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Op-ed Placement

Government Makes The Poor Poorer

Originally Published in Investor's Business Daily on 4/7/17.

For all the obsession in Washington and in college faculty lounges over income inequality, why isn't there more outrage over government policies that exacerbate the problem? There are hundreds of programs that make the poor, poorer and increase poverty in America. Many of them were exposed last week by my colleagues at the Heritage Foundation forum on this very topic.

Economist ‎Don Boudreaux of George Mason University unmasked two such policies. One is trade protectionism. Trade barriers raise prices and "act as a regressive tax" on Americans, Boudreaux explains. They also stunt the very innovation process that makes goods and services widely available to people at affordable prices to begin with. Think about who the consumers are that shop for those everyday low prices at Walmart. It's not Hillary Clinton.

Minimum wage clearly fits into this category as well. In every other industry, Boudreaux notes, when something is more expensive we buy less of it. Why do some economists think that isn't so when it comes to buying labor.