The following quote is from a US Senator in the 20th century discussing why minimum-wage laws were a good idea for his state, namely they would price-out the ‘colored worker’. I am not sure that speeches like this could be given in today’s Senate chamber, but it least it can be said that they used to be more honest.
Of course, having on the market a rather large source of cheap labor depresses wages outside of that group, too – the wages of the white worker who has to compete. And when an employer can substitute a colored worker at a lower wage – and there are, as you pointed out, these hundreds of thousands looking for decent work – it affects the whole wage structure of an area, doesn’t it?
Care to take a guess who would make such a bold statement?
According to this Senator’s line of thinking, without minimum-wage laws, black people would come in and steal jobs that should be for white folk. Is it a stretch to say that minimum-wage laws were designed explicitly to keep blacks unemployed?
The answer…Senator and soon-to-be President, John F. Kennedy. Tell me why blacks love the Democratic Party?
The great, Don Boudreaux has more here.