Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Minimum Wage Is The "Black Teenage Unemployment Act": Where Is The US Government's Disparate Impact Lawsuit Against State And Federal Laws And Presidential Executive Orders That Mandate A Minimum Wage

From MediaMatters, "Fox Regular Art Laffer: The Minimum Wage Is Just The 'Black Teenage Unemployment Act' :"
[Art] Laffer [former Reagan Economic Advisor] ... appeared on the January 8 edition of Fox News' Happening Now to discuss the possible extension of recently-expired unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. When host Jenna Lee asked Laffer and American Enterprise Institute's Michael Strain about other ways to improve the economy, Laffer recommended doing away with the minimum wage for some workers, saying that "honestly" the requirement is the "black teenage unemployment act." Strain agreed, and suggested lowering the minimum wage "for the long-term unemployed" to $4 an hour.


JENNA LEE: One of the things you both agree on is maybe looking at minimum wage, and Art, you have an idea for minimum wage that you think could encourage hiring and it involves state government so what is that plan?

LAFFER: Yeah, well the minimum wage makes no sense whatsoever to me. I mean, honestly, it's just the teenage -- black teenage unemployment act and this is the very groups that we need to have jobs not be put out of work because of the minimum wage so I'm really very much in favor of at least for teenagers getting rid of the minimum wage so we can bring them back into the labor force, get them the skills they need to continue being productive members of our society for years and years. I mean, that's the way I'd go on minimum wage.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for White teenagers, 16-19 years old, is 18 percent and for Black teenagers it is 35.5 percent. Both teenage unemployment rates are over three times their respective unemployment rates for 20 years old and over, and the Black teenage unemployment rate is double the White teenage unemployment rate.

Historically, the original reason for US minimum wage laws was not to increase wages or reduce poverty. The original motivation was to prevent Black workers and Black owned firms from competing with White workers and White owned firms with a lower cost of labor and lower price advantage.

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