Do-Gooding Gone Bad

Published November 29, 2006

Dear Editor:

All the discussion about increasing the minimum wage [“Wage Hike Nears,” Nov. 29] ignores a critical insurmountable economic principal: Increases in employers’ labor costs must be accommodated by increasing prices on consumers or decreasing the number of unskilled employees on the payroll. Either way, the negative effects always fall disproportionately on minority youth in urban areas.

At 32.2 percent, the African-American teenage unemployment rate is already seven times the national average, according to the Labor Department. Passing a law that drives up unemployment even more is unconscionable.

Ralph W. Conner ([email protected]) is government affairs director for The Heartland Institute.