If you want to raise the minimum wage you need to raise productivity first

The video comes at an opportune time since this is a large part of where our next election will be fought: Business faces world’s highest minimum wage under Bill Shorten. I will also mention that the Card and Krueger study mentioned in the vid for many years played a large part in our own wage cases where I had to spend an inordinate amount of time demonstrating how inane the notion is that higher minimum wages do not cost jobs. They do. Unless productivity goes up, the only possible outcome of raising minimum wages is a fall in employment. The vid makes the case, while also establishing how out to lunch the economic establishment is in yet one more area. Thinking you can create jobs by raising the minimum wage is as stupid as believing you can increase employment through unproductive public spending. Modern economics has almost entirely lost its way, but if that’s the advice people want, there will be plenty of advisors to provide it.

The chart below is from that same article, showing the drop in the minimum wage as a proportion of the median wage which coincided with the GFC and may even have preceded it. A very old sequence, a downturn that decimates industry changes the employment pattern along with the underlying wage structure. Using averages as a measurable reality that can be adjusted by some kind of administrative policy will never ever work. If you want to raise the real wage or the minimum wage you can only do it by raising the level of real value added per employed person. That’s called leaving things to the market, a very old idea that has always worked when it has been applied, but another one of those notions economists in general have long ignored and is now all but forgotten.

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