In my opinion the utilitarian debate on the minimum wage should focus more on the following two issues:
- Whether it is better to have many people making more money with a little more unemployment or vise versa. One side could list the evils of unemployment and the other side the benefits of higher wages for low earners. This is seldom the focus of minimum wage debates but I think that it should be. (BTW I think unemployment is very bad and that working for low wages is not so bad so I favor ending the minimum wage (idle hands are the workshop of the devil). )
- The other issue is that if you look at the difference between the wage an employer would pay without a minimum wage and what they pay with a minimum wage as a tax. Then you should ask who pays that tax. I would say that in the short run it is paid by those who employ low wage workers and in the long run by those who buy goods and services from those who employ low wage workers. So then we should debate why these parties should be taxed and not all of us?