Believe it or not, somebody has requested that I discuss the minimum wage. Apparently a politician of note in the US has suggested that increasing it to $9/hour would be a good thing. It would certainly be better than nothing, but should be raised significantly beyond that. However, even the present proposal, which is so modest as to be offensive, has apparently sparked debate in the mainstream press. Considering that most economists have been taught from texts that double as bad joke books, this is entirely predictable. One tome, authored by the notorious Mankiw of Harvard, used to report (maybe it still does) that 90% or so of economists – from memory – agree that “the minimum wage causes unemployment”. Or maybe what they agreed was that “the minimum wage hurts those that it is intended to help” or some such disingenuous nonsense. Evading, as usual, the sewerage gushing out of the mainstream press, I remained blissfully unaware of the latest kerfuffle until the request for a post on the topic forced me, instead, to swim in it. Thanks, anonymous request person.