Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson contains one of the clearest expositions of the impact  laws have on employment that I’ve seen:

Thinking has become so emotional and so politically biased on the subject of wages that in most discussions of them the plainest principles are ignored. People who would be among the first to deny that prosperity could be brought about by artificially boosting prices, people who would be among the first to point out that minimum price laws might be most harmful to the very industries they were designed to help, will nevertheless advocate laws, and denounce opponents of them, without misgivings.

The first thing that happens, for example, when a is passed that no one shall be paid less than $9.00 per hour [updated according to Obama’s demand] is that no one who is not worth $9 per hour to an employer will be employed at all. You cannot make a man worth a given amount by making it illegal for anyone to offer him anything less. You merely deprive him of the right to earn the amount that his abilities and situation would permit him to earn, while you deprive the community even of the moderate services that he is capable of rendering. In brief, for a low wage you substitute unemployment. You do harm all around, with no comparable compensation. (My emphasis)

This is the core issue, isn’t it? It’s the King Canute hubris of our “leaders” who think that by declaring certain things, they will cause them to come true.

As Mark Perry has noted in the past, an easy way to see how foolish such edicts and are is to ask: why not raise the to $90 an hour and make everyone wealthy?

Of course then everyone will see the  for what it is.

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