Friday, 12 July 2019

"Define 'low-income workers' any way you wish and you will find that, by pricing them out of the labour market, a minimum-wage hike decreased some of these workers’ incomes to $0." #QotD


"You mistake the term low-income workers' for a relevant category with well-defined, objective boundaries. But no such category here exists.
    "Which persons are we to classify as 'low-income workers'? Are they all people currently working for $17.75 per hour or less? Or are they all people working or actively looking for work at $17.75 per hour or less? What about all people who are working for $18.00 per hour or less? Or all people who are working for $18.25 per hour or less? Or $18.50 per hour or less?
    "And what do you count as income? Wages only? Wages plus fringe benefits? And do you or don’t you count as 'income' the value to each worker of on-the-job training and work experience?
    "Does your category 'low-income workers' include only full-time workers, or does it include also part-time workers? And how do you handle variations across jobs in the availability of overtime work?
    "There are no 'scientific' or objective answers to these (and many other similar) questions – meaning, there is no objective boundary separating 'low-income workers' from other workers...
    "Define 'low-income workers' any way you wish and you will find that, by pricing them out of the labour market, a minimum-wage hike decreased some of these workers’ incomes to $0."

        ~ Don Boudreaux, from 'Another Open Letter to Thomas Hutcheson
[NB: Numbers changed to reflect NZ rates.]
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