End of America

Famed economist Milton Friedman responds to Obama's latest jobs proposal

From Carpe Diem:
Milton Friedman:
The fact is, the programs labeled as being "for the poor," or "for the needy," [by politicians like President Obama] almost always have effects exactly the opposite of those which their well-intentioned sponsors intend them to have. 

Let me give you a very simple example – take the minimum wage law. Its well-meaning sponsors [like President Obama] – there are always in these cases two groups of sponsors – there are the well-meaning sponsors and there are the special interests, who are using the well-meaning sponsors as front men.
You almost always when you have bad programs have an unholy coalition of the do-gooders on the one hand, and the special interest on the other. The minimum wage law is as clear a case as you could want.
The special interests are of course the trade unions – the monopolistic trade craft unions. The do-gooders believe that by passing a law saying that nobody shall get less than $9 per hour (adjusted for today) or whatever the minimum wage is, you are helping poor people who need the money. You are doing nothing of the kind. What you are doing is to assure that people whose skills are not sufficient to justify that kind of a wage will be unemployed.
The minimum wage law is most properly described as a law saying that employers must discriminate against people who...
More on the minimum wage:
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