February 6, 2018

QotD: The original goal of the minimum wage

Filed under: Economics, Government, History, Quotations, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

For progressives, a legal minimum wage had the useful property of sorting the unfit, who would lose their jobs, from the deserving workers, who would retain their jobs. Royal Meeker, a Princeton economist who served as Woodrow Wilson’s U.S. Commissioner of Labor, opposed a proposal to subsidize the wages of poor workers for this reason. Meeker preferred a wage floor because it would disemploy unfit workers and thereby enable their culling from the work force.

Thomas Leonard, “Eugenics and Economics in the Progressive Era”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2005-09.

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