Minimum wage laws have racist history

Many government schemes pushed by Democrats were born out of racist motivations.  Gun control laws began with attempts to prevent newly-freed Blacks after the Civil War from having guns to defend themselves from White racists such as the Klu Klux Klan.  Some might be surprised to learn that minimum wage laws began in response to the Great Migration which began in the 1920s as Southern Blacks migrated North to find job opportunities and to escape Jim Crow racial laws.

As Blacks came to compete with Whites for job opportunities minimum wage laws were seen by labor leaders as a way to keep employers from hiring relatively less skilled Blacks over Whites.  Blacks were considered to be less skilled than Whites partly because of racism but also because having come from the segreationist South they had been denied the opportunity to obtain workplace skills.  There were plenty of jobs in the North that did not require extensive skills and these jobs would have been open to Blacks at lower wages, and would have enabled them to earn the skills necessary to get better jobs.

The Labor movement in the North sought to throttle that competition with minimum wage laws.  This phenomenon is explored in greater depth by Jordan Bruneau.

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