This is a difficult topic... as an economist I certainly understand the "let the market take care of it" line... but that gets me thinking... if we are going to let the market take care of minimum wage (so people would probably end up working at a wage as low as or lower than present minimum wage) should we also let the market take care of the prices for fuel, electricity, food, etc (all of which are heavily subsidized - especially in North America, and if my memory is correct more in the US than Canada, but don't quote me on that)? In our economies we have so many artificial prices (either artificially high, such as Cigarettes and Dairy - in Canada at least - or artificially low, such as gas or lettuce grown in the deserts of the Southern US that is sold for less than the price of pumping the "free" water to the farmers).
I expect that letting the market take care of it is more palatable when it is applied to minimum wage than when it is applied to fuel/energy (which should be far more expensive but is subsidized) - since the line is most often, but not always, spoken by those who haven't seen a minimum wage cheque in years but consume a great deal of energy.
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