Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on February 28, 2014

in Reality Is Not Optional, Seen and Unseen, Work

… is from page 65 of the manuscript of Deirdre McCloskey‘s forthcoming volume, The Treasured Bourgeoisie: How Markets and Improvement Became Virtuous, 1600-1848, and Then Suspect:

Stopping people from taking terrible jobs – through prohibitions or protections or minimums, justified by the warm if mistaken feeling over one’s second cappuccino that one is thereby being generous to the poor – takes away from the poor what the poor themselves regard as a bettering option.  It’s theft from the poor of deals the poor want to make.

Indeed so.  Minimum-wage legislation and similar interventions rob the poorest people in society of options; these interventions steal from the poorest people in society the very opportunities to earn income and to gain work experience that these people need most.  No amount of seminar-room theorizing about monopsony power – especially as such theorizing is done almost exclusively by tweedy and self-righteous academics who refuse to put their money where their mouths are on this matter – justifies this injustice.

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