Thursday, March 02, 2006

More unintended consequences

Here's a couple of ideas I could have gotten behind as a CLL. (LJ, you might find these attractive.) First, set a decent minimum wage, one where people can actual live above the poverty line: a "living wage" if you will. Second, make it illegal for employers to arbitrarily fire employees. Sounds like a reasonable way to protect workers, right? Well, actually no. South Africa has enacted these two proposals and its unemployment rate has shot to 26% officially and is probably higher. The very people the "do-gooders"* in South Africa sought to help have in fact been put out of work. Sowell explains how and why.

*Mona Charon's book is full of examples of this phenomenon.

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