Minimum Wage Malarky

Hardly has there been more harm done in this world than by those who profess to have good intentions.

Take for example, the minimum wage law.

A highly respected study released some years ago showed that minimum wage hikes across the country left hundreds of thousands of workers unemployed.

This trend is not any new news. It is no secret that raising the minimum wage tends to decrease employment, or at the very least place a cap on it.

And yet, I see a complete evasion on the other side.

Rarely are we given proposals on how to alleviate these ails felt by those displaced by political heroes. Political crusaders are strongly interested in helping the poor, and equally uninterested in the results of their so-called aid.

At one point in his Presidential campaign, Senator Bernie Sanders said, “It is a national disgrace that millions of full-time workers are living in poverty and millions more are forced to work two or three jobs just to pay their bills. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage and must be raised to a living wage.”

What is a national disgrace is the high unemployment rate among black teens that is a result of the very minimum wage law that Senator Sanders is suggesting we raise.

Throughout the 1930s and 40s, the unemployment rate for 16 to 17 year old black males hovered around ten percent. But in recent decades, we have gotten used to black teen unemployment rates upwards of 30 percent.

Black teen unemployment went from being similar to that of white teens in the 40s to being several times greater in recent years. It seems that the minimum wage did what even the harshest racism could not do.

With all the time Sanders has spent in Washington D.C. in recent years, one would only hope he would witness the effects of the minimum wage law.

Following a minimum wage hike in July of 2015, restaurant jobs in the city decreased in the first five months of 2016 – a trend not seen in nearly two decades.

Democratic politicians speak over and over of all the good the minimum wage law has done. In what country? At what time? Never have they answered these questions.

Instead, they often tell feel-good stories on what a minimum wage hike will do in their view, which is often contrary to what the evidence shows it to do.

In a general sense, the argument for raising the minimum wage proceeds on the premise that workers will have more money to spend in the economy with a wage hike, which in turn will lead to economic growth.

But this proceeds on a rather false premise.

After a minimum wage hike, business owners are forced to pay present and future minimum wage workers this new minimum wage.

Because the skill set of low-skilled workers does not climb every time the minimum wage does, their skill set is outpaced by the minimum wage law. In other words, their labor is not valued at the price of the new minimum wage.

Due to this, these specific workers can expect to remain unemployed, or have their work hours severely reduced.

From there, minimum wage advocates never explain where the money that they hoped to be invested will come from. The simplest explanation is that it will come from the job that they no longer have, or cannot find.

When supporters of the minimum wage speak of the need to raise the minimum wage, seldom do they provide examples of just where such an action has made people any better off.

In Seattle, the average low-wage worker saw his hours decrease and take home pay fall after the city increased its minimum wage.

In Europe, teens in countries with a minimum wage law struggle to find work and carve a niche for themselves in the labor force.

It seems that the trick to getting people off this so-called starvation wage is to stop them from receiving a wage in the first place.