Greg Mankiw is too kind. He describes as “incorrect” and “misleading” this passage from a recent speech by Pres. Obama:
Now, we all know the arguments that have been used against a higher minimum wage. Some say it actually hurts low-wage workers — businesses will be less likely to hire them. But there’s no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs.
I describe Obama’s claim here not merely as “incorrect” or “misleading”; I describe it as a lie. Obama knows – or he recklessly misses the fact – that, as Mankiw correctly notes, there is indeed a great deal of solid evidence that a higher minimum wage reduces the employment prospects of low-skilled workers. There is also, as Mankiw points out, contrary evidence. But for the President of the United States to say that “there’s no solid evident that a higher minimum wage costs jobs” is an outright falsehood.
No surprise, of course. Obama is a successful politician. For a successful politician to be unwilling to lie would be akin to a successful prostitute being unwilling to undress in the presence of paying clients. Such unwillingness is inconceivable, for each activity is a key requirement of each of these respective jobs.