Since the time both of my kids were very young, I instilled in them the economic principle of the free market and “supply and demand” (they are now 26 and 22).
In a truly free market, “supply and demand” will always determine precisely the costs of goods and services, as well as wages. Always. The problem begins when bureaucrats insert themselves between the words supply – demand and the result becomes negatively biased. Politicians do this, for example, by giving tax breaks to corporations who relocate to their city or state, setting artificial ceilings or floors on goods or services (minimum milk prices, rent controlled apartments) or the most commonly known intrusion: the minimum wage.
New Hampshire currently sets its minimum wage in tandem with the Federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25. I challenge anyone to find someone they know making this minimum wage. Yes, there may be a few, but numbers are extremely rare and are almost exclusively entry level jobs.
What got me thinking about minimum wage today was an ad I heard on the radio. Walmart distribution in Raymond was looking for laborers/workers at their distribution warehouse. Starting wage was $18 -$21 an hour. That is $37,500 – $43,500 annually. The law of “supply and demand” for workers has set that wage, it was not set by bureaucracies.
The NH Legislature will certainly deal with yet another minimum wage bill in the upcoming session, when a few Representatives from the democratic party will pick an arbitrary minimum wage number out of thin air. And just like each of the four years I was on the Labor Committee where these minimum wage bills received their public hearings, they will not pass muster for a variety of reasons.
A big reason will be because “supply and demand” has already determined what a fair wage is in our state by allowing the free market to work.