.. economic theory and empirical observation tell us that an enforced minimum wage destroys jobs, degrades the quality of other jobs, and prevents new jobs from being created.
The victims are the most vulnerable people in society: the unskilled. For the most part, these are young people (many from the middle class) without work experience. Few people over 24 make the minimum wage, and those who do usually move up before long. Young people desperately need that first job to learn skills and work habits, and of course income, but “progressive” politicians, whether they know it or not, favor policies that destroy entry-level jobs. Remember, the minimum-wage law doesn’t create employment; it forbids jobs that pay too little.
Years ago, unskilled youth cleaned windshields and checked oil at gas stations, showed people to their seats in movie theaters, and bagged groceries. Many of those kinds of jobs disappeared as the minimum wage rose. Teenage unemployment, especially among blacks, has been a scandal ever since.
If the advocates of the minimum wage really cared about people with low skills and low incomes, they’d support elimination of the myriad government barriers to entrepreneurship and small-business formation, which keep people down. These include occupational licensing, restrictions on street peddling, and zoning, all of which make it tougher for people living on the edge to start up modest businesses and hire people in a similar predicament.