I was at a coffee shop yesterday when I noticed a sign saying "please bus
your own tables" (I paraphrase). I saw a similar sign at an ice cream place last
week; I interpret both as examples of the deadweight loss from the state's $8.00
per hour minimum wage. Someone somewhere might be willing to bus tables at
coffee shops for $7.00 per hour, but they are prevented from doing so by state
Granted, cleaning my own table at a coffee shop is at best a trivial
inconvenience, and it's something I usually try to help with anyway. However,
when you add up the number of possible mutually-beneficial trades that are ruled
out by government fiat, then you're dealing with potentially substantial
leakages from the prosperity pool.
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Does it help the poor if you clear your own table?
A great example of how the minimum wage destroys jobs, courtesy of Art Carden at Division of Labour.