzerland, which has no minimum-wage laws at all.

Over the years I have never seen the unemployment rate in Switzerland reach as high as four percent.

Gunnar Unneland


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