Eliminate Minimum Wage

Minimum wage hurts employment. Some people are not worth paying the federal minimum wage, but could gain experience by agreeing to work at a lower rate. They could build the skills necessary to be worth far more to a future employer. Unemployment among teens is at its highest level in many years and it is because employers don’t want to have to pay unskilled workers at that rate, so instead they hire no one.

The first federal minimum-wage law, the Fair Labor Standards Act, passed in 1938, with a 25-cent-per-hour wage floor and a 44-hour workweek ceiling for most employees. By today’s standards this is extremely low.

The idea seems valid, but here again the results prove otherwise. When the minimum wage requirement is raised, unemployment tends to increase. Rather than pay more to unskilled labor, many small business owners opt to either cut their employee hours eliminate some of them completely, taking on more of the duties themselves.

If the minimum wage law were eliminated, we would not return to the days of the sweat shops paying three cents an hour. People will not work for less than they require to survive. It would have the effect of increasing employment, especially among the young and unskilled as shop keepers would find help more worthwhile if they could afford to pay for it. A destitute teenager with ambition would rather work 20 hours at $5.00 per hour for $100 than zero hours at $15.00 an hour for $ZERO. Even the dumbest teenager knows the result of zero multiplied by $15.00.

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