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Minimum Wage Costs

Recorded on May 16, 2011

It's time for common sense; I'm Ernest Istook.

A new book, by black author Walter Williams, claims government hurts those it pretends to help.

Minimum-wage laws are one example. The 40 percent increase in the minimum wage coincided with the collapse of the American economy between 2006 and 2009.

When labor costs go up, employers hire fewer people. The first to lose opportunities are minority teenagers with the poorest job skills. Those needing work experience are pushed out of the market before they can learn.

Williams says it's a redistribution of wealth, this time from low-skilled people to higher-skilled people, and especially protects labor unions against competition from those who are willing to work for less—a savings that would be passed along to consumers.

Minimum wage laws are touted as protection for the poor, but sometimes they cost those poor the opportunities they so badly need.

For common sense, from The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.