My letter to the NY Times re: Ignoring the elephant in the room

Re: Cities Advance Their Fight Against Rising Inequality

Dear Sirs:
The latest assault on economic science is led by the usual suspects–politicians, labor unions, intellectuals, and not-for-profit advocacy groups–who clamor for raising Seattle’s minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. The irrefutable economic law of the marginal utility of labor explains that no wage can be paid above the value of one’s contribution to the business. To do so will destroy capital and lead to business failure. To avoid this outcome, firms will, to the best of their ability, replace workers with machines. If they cannot, they will go out of business. Of course, no where in your report is this elephant in the room even discussed as a possibility.

Patrick Barron

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