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Seemingly no amount of empirical evidence can convince progressives that raising minimum wages to artificially elevated levels is a bad idea. Somehow the basic idea that raising the cost of a good ultimately results in lower consumption of that good just doesn’t compute. Though it does seem odd that progressives in states like California lean heavily on higher taxes as a way to curb, for example, fuel consumption. Could it be that the left actually does understand the basic economics of the minimum wage debate but don’t find the math behind it to be particularly “politically expedient” in certain instances?
Despite the motives behind it, one thing is certain, the calls for a federal minimum wage hike are growing louder. Hillary recently endorsed a federal minimum wage hike and Bernie has proposed the “Pay Workers a Living Wage Act” in the Senate that proposes mandating a federal $15 minimum wage to be phased in over just 4 years (see “Dear Hillbama, $15 Federal Minimum Wage Equals 7 Million Job Losses“). Perhaps Bernie forgets that not everyone lives in extremely expensive cities like New York and San Francisco.
– These 19 States Just Hiked The Minimum Wage: Here Come The “Unintended Consequences” (ZeroHedge, Jan 2, 2015):
Starting on January 1, 2015, a one year-delayed component of Obamacare kicks in: according to the health care law, businesses that employ at least 100 full-time workers — or full-time equivalents, including part-time workers — must offer health benefits to at least 70% of those working at least 30 hours a week by Thursday, or pay a penalty. This will expand to by next year, when companies will have to provide insurance to 95% of their workers, and firms with 50 to 99 employees must offer coverage as well. As a result, and as even the USA Today reports, “many businesses in low-wage industries have hired more part-time workers and cut the hours of full-timers recently to soften the impact of new health law requirements that take effect Thursday.”
– Minimum-Wage Blowback; The De-Humanization Of Fast-Food Has Begun (ZeroHedge, Sep 15, 2014):
In January we noted ‘Smart Restaurant’ – the burger-flipping robot – and just last month we reported on China’s robotification of the fast-food business; but, as The Washington Post reports, the greatest enemy to the minimum-wage-demanding fast-food worker has arrived: you can now order your own quarter-pound bacon cheeseburger from a welcoming, non-judging machine. With McDonalds sales the worst in almost a decade, it appears their need to maintain profits has stoked a move towards dehumanization. One wonder how long before this action is also declared ‘unpatriotic’.
– Even The Feds Admit Minimum Wages Cause Unemployment (Ludwig von Mises Institute, June 17, 2014):
Minimum wage doesn’t apply to everyone.
When Congress first established minimum wage in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, it left a loophole for businesses that employ people with disabilities.
The Secretary, to the extent necessary to prevent curtailment of opportunities for employment, shall by regulation or order provide for the employment, under special certificates, of individuals … whose earning or productive capacity is impaired by age, physical or mental deficiency, or injury, at wages which are lower than the minimum wage.
– President Obama Signs “Minimum Wage Hike” Executive Order (ZeroHedge, Feb 12, 2014):
By the power of his pen… President Obama gives minimum-wage-earning Federal employees (and physically and mentally handicapped workers) a 39% pay hike to $10.10 (and there’s nothing you can do about it) to “benefit hundreds of thousands of people.” We suspect that the president will remind us to the new “myRA” program and its benefits and how we should all tell our young friends to sign up for Obamacare too… and how this is paid for by the usual unicorn-tears-for-dollars swap…
– The Minimum Wage Forces Low-Skill Workers to Compete with Higher-Skill Workers (Ludwig von Mises Institute, Jan 4, 2014):