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Minimum wage hikes hurt women and blacks

Before the ever-increasing minimum wage laws took effect, a black teenager was slightly more likely to be employed than a white teenager. Economist Walter Williams writes: “In the 1940s and 1950s … teenage unemployment among blacks was slightly lower than among whites, and black teens were more active in the labor force as well. All of my classmates, friends and acquaintances who wanted to work found jobs of one sort or another.”

Minimum wage and other New Deal policies, according to CATO’s Jim Powell, cost jobs: “The flagship of the New Deal was the National Industrial Recovery Act, passed in June 1933. It authorized the president to issue executive orders establishing some 700 industrial cartels, which restricted output and forced wages and prices above market levels. The minimum wage regulations made it illegal for employers to hire people who weren’t worth the minimum because they lacked skills. As a result, some 500,000 blacks, particularly in the South, were estimated to have lost their jobs.”

Today’s push for a higher minimum wage occurs as the supposed “pay gap” between male and female millennials now approaches extinction. Pew Research Center says: “(T)oday’s young women are the first in modern history to start their work lives at near parity with men. In 2012, among workers ages 25 to 34, women’s hourly earnings were 93 percent those of men. … And women in the younger age cohort were significantly more likely than their male counterparts to have completed a bachelor’s degree – 38 percent versus 31 percent in 2013.”

Two years ago, Elissa Shevinsky, described as a “social justice warrior,” complained about “sexism” in high-tech industries. She argued for policies to encourage more women in tech. But Shevinsky later had an epiphany: “I think the more important meaning is to actively choose a path that’s yours – for women to create their own companies and their own infrastructures, to actively seek out people and create places that are a fit for them. Women are martyring themselves trying to change the existing culture, and it’s miserable for everyone.”

In other words, stop acting like victicrats – and take control. Shevinsky now says, “Complaining can be effective but also authoritarian, and often unpleasant for everyone involved. Building something new can be even more impactful, and I believe it’s a healthier approach.”

Former Sony Pictures co-chief Amy Pascal gives equally blunt advice about knowing and getting what you’re worth. After the Sony cyberattack revealed that the studio head paid star Jennifer Lawrence less money than her less-popular male costars, Pascal offered this defense: “Here’s the problem. I run a business. People want to work for less money; I’ll pay them less money. I don’t call them up and say, ‘Can I give you some more?’ Because that’s not what you do when you run a business. The truth is, what women have to do is not work for less money. They have to walk away. People shouldn’t be so grateful for jobs. … People should know what they’re worth.”

Any questions?


Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host with too many credits to his name to list here! His work can be found here at

Reprinted with permission.

Photo credit FibonacciBlue

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