Friday, July 08, 2005

ACORN's Living Wages

Economists in college classrooms all across the country tell students about the economic implications of government laws that impose a minimum wage. Students learn that minimum wage laws lead to a decrease in employment, among other things. Bryan Caplan points out a political organization that seeks to get government to impose a minimum wage as well as to increase minimum wage levels already imposed. The organization calls itself ACORN and apparently it too has learned that minimum wage laws decrease employment. Check out this post :
For years, ACORN has tried like hell to avoid paying its own members the minimum wage required by law! This, as those same employees were working to raise minimum wages for everyone else.

In fact, ACORN actually went to court to fight for its right to pay wages below the legal minimum. What's more, ACORN made the exact same arguments its opponents make when arguing aginst higher minimum wages -- namely, that paying higher wages would mean the company would have to make do with fewer employees.

In a suit ACORN filed to exempt itself from California's minimum wage laws, the organization wrote in its brief:

"As acknowledged both by the trial court and California, the more that ACORN must pay each individual outreach worker--either because of minimum wage or overtime requirements--the fewer outreach workers it will be able to hire."

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