The Dark Side of the Minimum Wage

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)
It hurts the very people it’s supposed to be helping.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE P resident Biden and his fellow Democrats are pushing hard to increase the federal minimum wage to $15, and polls show strong support for the measure. That’s understandable — after all, who doesn’t care about poor people and want them to do better?

The problem is that Americans don’t fully understand how the minimum wage works, or the many ways it hurts the very people it’s supposed to help. As the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) notes in a new review of the relevant academic studies, the economic consensus on minimum-wage laws is much clearer, and much more clearly negative, than

Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola is a research associate professor and the director of the Environmental Finance and Risk Management Program at Florida International University and a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. From 2017 to 2019 he was the associate director for regulatory reform at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.


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