Our Bret wrote an excellent post on the costs to the putative beneficiaries of minimum wage laws. Of course, it’s clear that the actual beneficiaries are labor unions, but that’s not something supporters of such laws like to have discussed.
But a rather different if related thought occurred to me, which is that the claims about increasing productivity during Obama’s War on Prosperity, are likely to prove disappointing mirages. That is because during economic downturns like this, it is the least productive who are the first to lose jobs. This of itself will cause a noticeable increase in average worker productivity. It’s one reason that European economies look more productive relative to the USA than they really are, because restrictive labor laws cause low productivity workers to be unemployed and therefore not counted in the statistics.