“To look after orphans and widows in their distress” is how the Bible describes one aspect of the Christian’s mission (James 1:27). Christians are called to care for the most vulnerable people in society. Doing so involves everything from donating money and time to thinking about the laws we make. To love our neighbors, we must evaluate and correct laws that make life more difficult, especially for those in low-income neighborhoods. Would proposals to raise the legal minimum wage make life better or worse for Americans? To assess this policy, Christians must ask, “Is this the best way to love my neighbor?”
This paper explores the economics of the minimum wage and the impact minimum wage policies have had in the places where they have been implemented. It also argues for biblical principles that can provide a clearer understanding of the Christian response to minimum wage proposals.
Joy Buchanan is a PhD candidate in economics. She has published in scientific journals and authored a historical fiction novel about Nicodemus.