Michele Bachmann and the Minimum Wage Law

Posted: Jun 28, 2011 4:44 PM
In an interview today on ABC News, Politico reports that Michele Bachmann evaded answering a question in response to a controversial statement she made as a legislator in 2005.

ABC News' chief political correspondent and "Good Morning America" anchor George Stephanopoulos asked whether or not she stood by her assertion that taking "away the minimum wage…could potentially wipe out unemployment."

Bachmann's response was ambiguous: "What I'm saying is that I think we need to look at all regulations. Whatever ones are inhibiting job growth."

This tepid response lacks the conviction of a serious presidential candidate, especially when her "controversial statement" is surprisingly accurate.

While repealing the minimum wage law will probably not eliminate unemployment entirely, it would greatly reduce joblessness, and propel a generation of disenfranchised citizens into the American workforce.

The problem with the minimum wage law – as argued by economist Milton Friedman – is that it forces companies to pay their employees a federally regulated wage in exchange for their labor.

Although largely left out of our political discourse, the minimum wage mandate is one of the most discriminatory laws in our nation and has devastating consequences for younger people who are disproportionately affected by it.

Moreover, with nationwide unemployment hovering around 9.1% – abolishing the minimum wage could help alleviate chronic joblessness and generate consumer spending, thereby creating more employment opportunities for the underemployed. Furthermore, having no minimum wage will lower the barrier for entry into the job market, fostering an expectation that people hired will gain skills and increase their salaries over time.

In the GOP, we need more leaders to stand up for what they believe in. Michele Bachmann should stick to her guns, and never avoid a fight because it's politically expedient.