Monday, February 18, 2013

What's the "right" minimum wage? Who knows?

President Obama has proposed a $9 minimum wage, and the blogosphere debate is raging.  Frankly, I'm not in favor of the whole minimum wage concept.

One of my criticisms is this: there's no way to rationally set the minimum wage at the "right" level to achieve any particular policy purpose you have in mind. What's the "right" number? No matter how you slice it, any specific dollar figure for the minimum wage is a wholly arbitrary choice. 

So, here's the question: should the minimum wage be $8.97 an hour? should we set it at $10.31 an hour? How about $20 an hour? Why don't we just make it $30 an hour….yeah, that's the ticket, that sounds like a good number, if I had to take a minimum wage job I'd sure like to make $62,400 a year doing it.

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