WASHINGTON: Libertarian National Chair, Mark Hinkle, released the following statement today:
“The Obama administration is crowing about a drop in the unemployment rate to 8.3% in February 2012. Unfortunately, a large part of the decline since the 10.0% peak reached earlier in his term is the result of people who have given up looking for work. In fact, the percentage of working-age Americans currently unemployed stands at 36.3%, the highest rate of his administration and the worst since the 1980s.
“Libertarians running for local, state and federal offices offer several proposals that can help end what is becoming a permanent disaster for the economy. At the state and local levels occupational licensing laws, zoning and building codes block tens of millions from entering or changing professions and from starting their own small businesses. Regulation, in general, is a job killer: the states with the heaviest regulatory burdens are usually the ones with the highest unemployment rates.
“But Washington, DC is the job-killing champion. The current collapse in employment, especially among minorities and younger potential workers, coincided with the ratcheting up of the federal minimum wage by more than 40% in 3 steps in the summers of 2007, 2008, and 2009. It’s hardly surprising that the unemployment rate, after steadily dropping for 4 years, bottomed at 4.4% in the spring of 2007, just before the first increase, and peaked at 10.0% in the fall of 2009, shortly after the final one.
“The real problem is that the true minimum wage is $0.00, the amount you make when you don’t have a job. Increasing the minimum wage did NOT give everybody a 40% raise; instead, it threw millions of workers into unemployment. The employer health insurance mandate in ObamaCare will probably do the same -- which may be why that mandate is scheduled to go into effect AFTER the presidential election.
“It is enough to make me scream ‘Don’t just do something, sit there!’ Given enough time and a stable legal environment, the economy has a chance to start growing again. And with some Libertarians in office, maybe we can repeal some of these laws and grow even faster.”