I can’t believe I yammered on all that time on the podcast without mentioning the great big huge elephant in the workplace – UNIONS. Very often union wages are tied to minimum wage, by multipliers or percentages above the min wage, so anytime there is an increase, these workers get a renegotiation or an automatic raise. These are people making significantly more than minimum wage that get a huge boost from the government spending their employers’ money for them. Big Labor has big influence in Washington, and this is not about poverty. Please.
Isn’t pandering disgusting?
I would also like to emphasize again how beneficial it is – for everyone – when teenagers can hold jobs. Keeps them out of trouble, allows them to start building work ethic and experience. It’s good for EVERYONE. But once you raise min wage, you up the stakes for employers and teenagers become too risky. And then teenagers who would have benefited from legal employment are left with fewer options. Many of them not so good.
I also left out the inflationary effects of min wage. You can’t bump up the cost of inputs without also putting upward pressure on prices. Doesn’t matter if everyone makes $40,000 a year if a loaf of bread is $20. They’re still not wealthy. The wage is just a number. What matters is what you can buy with it. No wonder Krugman loves a min wage increase – its inflationary.