Well, if I were king for a day I probably still wouldn't have the minimum wage at the top of my list, but let's say it was there.
People seem to impute policy views from scientific views in this discussion, so I thought I'd make this clear. If I were king for a day and had to deal with the minimum wage I would probably eliminate the federal minimum wage and let states and localities set their own if they're interested in that. Modest minimum wages might be welfare enhancing so I certainly wouldn't want to cut that policy choice off from free people. But the federal minimum wage makes very little sense, even if you think the monopsony issues are real. At some point you are going to reduce employment - monopsony is not a get out of jail free card. You hit the MRP curve eventually and after that you're in trouble. What's absolutely nuts about the federal minimum wage is that it leads to things like Alabama having a higher real minimum wage than California, and quite against Alabamans will, I might add.
This seems wrong. I don't like federalism for me but not for thee.
I think Alabama should be free to experiment with a lower minimum wage just like California has been free to experiment with that. I don't think federal fiat should prevent that.
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