There is little doubt that the minimum wage is shaping up to be a hot political topic both nationally and here in NC this election year. There has been, and will continue to be, much debate on this issue.
One of the most devastating critics of the minimum wage is economist and columnist Walter Williams – who will be the keynote speaker at the Civitas Institute’s annual Conservative Leadership Conference this Friday evening.
Williams has tackled the minimum wage debate from many angles, including the poor economics of it, how it hurts low-skilled workers the hardest, and the racial component. Here are some samples of what Williams has written on the topic (each quote is from a different article, click on quote to read full article):
For the most part, teenagers dominate the low-skilled worker category. They lack the maturity, skills and experience of adults. Black teenagers not only share those characteristics, but they are additionally burdened by grossly fraudulent education, making them even lower skilled.
Finally, there’s a nastier side to support for minimum wage laws, documented in my book “Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?” During South Africa’s apartheid era, racist labor unions were the country’s major supporters of minimum wage laws for blacks. Their stated intention was to protect white workers from having to compete with lower-wage black workers. Our nation’s first minimum wage law, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, had racist motivation. Among the widespread racist sentiment was that of American Federation of Labor President William Green, who complained, “Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates.”
The best way to sabotage chances for upward mobility of a youngster from a single-parent household, who resides in a violent slum and has attended poor-quality schools is to make it unprofitable for any employer to hire him. The way to accomplish that is to mandate an employer to pay such a person a wage that exceeds his skill level.
“The minimum wage is one of the most effective tools in the arsenal of racists everywhere in the world.” (watch 2-minute video below)
As you can see (and hear), Williams pulls no punches in his analysis. Those attending CLC Friday night should expect to hear more hard-hitting commentary from Williams. To learn more about CLC and to register, click here.