In column opposing minimum-wage hike, Carroll identified former Bush economics chief only as Harvard "economics professor"

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In his August 16 "On Point" column opposing a ballot initiative that would raise Colorado's minimum wage, Rocky Mountain News editorial page editor Vincent Carroll quoted N. Gregory Mankiw -- whom Carroll identified only as a "Harvard University economics professor" -- as stating, in part: "What the facts show is that the minimum wage is poorly targeted as an anti-poverty program." Carroll did not note that, in addition to being a Harvard economics professor, Mankiw served as the chairman of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisors from 2003 to 2005.

The comments Carroll quoted were from a July 28 post on Mankiw's weblog:

In the end, there is no good substitute for an appeal to facts. What the facts show is that the minimum wage is poorly targeted as an anti-poverty program. Moreover, while the evidence is controversial, some studies find significant long-term adverse effects. As a result, most economists prefer more efficient and better targeted anti-poverty tools, such as the EITC [earned income tax credit], which has grown significantly over the past few decades.

In his column, Carroll objected to a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would raise the minimum wage in Colorado from $5.15 to $6.85 an hour and would "adjust[] the wage annually for inflation."

From Carroll's August 16 Rocky Mountain News "On Point" column:

Tim Gill and Pat Stryker -- two of Colorado's richest activists -- no doubt feel a surge of virtuous pleasure at seeing the minimum wage amendment they largely funded make it to the state ballot this week. Giving away money always makes people feel virtuous, even if the money isn't theirs.

In this case, of course, the amendment is aimed at tapping the coffers of employers who pay anyone a wage between $5.15 an hour and the proposed new floor of $6.85.

If the amendment is approved, most of these businesses will dutifully raise their wages and absorb the cost or pass it along. A few will reduce the number of low-skilled workers they employ. Others will trim their plans to hire. There will be both benefits and costs to the overall work force, in other words, and it will be up to voters to sort them out.

Some advocates of hiking the minimum wage deny that it affects total employment, but in their hearts they must know better. Otherwise why not raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour, or $30? It would be wrong not to do so if employment and prosperity were immune to such mandates.

[...]

"What the facts show is that the minimum wage is poorly targeted as an anti-poverty program. Moreover, while the evidence is controversial, some studies find significant long-term adverse effects. As a result, most economists prefer more efficient and better targeted anti-poverty tools, such as the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit), which has grown significantly over the past few decades."

-- Gregory Mankiw, Harvard University economics professor

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