… is from pages 26-27 of the 2009 Revised Edition of Thomas Sowell’s Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One:
Nothing is easier than for third parties to take lofty a moral position that when minimum wage laws, for example, result in a reduction of low-paying jobs, it is nothing to regret, as some politicians and journalists have done. Having wage rates set by third parties’ notion of workers’ “essential needs” would be a radical departure from having wages set by supply and demand – and it is by no means clear how either the allocation of resources in the economy or the interests of the workers themselves would be better served in this way. These workers may well feel that their most “essential need” is a job. Reducing the number of jobs available by pricing inexperienced young workers out of the market solves no problem for these workers. The only clear beneficiaries would be those who acquire such arbitrary powers over their fellow human beings, and are thus able to feel both important and noble, while in fact leaving havoc in their wake.