Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on August 4, 2016

in History, Scientism, Work

… is from page 140 of Princeton University economist Thomas Leonard’s important 2016 book, Illiberal Reformers, which is a study of how the scientistic pretenses of late-19th and early-20th century “Progressives” led them to endorse illiberal – indeed, often vicious – social-engineering schemes, including minimum-wage legislation; a minimum wage was correctly recognized by these proud racists as an effective means of denying jobs to workers with the lowest skills and otherwise with the least to offer employers:

A legal minimum wage, applied to immigrants and those already working in America, ensured that only the productive workers were employed.  The economically unproductive, those whose labor was worth less than the legal minimum, would be denied entry, or, if already employed, would be idled.  For economic reformers who regarded inferior workers as a threat, the minimum wage provided an invaluable service.  It identified inferior workers by idling them.

Today’s supporters of minimum wages should be embarrassed and ashamed, not only for their weak grasp of economics and scientific method, but also for championing a policy conceived by anti-immigrant white supremacists and finally hatched at the national level in the U.S. by a “Progressive” government bent on protecting the profits and wages of white northerners from the competition of ‘inferior’ southerners.

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