‘American professor Thomas Sowell said:

“Unfortunately the real minimum wage is always zero regardless of the laws because people lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labour force.  Making it illegal to pay less than a given amount does not make a worker’s productivity worth that amount – and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed.”

It is one of the most basic principles of economics, that prices artificially raised above levels set by demand and supply create unsaleable surpluses, whether it is commodities or labour being sold, regardless of the presence of empathy.  We have seen this in many instances, such as the artificially-set exchange rates in Nigeria and Zimbabwe which spectacular [sic] crashed, with dire consequences on the economy.

Unfortunately, it is often the poor who bear the brunt of these economic policies, which are intended to shield them.  Implementing policies without a careful analysis of the cause and effect relationship often ends dismally for almost everyone’.

Minimum wage is always zero: Riaz Gardee  /  23 November 2016 – Moneyweb.

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Further excerpts

“Reducing the discussion only to the quantum of a minimum wage avoids the difficult questions.

  • What is our target unemployment rate per year for the next ten years?
  • What is an acceptable level of inequality, if any?
  • Do we transfer wealth or create wealth?
  • Can sharing of wealth be separated from producing wealth?
  • What is a ‘fair’ share of wealth and is a demographic basis appropriate?
  • What kind of a society are we working towards?
  • Why has the National Development Plan (NDP) been ‘forgotten’?

A minimum wage on its own is unlikely to be the panacea and may even have unintended consequences of increasing unemployment.  Not identifying and targeting the underlying causes will make a minimum wage as meaningful as a minimum weight requirement for all employees”.

Way forward

“Poverty ensues without effort, while wealth needs to be created.  Productive minorities have been vilified throughout history, usually to the detriment of the entire economy, whether it has been the French Huguenots fleeing France, the Jews leaving Eastern Europe, the Indians expelled from Uganda or numerous other similar examples.

Professor Sowell said “It is quite rational, from the standpoint of the self-interest of leaders of lagging groups, to keep the groups they lead resentful of more advanced groups, and to blame the advanced group for their own failures”.  It would be a wise leader who would replace blame culture with a common focus on improving collective productivity”.