On Minimum Wage, a Flight from Reality

Demonstrators march past a McDonald’s restaurant during a protest calling for a $15-an-hour nationwide minimum wage in Chicago, Ill., in 2016. (Jim Young/Reuters)
The price of labor is an economic reality, and you cannot legislate away reality.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he endless debate over the minimum wage — the newly elected Democratic majority has put a hike to $15/hour at the top of its 2019 agenda — is a classic case of mistaking the map for the territory.

When we work, we do not trade our labor for money. We trade our labor for goods. Those can be physical goods such as Honda Civics and avocados or services such as air travel and health care. If we earn more than enough to achieve our desired consumption, then we may redirect some of our earnings into savings and investments, which are themselves

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