This post by John Cochrane on minimum-wage legislation is a must-read. A slice:
The effects fall heaviest on low-skill teenagers, especially minorities. Tom Sowell is eloquent on this point, for example in a recent New York Post OpEd. I was unaware until reading it that minimum wage laws were initially backed in part as conscious efforts to discriminate against minorities and preserve jobs for white people. Sometimes, I guess, policies do have their intended effects.
David Harsanyi isn’t as pessimistic as some that today’s technological advances spell doom for ordinary people. (David interviewed me for this piece of his. I’m likely to blog more on this topic within the next few days. My general take on this matter – which I know Russ shares with me – is that the burden of persuasion is quite heavy on those who insist that today’s technological advances will, unlike all the many advances of the past, finally in fact cause long-lasting economic stagnation for the great bulk of ordinary people. The past doesn’t prove the future, of course. But it is an important source of evidence and insight – and, so far, all that evidence and insight scream pretty loudly that humans in every age are far too prone to over-estimate the likelihood that technology will lead to generalized and lasting job losses.)