Federal Minimum Wage a Bad Idea

Published October 26, 2006

Dear Editor:

Steve Chapman’s column, “Wishful Thinking on the Minimum Wage” (October 25) was spot on. Raising the minimum wage penalizes employers for hiring unskilled labor.

Chapman failed, however, to point out how absurd it is that wages should be dictated from Washington D.C. in the first place. When I moved from Little Rock, Arkansas to Chicago, Illinois, I went from making minimum wage to making more than $8.00 an hour. Why? Because the price of labor is significantly higher in Chicago than elsewhere. A federal minimum forces struggling economies in rural areas to pay city-like wages, which means they suffer disproportionately.

Even if a minimum wage made sense, which it doesn’t, having one minimum for the entire country is a policy so ridiculous only a politician could have come up with it.


Michael Van Winkle

Michael Van Winkle ([email protected]) manages media relations for The Heartland Institute.