If you have been hiding under a rock this week, you may have missed the story of an Albuquerque business that is refusing to pay the minimum wage increase. While this has generated local and even national attention, there are several points that highlight issues with the minimum wage. I’ll point some of them out here:
1) It is no surprise that this business is local and not a chain. People love to talk about “buy local,” but local businesses like this malt shop are far less able to cope with arbitrary wage mandates than are big companies like Wal Mart which have supported such wage hikes in the past.
2) The group of leftists protesting the business are “anti-choice.” When it comes to abortion, government restrictions are anathema, but if a willing employer and a willing worker come to an agreement in defiance of the law, that choice is bad and worth protesting. And, if you don’t think employees are “choosing” to work for the malt shop, they are free to find a job elsewhere. Either the workers like their jobs or are worried that they won’t find similar jobs elsewhere.
3) Some liberals have claim that minimum wages do not reduce demand for labor. The law of supply and demand is basic economics that liberals embrace when it comes to cigarette taxes and other areas of taxation, but that law of economics doesn’t apply to wages?
4) Sometimes civil disobedience pays off. Saying “no” when government overreaches is not always a successful business strategy and I’d expect that one employee lawsuit could put this malt shop out of business, but having the courage to “just say no” can make government back down or at least not enforce bad laws.