As a result, the real effect of raising the minimum wage is to create winners and losers. The winners are the ones who keep their jobs and receive a higher wage. The losers are the ones who lose their jobs and join the ranks of the unemployed.
So, who are the people most likely to be dropped from the labor force as a result of increasing the minimum wage? They are generally low-skilled and currently displaced workers — the most vulnerable members of society.
The Virginia Employment Commission’s data on the characteristics of the unemployed provide a good first approximation of what these people look like — slightly less than half are minorities, while nearly half have only a high school education or less.
Among the most dangerous myths of modernity is the false belief that freedom is synonymous with democracy. Closely related to this myth is another myth, namely, that democracy necessarily promotes and protects freedom. Sheldon Richman warns against sacralizing voting. A slice:
Of all the ways to express oneself, voting is the way that counts least! Candidates typically hold a grab bag of vaguely stated positions (implied promises, actually), often contradictory, that they may not really believe or ever attempt to keep. Campaigns are merely theatrical productions designed to make various constituencies feel good. Voting thus conveys no clear message at all.
Then there’s the arithmetic of voting. Except in the tiniest jurisdictions, the chance of an election-day tie is far smaller than the chance of being hit by lightning on the way to the polls. It matters not at all what any individual voter does. The odds are that no election in your lifetime would have been different had you done something other than what you did that day — including staying home. One vote is like one drop in the ocean: inconsequential.
Global-warming update. (HT W.E. Heasley)