Visione dei conservatori:
- First, when the cost of hiring unskilled workers rises, businesses hire fewer of them. Brooks believes that the key to personal happiness is “earned success.” A higher minimum wage means that fewer people have the opportunity to experience it.
- Second, because some of the costs of a higher minimum wage are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, it hurts those who buy these goods and services, like meals at fast-food restaurants. The economist Thomas MaCurdy of Stanford University reports that this price effect “is more regressive than a typical state sales tax.”
- Third, the minimum wage is not well targeted to those living in poverty. Of workers affected by an increase in the minimum wage, more than half belong to families making more than $35,000 a year, and almost a quarter belong to families making more than $75,000 a year. If we were evaluating a government spending program to combat poverty, no one would be satisfied if so many of the program’s beneficiaries were already living well above the poverty line (about $24,000 for a family of four).
- Fourth, there is a better way to help the working poor: the earned-income tax credit. This income supplement is well targeted to families living in poverty, it does not raise the prices of goods and services produced by low-wage workers and it does not discourage firms from hiring these workers. By incentivizing work, it increases the number of people enjoying earned sucess.