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Lowering the minimum wage

- December 16, 2009

Paul Krugman asks, “Would cutting the minimum wage raise employment?” The macroeconomics discussion is interesting, if over my head.

But, politically, of course nobody’s going to cut the minimum wage. Can you imagine the unpopularity of a minimum wage cut during a recession? I can’t imagine that all the editorial boards of all the newspapers in the country could convince a majority of Congress to vote for this one, whatever its economic merits.

Which makes me wonder why the idea is being discussed at all. Is it an attempt to shoot down a minimum wage increase that might be in the works? Krugman mentions that Serious People are proposing a minimum wage cut, but he doesn’t mention who those Serious People are. I can’t imagine that they’re serious about thinking this might happen.

Or am I missing something? Perhaps my fellow Monkey Cagers can inform me here.