The low wage argument is a red herring, argue GILAD ISAACS and BEN FINE in the latest contribution to the minimum wage debate.
This Op-Ed first appeared on Ground Up.
In response to our and Neil Coleman’s articles on national minimum wages, Jeremy Seekings and Nicoli Nattrass trumpet the tune they’ve played for years without taking seriously the arguments aanced.
Seekings and Nattrass distort the debate, asserting that Coleman ‘wants a new system whereby a national minimum wage is set without worrying about employment effects’, contrasting this to free marketeers who reject all prescribed minimum wages, and casting their own position as the sensible middle road. But in fact, not even big business is pushing for an absence of any wage regulation, and the position of Seekings and Nattrass fits squarely into the pro-business orthodoxy that we challenge.
We do not argue that the minimum wage should be set without taking account of the present structure of the economy, including consequences for employment.
However, we do show – both empirically and theoretically – that there is no rigid mechanical link between increased wages (or a higher minimum wage) and rising unemployment Seekings and Nattrass, without substantiation, impute the opposite. Further,…
Source : Daily Maverick