The minimum wage and unintended consequences

I sit on the Community Resources and Development Committee on the City Council of Macon, Georgia.

Last night, a lady came to brief us on a workforce development program the city runs. To summarize the program, the city uses federal dollars to place high school students in summer jobs. An employer gets a willing worker, the student gets off the street for the summer, and the city pays the student’s salary so the employer does not have to do anything other than train and teach the student usable job skills.

It is actually not a terrible program. It gets several hundred high school students off the street during the summer, cutting the number of idle hands that might otherwise subsidize their summer with petty crimes. It also trains potential workers who are not college bound.

During the course of the lady’s presentation she lamented the increase in the minimum wage — this from a government bureaucrat who’d already blamed Bush for cutting other social program funding.

Because of the minimum wage increase, it is now more expensive to employ each student. Because it is more expensive per student, less students can be employed. The less students that can be employed through the program, the more students there will be on the street during the summer without jobs.

And that could very probably increase the rates of petty crime during the summer.

Way to go Democrats!

About the author

Erick Erickson

View all posts