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Letters for March 29


Basic economics refutes minimum wage

Re: "D.C. debates $11.75-an-hour minimum wage for big retailers," March 20

Liberals aka statists never learn. Trying to reason with them is more futile than trying to reason with wallpaper. But it's simple, basic economics that price controls are always counterproductive.

Minimum-wage legislation is just price controls on labor, which disproportionately affects low-skilled, young minorities. It forces the cost of hiring them above the market clearing price (equilibrium point) that would be established by a free market, notwithstanding fallacious "research" to the contrary.

Above this equilibrium point, labor supply increases and demand for labor decreases. The discrepancy equals labor surplus. Or to paraphrase my conservative hero, Calvin Coolidge,the true minimum wage is zero.

If mental ill-health prevails and prompts an increase of the minimum wage to the $12.50 mentioned in The Washington Examiner, the economies of Spain and Greece will not look so bad by comparison. And the District's lawyers may need to re-read the Constitution regarding due process and equal protection if they plan to only apply the increase to big stores like Walmart.

Angelo Mirabella

Silver Spring

Government should confiscate everybody's guns

I recently attended a rally in Annapolis to support legislation for stricter gun control and the end of the death penalty.Despite the chill in the air, there was a lot of energy. The racial demographics of the protesters, both pro and con, was an eye-opening visual. Supporters of gun control were diverse in hue and gender, while opponents were almost 100 percent white males.

Even before the election of its first president of color, America was the No. 1 arms merchant on the planet. The proliferation of guns in our society is stunning -- and staggering. Our culture worships the gun as a sacred artifact.

This fervor borders on insanity. Gun violence not only destroys lives but adds billions to our health costs in addition to tragic and senseless suicides and gun mishaps in our homes.

As a nation and a culture, we must take a life-altering position against the possession and ownership of guns, starting with total confiscation, especially in communities of color where the carnage is creating killing fields. The absence of guns will make our communities more secure. We are safer when no one, black or white, owns a gun, especially in a troubled, uncertain postindustrial racial era.

People with guns kill. The absence of guns means less killing. It is that simple.

Greg Thrasher

Director, Plane Ideas

National Harbor

Law should require prompt reporting of animal abuse

Legislation that requires prompt reporting of animal cruelty filmed on farms serves a vital purpose in combating animal abuse. As it stands, animal rights groups can film animal cruelty for weeks or months and report it at their leisure. That may enable them to produce a better press conference to serve their larger purpose of making farming look bad, but it doesn't help the animals.

Requiring activists to report cruelty within 24 to 48 hours, as proposed in various states, gets law enforcement authorities involved at an early stage. They have the experience to know how to best protect animals who otherwise would continue to be abused while activists keep the cameras rolling.

The current system is designed to provoke media firestorms and has even prompted death threats against farmers, because the goal of groups such as the Humane Society of the United States is to eliminate all meat, dairy and egg farms.

But that's not the way to fight animal abuse. Reform is needed, and the way to do that is to put law enforcement, not animal rights vigilantes, in charge.

Rick Berman

Center for Consumer Freedom