The minimum wage, killer of your “first job”
A minimum wage was sold at the turn of the twentieth century plainly as a means to keep minorities unemployed so that white men would be guaranteed a job. It was common knowledge for the next 80 years that a minimum wage causes unemployment. Now, the minimum wage is a golden calf of the Progressive movement, who’ve won a battle in California, with the governor signing into law a $15 minimum wage. What these Progressives don’t realize is that, by mandating a high minimum wage for all workers, they’re actually mandating a wage of $0 for the most vulnerable workers in that economy. That means higher unemployment for young adults who’ve never held a job before, and desperately need the work experience. The skills and discipline gained from an individual’s first job is worth far more than the initial low wage. By mandating a minimum wage, lawmakers are forever denying those young workers those valuable skills, letters of reference, et cetera. Unemployed and facing a bleak future, they have no idea who to blame. A minimum wage works insidiously, its effects are indirect, and so blame is laid at the feet of employers rather than policymakers. Realizing the high unemployment was a problem but also an opportunity to spend some money and look good doing it, government of course created an expensive program to get these unemployed young off their feet, which is the theme of Obama’s “First Job” initiative, which blows $5.5 billion on training and grants. And all to address a problem that government itself created.