Daniel Hamermesh has an interesting blog at Freakonomics on Using the Minimum Wage to Beat the Competition. He notes that Germany is considering a new government imposed minimum wage to apply to postal carriers and related workers. Hamermesh also notes that one of the major supporters of the idea is Deutsche Post, the privatized postal service. Deutsche Post is one of Germany's biggest employers, so why would they want a plan that could raise their average variable cost? The answer offered by Hamermesh is
The reason is that the German Post, which is a high-wage employer, faces increasing competition from lower-cost carriers. If the minimum wage is imposed, it will not raise Deutsche Post’s average variable cost by much, since most of its workers already make more than the proposed minimum wage; but it will raise its competitors’ costs.In other words Deutsche Post wants the government to act in an anti-competitive manner to help it deal with competition. The German governemnt should just tell Deutsche Post to become more efficient, that's how you deal with competition.
One wonders if the government would be thinking about this idea if Deutsche Post wasn't a former government firm. Is this just the government trying to give a former state-owned and still inefficient firm an unfair advantage?