Friday, December 01, 2006

Andrew Sullivan on the Minimum Wage

So I am currently quite confused about Andrew Slavonic position on the minimum wage. Yesterday he wrote:

Just to scramble things up, I also favor a raise in the minimum wage. I didn't
used to. But I've been persuaded by the evidence that the benefits outweigh the
costs, and that its worth has been deeply eroded in the recent past. The plight
of the working poor in a globalized economy deserves addressing.

But back in May he wrote the following when discussing a list of progressive policy proposals:

Most I dislike (progressive taxation, clumsy statist environmental policy,
indexing the minimum wage, ending abstinence education, making Medicare even
more costly).
Since I could not find any other references to the minimum wage in the interim, I was completely confused about what caused him to reverse his position about the relative costs and benefits of increasing the minimum wage.

Then to add even more confusion into the mix, Andrew linked to a post on Greg Mankiw's Blog, which he described as a "A sane, smart argument against raising" the minimum wage.

I would tend to agree with Andrew that the plight of the working poor deserves addressing, I am just not sure that the government should address it by raising the minimum wage or even that the government is the entity that should address it in the first place.

As a bonus after browsing on Greg Mankiw's Blog, I found this post discussing a survey of PhD members of the American Economic Association. Check it out to see the areas where economists agree and where they disagree. One of the main areas of disagreement is interestingly enough on the minimum wage.

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