I Am Trying to Convert This Man to the One True Faith on the Minimum Wage Law

From: E
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2016 6:09 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: RE: min wage

I realize that you are an idea economist, so facts don’t make any difference to your theory.  But I just discovered that in 1956, the minimum wage was $1.00.  The esteemed economist you cite says that he worked in those golden old days, and things were so much better.  In 2016 dollars, that minimum wage is $8.80.

Hence the drift of his argument is interesting.  When in 2016 the minimum wage is LOWER than it was, there is so much more unemployment.  Hence RAISING minimum wage would, on the basis of his argument, be the way to reduce unemployment.

Thank you for providing the empirical evidence to show that your theory is wrong.  But, once again, who needs facts.  To repeat your sentence to me, if the facts don’t persuade you, nothing will.

From: Walter Block
Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2016 12:28 AM
Subject: min wage

Dear E:

Here’s a fact. Before the advent of the minimum wage in the 1930s, when there was  no such law on the books, the unemployment rates of whites and blacks, young and old, was about the same. Now, the unemployment rate of teenaged blacks is QUADRUPLE that of middle aged whites. Why do you think? Do you think that racism was worse 100 years ago than it is now? Rather, it is because youngsters and minority group members have lower productivity rates than middle aged whites.

The min wage is not an employment law. No one is forced by law to hire anyone at the new $15/hour. They are only compelled to pay that much IF they hire someone. But, if the job candidate can only add, say, $3 or $7, or $10, or $12 to the employer’s bottom line, he will not be hired at all. He will not benefit from on the job training. There are even leftie economists who concede this. Even Hillary didn’t want to raise the min wage in upper NY State to $15. None of the progressives want to raise it to $25. Let alone $1000 per hour. Why not, if this law really raises anyone’s wage?

A lot of progressives favor foreign aid. Why don’t we, instead, just tell poor countries to implement a min wage instead.

I’m trying to save your soul, here, E. You’re making it difficult!

If this doesn’t convince you, then nothing will. PLEASE read this short piece:


Best regards,



1:27 am on February 22, 2019