There has been a lot of talk about the minimum wage recently. The standard narrative is that increasing it inevitably aids the poorest and most vulnerable in society. Current rhetoric emphasises the need for a “living wage”, a minimum wage that allows a certain “acceptable” standard of living.
This argument is usually framed in terms of our “responsibility to the poor”. In this video Milton Friedman dismantles the myth that policies like the minimum wage are helpful to the most vulnerable in society, and attacks the idea that our responsibility to the poor should be exercised through governmental programs.