This morning’s Wall Street Journal, in an editorial about Mitt Romney’s inexplicable support for a rising minimum wage indexed to inflation, shows the havoc already wrought by Congress’s last minimum wage hike:

In 2007 the Pelosi Congress passed a minimum-wage increase in three stages that coincided with the recession. The jobless rate for teenagers has since exploded to 23.1% from under 15%, and for minorities to 15.8% from close to 9%. For black teenagers, the jobless rate is still an incredible 39.6%.

There’s a local angle here. As I wrote in a 2006 piece for Catholic Exchange, Tony Stieritz and his partisan Social Action office for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati lobbied relentlessly — and successfully — for a hike in Ohio’s minimum wage, and the damage in the Buckeye state has been similarly disastrous. In a more just world, there would be some accountability for this debacle — not to mention the inappropriateness of archdiocesan lobbying — but life goes on in the AOC.  For an explanation of the folly of minimum wage laws, see chapter 18 of Henry Hazlitt’s classic text Economics in One Lesson.

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