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Apartheid Ethics and Economics

Here’s a letter to the New York Post:

Kudos to Linda Chavez for criticizing the anti-immigrant stance of many conservatives (“Minimum wage: Righties gone mad,” March 22).  It’s worth pointing out, though, that unlike the egregious Ann Coulter, Ron Unz gets his economics right.

Mr. Unz calls for raising the minimum wage because he correctly understands that a higher minimum wage will price a disproportionately large number of immigrants out of jobs.  While his goal is indefensible, his economics is sound.  Mr. Unz reminds me of an Auburn University undergraduate back in 1982 who, when asked on an exam about the minimum wage, expressed strong support for that legislation precisely because it makes it harder for blacks to compete with whites for jobs.*

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030​

* The student in question was in a Principles of Economics course taught by my dear friend Roger Garrison.