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Minimum Wage Fever Threatens Both Prosperity and Liberty

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The Los Angeles City Council has voted to raise the city’s minimum wage from $9 to $15 an hour, ordering sharp raises every year between now and 2020.

A New York Times editorial insists that business leaders need not worry, despite the fact that they’ll have to pay all their least skilled workers $48 more for every day they come to work. “The added cost of higher wages is offset by savings from lower labor turnover and higher productivity,” wrote the Times.

In other words, they suggest that journalists and politicians know more about getting the most from workers than the job creators who actually employ them—and have the right to impose their decisions on businesses that are already struggling. This radical move in the nation’s second largest city is not only a threat to prosperity but a threat to liberty—imposing the economic judgment of politicians on private businesses that may not agree.

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