Economists understand the truth. A survey of the American Economic Association found that 90 percent of economists say the minimum wage increases unemployment.
Williams says the minimum wage law has also been a tool of racism. In his book "South Africa's War Against Capitalism," he studied that country's labor markets during apartheid:
"White racist unions in South Africa that would never have a black as a member were the major supporters of minimum wage laws. Their stated purpose was to protect white workers from having to compete with low-skill, low-wage black workers. In the United States we found some of the same reasoning for support of a super minimum-wage law," the Davis-Bacon Act, which forces taxpayers to pay union-like wages for government-funded construction projects.
Williams says other programs designed to help the poor -- like welfare payments -- have wrecked the lives of millions of black people. He likens the welfare state to a "drug pusher" that keeps people dependent and in poverty.
"The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery (and Jim Crow and racism) could not have done ... break up the black family. Today, just slightly over 30 percent of black kids live in two-parent families. Historically, from the 1870s on ... 75-90 percent of black kids lived in two-parent families."
Why does the welfare state create illegitimacy?
"(Without welfare,) people would decide, 'I'm going to go out and get a job, I'm going to live more responsibly.'" And that would include getting married before having children, something the welfare system discourages.
I believe the creators of the welfare state had good intentions, but good intentions aren't good enough. Even if deficit spending were not bankrupting America -- which it is -- America should end these programs.
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