One thing that liberals generally agree on is that using the government to mandate higher wages is a great thing. However, many fail to recognize the macroeconomic effects that minimum wages create and the extent to which they stunt job creation. Here’s a recent editorial from Reason that explains why these liberal economic initiatives are not the remedy for this low employment rate:
…I’m appalled watching politicians kill off “first” jobs. (They say it’s to protect us.)
First, they raise the minimum wage. Forcing employers to pay $7.25 an hour leaves them reluctant to give unskilled kids a chance—why pay more than a worker can produce? So they offer fewer “first” jobs.
On top of that, the Obama Labor Department has issued a fact sheet that says free internships are only legal if the employer derives “no immediate advantage” from the intern.
Are you kidding me? What’s the point of that? I want interns who are helpful!
The bureaucrats say they will crack down on companies that don’t pay, but that’s a terrible thing to do.
Unpaid internships are great. They are win-win. They let young people experiment with careers, and figure out what they’d like and what they’re good at. They help employers produce better things and recruit new employees.
I’ve used interns all my career. They have done some of my best research. Some became journalists themselves. Many told me: “Thank you! I learned more working for you than I learned in college, and I didn’t have to pay tuition!
I could have paid them, but then I would have used fewer interns. When I worked at ABC, the network decided to pay them—$10 an hour—but it also cut the number of internships by half. Politicians don’t get it. Neither do most people. Polls show that Americans support raising the minimum wage. Most probably also support limits on unpaid internships, believing that they replace paid work.