Wherein Slate Agrees Minimum Wage Is Silly

minimum wageMinimum wage and minimum wage laws.  The creation of a system that forces employers to engage in charity by compensating someone more than their production would warrant.

Without getting into the concept that implementation of minimum wage laws, with the noble intention of helping out marginal employees, which hurt the very folks they are trying to help, let us suffice it to say that even Slate understands the economics of the whole thing:

I’m relatively bullish on the American economy, but I do worry that the prolonged downturn has created some odd mental blocks among American CEOs. Today, for example, the Wall Street Journal has a long story about how even though McDonald’s did fairly well at the depths of the recession they’re now having problems with the quality of the customer service they provide. I’m no management genius, but even I know that how much you pay people is relevant to how demanding you can be about the quality of the work they do.

And the converse is also true- how much you can earn is relevant to how demanding you are about the quality of your work.

And it continues:

Part of what you’re seeing here is that the prolonged weak labor market has in some ways been a sweet ride for managers. As things bounce back, it gets tougher. You might need to add staff. And to add high-quality staff you might need to offer better wages and working conditions.


This is why attorneys are paid more than gas station attendants.

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