Liberty Quotation of the Day: Milton Friedman on Minimum Wage Laws

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Milton Friedman“Minimum wage laws are about as clear a case as one can find of a measure the effects of which are precisely the opposite of those intended by the men of good will who support it.  Many proponents of minimum wage laws quite properly deplore extremely low rates; they regard them as a sign of poverty; and they hope, by outlawing wage rates below some specified level, to reduce poverty.  In fact, insofar as minimum wage laws have any effect at all, their effect is clearly to increase poverty.  The state can legislate a minimum wage rate.  It can hardly require employers to hire at that minimum all who were formerly employed at wages below the minimum.  It is clearly not in the interest of employers to do so.  The effect of the minimum wage is therefore to make unemployment higher than it otherwise would be.”

Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom [1962]