@Bass: Minimum wage is a sure way of keeping poor people out of the marketplace. That is pure protectionism of the middle class, sold to you as 'helping the poor'. But you are actually making them so expensive to hire, that nobody will.
There will always be jobs for people who want to work. Be glad we have automation and globalization, that means the most filthy work (assembling iPads) is done by countries that have an even lower standard of living. In the process they will increase their standard of living and it's then time for another country to pick up the ball.
This is the only way you can increase productivity of a nation and raise it's standard of living. I challenge you to find another in the history books.
Now that the BIRC countries have adopted the system, they are growing, while we in the west are regulating ourselves into oblivion.
@cbae: Regulation is what kills competition. So if you are a big company, you lobby for extensive regulation and make the politicians sell it as; "it's for the good of the people".
What do you think patents are? Medical licenses? Minimum wage? All protectionism,..
I see the emperor without clothes, you just see what either your college professor told you to see or the media wants you to see.
Let me ask you this then; What would you do to close the gap?
1. Take more money by force and give it to the needy?
2. De-regulate the state, i.e. no minimum wage, no welfare, etc. etc. and free the needy to pursue their own goals?