Sunday, April 9, 2006

When received wisdoms collide

The idea that minimum wage legislation is an anti-poverty tool is simply sheer nonsense. Were it an anti-poverty weapon, we might save loads of foreign aid expenditures simply by advising legislators in the world's poorest countries, such as Haiti, Bangladesh and Ethiopia, to legislate higher minimum wages.
— Walter Williams, Minimum Wage, Maximum Folly

True, but promoting higher minimum wages in the world's poorest country wouldn't have quite the same developed-world-guilt cachet that makes foreign aid so media-sexy. First of all, how would Bono get in the news?