More Minimum Wage Madness

Last night, Bernalillo County became quite possibly the only county in America to set its own minimum wage above the federall rate. The fact that minimum wages are bad policy has been mentioned repeatedly at this site and by the Foundation in general.
The fallacy of minimum wages is repeated in the example cited by the Tribune and Journal in their write-ups of the wage hike. Victor Rivera, a 15 year old that spends his weekends working 11-hour shifts on a construction site outside Albuquerque and supposedly gives all the money to his mother to buy the basics for the family, makes the minimum wage. According to convential wisdom, Rivera is obviously being underpaid by his employer who could easily pay him $6.75 or even $7.50 per hour.
In reality, Rivera could easily lose his job if his current employer decides that this young man is not worth more than $5.15 an hour. That would make it even more difficult for mom to buy necessities and put groceries on the table. Maybe the employer will suck it up and pay the higher wage while cutting elsewhere or maybe not. My 15 year old cousin has been looking for a job at $5.15 an hour and can’t find one. It will be even more difficult for him as the wage rate rises as this miguided law takes effect.

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