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Why Minimum Wages Should Be a State Issue
Washington, D.C., February 10, 2021
Tags: Jobs and Economic Growth
Let’s talk about why a $15/hour minimum wage is inappropriate at the federal level.
This is relevant right now because Democrats just rammed a $15/hr. federal minimum wage through a House committee. They want to mandate that businesses pay a minimum of $15, and are trying to bake that requirement into their next massive stimulus bill. (Which we can’t afford, but more on that later.)
Recently, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyzed the impact of Democrats’ $15/hr. proposal, and determined it would lift 900,000 out of poverty, which would be great. However, the problem is that doing so would also eliminate 1.4 MILLION jobs, according to the CBO.
This is because in order to cover higher labor costs forced by the federal government, many companies will need to raise their prices. If the market won’t support those price increases and a company is unable to pivot, it will ultimately fail, and those employees will be laid off. This is not hard to follow.
So yes, a higher minimum wage means some people will be able to afford more. But this is a cruel way for liberal politicians to credit themselves for having “helped American workers.” Because the truth is that doing so will cost many MORE Americans their livelihoods.
Poverty is a major concern, don’t get me wrong. But is it a good idea to put 1.4 million people out of work in order to lift 900,000 people out of poverty? Of course not! There are other ways to help fight poverty without destroying jobs and companies in the process.
Bottom line: I’m not saying minimum wages aren’t appropriate. But different areas of our nation have HUGE variations in the cost of living and the cost of doing business. $15/hour “won’t do jack” for people living in places like New York City, but could cripple the economies of many rural communities.
This is why minimum wages are best handled at the state level, not by Congress.
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