From the New Yorker:
For decades, business owners have resisted higher minimum wages by arguing that they destroy jobs, particularly for young people. At some theoretical level, high minimum wages will distort job creation, but the best empirical evidence from the past decade is aligned with common sense: a minimum wage drawn somewhat above the poverty line helps those who work full time to live decently, without having a significant impact on other job seekers or on total employment.
Except it’s wrong, ignores the loss of jobs that are never created and the subsiziding impact of welfare and low-income benefits that also siphon funds away from job creation and into government redistribution.
I’ll let Orphe Divounguy explain it again:
(For example, a study of pairs of neighboring counties with differing minimum pay found that higher wages had no adverse effect on restaurant jobs.)
Of course, he doesn’t cite the study, the amount of difference in pay, or an analysis of what jobs were lost, not created, or where these counties were.
Even so, a federal minimum wage of ten dollars or more will not solve inequality. It will not stop runaway executive pay or alter the winner-take-all forces at work in the global economy.
And here we see the true intentions. The objective is to make equality of outcomes. The ideology is a belief that executive pay is “runaway” and that the economy is a “winner-take-all” scenario, rather than one of mutual cooperation for benefit. Apparently the New Yorker’s Steve Coll doesn’t understand where pencils come from.
Yet it will bring millions of Americans closer to the levels of economic security and disposable income that they knew before the housing bubble burst.
No, it won’t. It will artificially increase wages, which will then result in employers increasing their expenses to customers. There will be a transfer of wealth from the many to the few. There will be a visible result of a handful of people with minimum wage jobs making more money, but it will result in a less visible loss of wages by everyone who uses those services, by employers whose payrolls will be adjusted in favor of old employees versus new ones – meaning jobs that would be created will not be created, and it will result in overall economic loss.
Coll starts his piece by talking about increases in wages for baggage handlers at SeaTac airport, where the minimum wage was bumped from $10/hour to $15/hour by a ballot initiative. Businesses spent money pushing against it, and Coll celebrates that leftists emerged triumphant, that the “grassroots left, which seemed scattered and demoralized after the Occupy movement fizzled, has revived itself this year—with help from union money and professional canvassers—by rallying voters around the argument that anyone who works full time ought not to be at risk of poverty”.
Union money was sent in by union people who can now look forward to extracting union dues from those $15/hour workers at a higher amount than when they were $10/hour workers. Professional canvassers are leftist marxist agitators and professional shit-stirring revolutionary groups who serve no function but to create conflict that they exploit for their own personal profit. The businesses involved opposed it as best they could, but the leftists in Seattle & Tacoma voted for it.
What that means is that the expenses against the airport have gone up, and they’ll have to come up with something to balance it out. That may mean layoffs, it may mean no new hires, but most likely it will mean increased rates and fees to customers. The customer is hurt at the expense of the visible aid to the fictional oppressed proletariat.
…life on fifteen thousand a year is barely plausible anymore, even in the low-cost rural areas of the Deep South and the Midwest. National Republican leaders are out of touch with the electorate on this as on much else, and they are too wary of Tea Party dissent to challenge their party’s current orthodoxies of fiscal austerity and free-market purity.
Life on $15,000 per year is not something that someone manages alone. First off, there are massive government handouts to those of that low income group; second, as Orphe explained, a lot of times, those workers are entry-level workers just getting started – like teenagers.
The Tea Party is composed of people who understand how economics work – that you can’t just arbitrarily say “we’ll make your employer pay you more” without that money coming from somewhere. Again, Margaret Thatcher’s famous quote comes to mind:
Coll finishes with this bleeding heart plea:
The case for a strong minimum wage has always been, in part, civic and moral. Minimum wages do not create new “entitlement” programs or otherwise enjoin the country’s sterile debates about the value of government. They are designed to insure that the dignity of work includes true economic independence for all who embrace it.
The case for strong minimum wage laws has been couched in some people’s idea of what other people are entitled to. If you pay the neighbor kid $5 to mow your lawn, it’s not moral for the neighborhood to tell you that you MUST pay him $20. The result will be that the neighbor kid goes without the $5 and you mow your own lawn. There’s nothing moral about dictating to people how much a worker has to sell his labor for or how much an employer has to pay for that employee’s labor – because it destroys entry-level jobs and harms the community.
The tut-tutting busybody who wants to put the government’s gun to someone’s head and make them do what they feel should be done is not moral.
Minimum wage laws inflict an entitlement by force. The dignity of work comes from what people put into it – and earning a paycheck, not having the government hold a gun to your employer’s head – leaving you either paid more than you’re worth or unemployed entirely.
There is no “true economic independence” for a $10/hour job, a $15/hour job. Idle rich and trust fund babies have “true economic independence” – and even they can lose it if economies change. Economic independence comes from having one’s own skills that are marketable in different job environments.
If Coll and clowns who publish his Marxist drivel want to provide “dignity” and “true economic independence”, why not mandate a $100/hour minimum wage? If people made $8000 every two weeks, they’d be doing pretty well. Why not a $1000/hour minimum wage? Or a $10,000/hour minimum wage? You could work for a day and pay off student loans and buy a new car all in one.
If he’s got intellect greater than that of a grapefruit, he’d respond with “but businesses can’t afford to pay $10,000/hour.” And just the same, they can’t afford to pay any other artificial minimum wage without modifying their business model. Some businesses could handle $10,000/hour minimum wages, but it would harm them severely and result in cutting many employees, hiring no more employees, and passing costs off to customers. Some businesses can handle a bump to $15/hour minimum wages, but it will harm them as well, it will harm future employment, and the business will pass costs off to their customers.
He wonders why the Midwest and South have a lower cost of living – and that is due in no small part to not having to deal with wage inflation – those costs are passed on to businesses, which pass them back on to us.
Update: Some leftist union organizers have decided to stage strikes for higher fast food wages across the country. When they get the government to force their employers to pay them $15/hour, they’ll find that those businesses can’t stay open because no one wants to pay $17 for a Whopper or $13 for a Big Mac. They won’t be able to afford the Taco Grande meals they make.
The fast-food effort is backed by the Service Employees International Union and is also demanding that restaurants allow workers to unionize without the threat of retaliation.
It’s like I should just write “the usual suspects are at it again”.
Beating a dead horse – if they’re not worth the pay, they’re not worth the pay. That’s not a measure of their value as a human being, just their respective value in their chosen job. Demanding more wages because you’ve chosen to make an entry-level job a career is a problem with the individual’s ambition and drive and desire to sit on the bottom rung of the economic ladder, not a question of whether their employer is a greedy robber baron capitalist pig-dog.