Why is the concept of a minimum wage bad?

Let me start off by qualifying my question. I am a senior in college and will have degrees in both Business Management and Economics in a short amount of time, so I understand my question on a technical level, and know how to answer it in the sense of economics. What I would like are some thoughts from other people who have studied the economics of minimum wage laws on how you could explain the economics in plain English to a poor distant relative who thinks everyone needs to be making more money, and it's the government's responsibility to make that happen. This person has no background in Economics, and I don't think they have any college experience. So, with all of that in mind, any thoughts??? I'm not looking for wacko liberal points of view on this. The minimum wage hurts more people than it helps. That is a fact backed up by Economics and the many studies that have been done on the subject. I don't want people to live in poverty and not be able to put food on the table, but minimum wage is not the answer. So, let's look at some real solutions, not just spitting out liberal talking points like some of the answers given so far. Fly_Your_Flag: I don't think it's possible to live on minimum wage, or at least it's very difficult, but that doesn't make it the best solution. It is still a fact that minimum wage laws are efficient. My question was posed in regards to economic discussion. The problem is that people can't get passed the emotional aspect of the issue. I feel bad for people who live in poverty, but let's not hurt them and the country as a whole by having a minimum wage. I am a struggling, married college student with a large house payment, and plenty of school debt. I'm not poor by any means, but I'm not some wealthy idiot sitting in a cubical tring to talk down about poor people. As to your thought that I am only looking for people that agree with me, that's true, because all of the research out there points to the minimum wage laws as being a bad, inefficient thing. P.S. If you want to discuss this more, it would be easier, and I wouldn't care if you e-mailed me at

Asked By: studyeconomics - 2/27/2006
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Unfortunately for those that believe they "deserve" a higher wage for "working their fingers to the bone" that is not the way market economies like the US and Canada work. I might suggest you try a command economy like North Korea or Cuba... More
Answered By: econprof57 - 2/27/2006
Additional Answers (8)
Overall, the theory states that if businesses are required to pay more money to workers, they will need to raise prices which causes inflation. Inflation is good for no one. Secondary to that, the standard of living won't increase because the same dollar made at minimum wage X may even buy LESS at minimum wage Y if... More
Answered By: Ike Turner - 2/27/2006
Grow up just poor enough to not be able to afford college, read "Nickel and Dimed", then get off your college-educated high horse. Did they not teach you about sweat shops and child labor laws in college... More
Answered By: fly_your_flag_high - 2/27/2006
Put simply, the idea is that the laws of supply and demand should dictate wages, in an ideal world. IE If you are good at your job or your skills are rare a company would be willing to pay you X for you to come work for them. In a strong economy when unemployment is low some positions work this way. In an Ideal... More
Answered By: sparkovac - 2/27/2006
um, i dont really understand what u just asked
Answered By: corbin909 - 2/27/2006
I are not be as edumacated as you be, Massuh. But I am think you not no nobodie that works the mimimum wage or you not say stupid stuffs... More
Answered By: DirtyTrick - 2/27/2006
the concept is not bad its not good at tis moment. I have no college background just what the amy taught me witch is useless but with the way everything is going up in price people making minimun wage is finding it hard to find ends meet making them to live off the goverment with that makes prices go up to supplement... More
Answered By: bigguyphoenix - 2/27/2006
Most people will answer this question based either from a logical or emotional point of view. You must realize that 75% of men & 25% of women are guided more by logic and the remainder are guided by emotions or feelings. It is difficult for someone like you or me to comprehend how 1/2 the people in this world either... More
Answered By: cumuliform - 2/28/2006
The problem is not an economic one. It is a political one: is it better to force employers to distribute more to workers than a free market would require them to, or to increase welfare payments? Remember, it was Richard Nixon who proposed the "negative income tax," and the idea was - and is - that consumers who have... More
Answered By: thylawyer - 3/1/2006
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