I briefly overheard an impassioned case for increasing the minimum wage on some morning news program today. The reason? “Rent is too high to pay on $7.25 an hour”

Indeed, rent is high in this city. I can’t imagine earning the min and making ends meet, certainly not in Manhattan, and certainly not in a nice neighborhood without a bunch of roommates.

But read Ryan Avent’s minibook (or listen to an interview with him) and think about this a bit.

High house prices are much a product of regulation designed to limit urban development. Incumbent house-owners lobby to enhance zoning laws and other regulations that stifle development to constrict supply. Now why would you want to constrict supply of something you own?

So the price goes up.

It’s policies that favor the rich that supply the strongest case for increasing the minimum wage.

One thought on “Irony

  1. Let the market set wages. Business should not be forced to pay higher wages than the worker’s output is worth. The market will work if no one tries to manipulate it; politicians and economists are the main offenders. If people can afford to live in a certain area, live and work somewhere else. If an area cannot find workers, it will be forced to either do without workers or pay higher wages and provide appropriate housing.

    Censorship is evil.

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