Economics can be used to explain how a price floor (or, in the case of minimum wage, a wage floor) causes a surplus of the product in question, in this case unskilled labor. Basically, because the employers are forced to pay their employees more than they would otherwise – that is the main reason and reasoning behind the minimum wage, after all – they hire fewer workers to make up for the extra cost. Thus, there is a greater supply of unskilled labor than a demand for it – a surplus. Aside from McDonaldization, which is not a good thing, I really can’t think of a good reason to want to hire unskilled labor in the first place.

As for firms making more money from minimum-wage-workers than they’re being paid, well, for one thing, that may not even be true; keep in mind that every dollar spent on minimum wage is one dollar less of profits. Second, a firm’s making more money than it spends is kind of the entire point behind capitalism: profits = revenueexpenses, or the simple case profits = value of work - minimum wage. And third, anyone living in poverty while their bosses get rich from their work certainly has a right to change jobs.

There is no minimum wage that could ever solve most of the problems relating to unskilled labor – the surplus thereof, the dead end jobs, the lack of improvement available to the working poor. In my opinion, the minimum wage causes more troubles than it solves, and resources should be spent providing many more education opportunities to the poor than are currently available. A requirement for all firms to make all of their revenue and expense information public and easily accessible to everyone would allow Thomas Atkins the chance to see his true worth to the company.