Friday, April 01, 2016

The real minimum wage is zero

As California moves to increase the minimum wage to $15, and New York follows, it's like they're entirely oblivious to the possibility of automation as a viable alternative (AmericanInterest):

Brown’s minimum wage scheme will, of course, artificially raise the cost of hiring the most at-risk workers. Though the robots are not ready to take over quite yet, an onerous wage floor only incentivizes further research into automation. This whole situation is a bizarre illustration of the layered contradictions contained in the blue coalition: anti-inequality crusaders want a radical minimum wage hike, which will likely have the effect of raising unemployment (and welfare eligibility) among economically deprived blue constituencies. Meanwhile, those most likely to benefit down the line from these kinds of moves are the socially liberal Silicon Valley executives and venture capitalists, who bankroll the Democratic Party despite some of their dearly held libertarian beliefs.
On the other hand, maybe that's the goal - "[like other policies supposedly aimed at helping the poor, this] will have the opposite of its intended effect, favoring privileged insiders at the expense of those it is intended to help."

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