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Ben Carson Comes Out Against Raising the Minimum Wage

Earlier in the campaign Ben Carson was favorably disposed toward the minimum wage.  He now is much less favorably disposed.  Unlike many political flip-flops, I believe that Dr. Carson’s change of mind is genuine (and it is certainly welcome).  I believe that his change of mind is genuine because, first, the minimum wage is very popular, even among Republicans.  (“Raising the minimum wage improves the well-being of poor workers” is one of the many myths that have long been commonly held by the economically uninformed man-in-the-street.  And it still is commonly held.)

Second, one of Dr. Carson’s economic advisors is my colleague Tom Rustici.  Tom, in addition to being a man of principle, is also one of the finest economics educators working today.  It is quite understandable and forgivable that Dr. Carson – who had no reason as a physician to ponder carefully the economics of the minimum wage – once shared the man-in-the-street’s ignorance of the minimum-wage’s ill-effects on low-skilled workers.  And it is applause-worthy and encouraging that Dr. Carson, no doubt having learned some economics from Tom Rustici, now sees the ravages that minimum-wage legislation inflicts on the poorest of poor workers.  Good for him!

(Tom’s 1985 paper on the minimum wage is a gem.)