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Does a Minimum Wage Really Help the Poor?

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In the second part of the Goldstein on Gelt podcast this week, Professor Walter E. Williams, economics professor at George Mason University and author of Race and Economics: How much can be blamed on discrimination? discusses why setting a minimum wage is not the ideal solution for unemployment and poverty. Listen to more of Professor Williams’ unique ideas about the economy on this week’s show.

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About the Author: Douglas Goldstein, CFP®, is the director of Profile Investment Services, Ltd, a financial planning firm located in Jerusalem. He specializes in working with clients in New York, Florida, and Israel and is a licensed financial professional both in the U.S. and Israel. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, SIFMA. Accounts held at Pershing LLC., Member NYSE/SIPC, a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Neither Profile nor PRG gives tax or legal advice. Before immigrating to Israel, it is advisable to consult with a tax attorney who is knowledgeable about Israeli law. Doug’s newest book The Expatriates’ Guide to Handling Money and Taxes is available at www.expatguidetomoney.com. He hosts a weekly finance show, Goldstein on Gelt, on internet radio. Listen live or download podcasts. Toll-free from U.S. 1-888-327-6179, Jerusalem: (02) 624-2788. Follow on Twitter: @DougGoldstein or contact at doug@profile-financial.com.


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3 Responses to “Does a Minimum Wage Really Help the Poor?”

  1. Rina Gray says:

    What a BS. yes minimum wage helps people allot. Because if you get minimum wage + bonus, + working over 8 or 9 hours, people get salary they could live on. If there would be no minimum wage, employer would pay whatever they wanted, but now they couldn't. And minimum wage is indexated with more years you work. So stop to post BS. USA have no normal minimum wage and people, who even work, live on food stamps, because their salary is not enough to live on.

  2. Rina Gray says:

    What a BS. yes minimum wage helps people allot if they have a job. Because if you get minimum wage + bonus, + working over 8 or 9 hours, people get salary they could live on. If there would be no minimum wage, employer would pay whatever they wanted, but now they couldn’t. And minimum wage is indexated with more years you work. So stop to post BS. USA have no normal minimum wage and people, who even work, live on food stamps, because their salary is not enough to live on. There is “poor” people in Israel not because our life is so hard, but because some people have more kids, that they can afford, and some people didn’t want to work, and prefer to sit on welfare. By the way many religious people, belong to this category. Maybe you should go and teach them how to stop to make kids more, than they could feed, and stop to play “poor” card. This days anyone, who want to work, can find the job.

  3. Leila Cook says:

    While I agree with the theory behind why minimum wage ultimately hurts poor people, Professor Williams leaves out a crucial point when he states that a woman having a $5 or $6 an hour job is preferable to not having a $8 or $9 an hour job. Many times, if a single parent household is relying on public assistance, getting a $5 or $6 an hour job provides just enough income that many families are kicked off of the help they are relying on and now they are forced to make ends meet on their own and the wage they are earning per hour doesn't cut it. I don't want to debate the moralities of the welfare system. But if we are going to say that there needs to be no minimum wage, I think we need to also acknowledge that everything is going to have to be reformed, including the social safety net. Many, many women find themselves at the mercy of a divorce or death that they had no control over and need things like food assistance, tuition assistance, affordable daycare to be able to recover and get back on their feet. It is more beneficial as a society to allow these women (or men) to be re-educated and offer them a way to have a higher earning job because they are then able to return the favor and begin contributing back into the system. It takes more than just complaining about the minimum wage to accomplish this.

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