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Another Open Letter to Someone With A Fetish for Force

Mr. Bob Keener
Business for a Fair Minimum Wage

Dear Mr. Keener:

In your latest e-mail proclaiming the alleged merits of a government-enforced rise in the minimum wage, you quote Doug Havron, owner of Gabby’s Burgers and Fries in Nashville, as saying that “Raising the minimum wage is good business.  Paying people good money leads to better service and self-motivated behaviors.  It is smart in the short and long run.”

Because absolutely nothing prevents Mr. Havron from raising his workers’ pay now, and without being forced to do so by government, the fact that he evidently hasn’t yet done so means that Mr. Havron doesn’t really believe what he’s quoted as saying or that as a businessman he’s cartoonishly incompetent.  Either way, rather than Mr. Havron’s remarks serving to strengthen your case for a higher minimum wage, they do quite the opposite by revealing Mr. Havron to be someone whose advice should be completely ignored by everyone.

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