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Friday, June 30, 2017

Minimum wage updates: paging Mayor Jackson!

 art credit: The Tunnel Wall

The Washington Post reports that the state of Maine’s House voted on a bill to reduce the minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers. An earlier Cleveland Tea Party blog reported on Mayor Frank Jackson’s hopes of increasing the minimum wage for City of Cleveland employees.

Today, Thomas Lifson at American Thinker has more on the minimum wage debate:

Minimum wage laws are a perfect example of feel-good statism, in which the professed goal is noble, but the execution inevitably fails and makes things worse.  The state can no more repeal the law of supply and demand than it can the law of gravity.

But don't tell that to the Seattle City Council, which just commissioned a new study intended to get the answer it wants, from a scholar who has contended, in effect, that supply and demand don't really work at the bottom of the wage scale.  The wonderful thing about working with numbers is that by choosing baselines, time periods, and sample bias, you can find almost whatever you want.  As a graduate student who got a Ph.D. in sociology, I saw this clearly and was sickened by people openly proud of the ways in which they got to the conclusions they wanted for ideological reasons.  Nobel laureate Ronald Coase famously summed it up: "If you torture the data long enough, it will confess."

Will somebody tell Mayor Frank Jackson?
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