Hoover fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The 'Income Inequality' Warriors." Epstein notes that the minimum wage laws kill opportunities for the least well-off in society by making it too costly for firms to hire marginal workers. In so doing, it cuts them out of the working economy, and makes them ever more dependent on a set of transfer payments that do nothing to increase their skill sets, self-sufficiency, or sense of self-respect. It is one thing for an employer to give workers raises as a spur to, or recognition of, greater productivity. But when government imposes those obligations from without, it hurts the very individuals whom it wants to help.