An enormous amount of intellectual energy is spent attempting to discredit the basic economic analysis of minimum wages. Vast quantities of creativity and cleverness are devoted to efforts to discover reasons and evidence that allegedly show that legislated minimum wages do not necessarily have on low-skilled workers any of the negative impacts predicted by standard economic theory.
As regular readers of this blog know, I fully reject any such asserted demonstrations that minimum-wage legislation has no negative impacts on the welfare of low-skilled workers. All such supposed demonstrations are the epistemological equivalents of the many attempts, including those by the faux scientific proponents of so-called “intelligent design,” to disprove the general applicability of Darwin’s theory of evolution driven by natural selection.
I repeat: The desire of many people to deny the general applicability of the law of demand to the economic world is very much akin to the desire of many other people to deny the general applicability to the biological world of Darwinian natural selection. It’s a terrific irony that many individuals in the first group – that is, many individuals who toil earnestly to find ways to deny the general applicability of the law of demand to the economic world – are among the very first to point out correctly the absurdity of the efforts of members of the second group of people – that is, of those individuals who toil earnestly to deny the general applicability to the biological world of Darwinian natural selection.