People can gain credibility for job advancement in two basic ways—experience or education. And experience is generally superior to education, because it demonstrates skills that apply directly to the job. That’s why for some people it’s a good strategy to begin working for low-wages, so they can gain applicable experience, while also demonstrating their abilities for advancement.
Without a doubt, higher education is essential for certain jobs. But for many other jobs, experience is not only better, but cheaper than gaining credibility through education. For example, consider internships. Some interns are willing to work for no salary at all so they can gain experience. In fact, that is the price they pay for gaining experience. An entry-level job is not just a way to earn money, but an important form of education itself. However, when minimum wage laws eliminate entry-level jobs they also take away the most available form of education for poor workers. Then these workers MUST obtain education some other way. This is a huge obstacle and unfair to those without the financial resources for classroom-based education. Minimum wage laws are most unfair to the unskilled and the poor, and truly remove the lowest rungs from the ladder of success.