Clemens on minimum wage

“But let me express a doubt. Why do we discuss minimum wages so much? I think they irritate free-market economists because they are such a clear, simple, and paradigmatic stupid idea. The first insight of your Econ 101 class is that price controls destroy markets:

We see it over and over again, in centuries of experience boiled down to this simple graph. Price controls, rent controls, wage controls all have led over and over again to the same sorry story. And when supply is greater than demand, who gets the good, apartment, or job gets all screwed up. Don’t try to transfer income by screwing up prices. Along with tariffs and disincentives of 100% marginal tax rates, there isn’t much more essential to the basic canon of economics.”