From libertarian Michael A. LaFerrara at Principled Perspectives:
In an article for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), Preston Cooper argues for The “Sub-Minimum” Wage: An Escape Hatch for Young Workers, which is already a small feature of Federal minimum wage laws. Cooper argues correctly that minimum wage laws disproportionately harm the low-skilled, especially the young:
Teenagers and individuals in their early twenties often lack the skills that make them valuable to employers. Therefore, they must learn these skills on the job, while not producing much for the businesses who hire them. When states (or the federal government) set high minimum wages, hiring unskilled young people will not make financial sense for most employers.
True. But I respectfully disagree that sub-minimum wage laws are the way to go—not if the goal is progress toward free (or freer) markets. While a legal sub-minimum wage may make practical sense in the short term, it still represents the outlawing of jobs.