In which I combine two topics, each worthy of their own, more expansive post(s), to make inroads into the economic and illegal immigrant problems.
First, my preference would be that the minimum wage laws be eliminated. If they are not unconstitutional, they should be. They are anti-life and anti-property, to phrase it redundantly. This idea is really more of a “if we can’t have a perfect world, let’s come as close as we can given where we are” thing.
Second, in that proverbial ideal world, open borders, free immigration, yada yada. Two hands, one mouth, all that stuff. In a less ideal but improved world, if you’re going to have restrictions and enforced borders, then do it. Or be creative with incentives.
So. If you’re not going to go all the way to eliminating the minimum wage, a logical step would be to free it up some. Lower it. Maybe drastically. Call it $3 an hour, for the sake of throwing out a low number. Instant employment rush. No, an adult supporting a family can’t live on it, but that’s not who low earners usually are, and they aren’t for long once they prove themselves. And no, wages in most places, for most things will not drop that far, because market pressure will keep them perhaps not much below where they are now.
But… That would just encourage illegals, and you’d get a flood of those who would work for that little and then it exacerbates that problem. If you concede it’s a problem.
So how about a two-tier minimum?
If you can prove you are legally eligible to work in this country, the low wage applies to you. You have maximum economic freedom to sell your labor.
If you can’t prove your status, being an illegal or ornery, you are not eliminated from working. You are merely in a pool of people for whom the minimum wage is higher. Call it $10 an hour, for the sake of throwing out a proportionately higher number. More might be better, since it would act as a filter on skilled labor immigration. Exemption for self-employment, so if you come here and are the person starting a business, you rock.
Hey, it’s a thought.