I completely understand the basic argument against price setting, and I agree that, in general, raising the minimum wage will increase unemployment. I also understand that under particular conditions, that might not be true. For instance, if insufficient aggregate demand is the key problem in an economy, it is certainly theoretically possible that an increase in the minimum wage could result in increased employment.
On the whole, I am inclined to think that price setting by the government is generally a bad thing, and that there are much better ways to help the poor than an increase in the minimum wage, such as providing more public goods and free basic life requirements*, or eliminating barriers that prevent entrepreneurial activity on the part of those less adept at filling out government forms. (One might notice how much better the poor are at entrepreneurship in the black market, where all they need to know is how to satisfy their customers, than they are in the "legitimate" market.)
But an utterly absurd argument against raising the minimum wage I often see put forward contends that, if raising the minimum wage from seven dollars an hour to eight dollars an hour is good, why not just raise it to $1 million an hour?
Right: If I have a friend who seems to be wasting away on a diet of 1000 calories per day, and I recommend that he up his intake to 2000 calories per day, it is a good counter-argument to ask me why I just don't recommend he go up to 1,000,000 calories per day.
* Let the market set prices according to market principles, but provide plenty of free libraries, so the poor have access to the Internet and books, plenty of free health clinics, so the poor can get healthcare, plenty of free soup kitchens, so the poor can get nutritious food, great parks, so they can enjoy nature, and so on: then, if someone takes on a job at two dollars per hour, they will not be living in dire conditions. And the freedom to take on a job at a very low wage may be the very thing that allows a person to gain skills that lift them out of poverty.
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