Written by Diego Estrada
Our federal representatives have the tricky task of considering what is best for the country as well as the state or district in which they reside. Sometimes, however, they completely fail to do so.
Representative Susan Davis (D-CA) announced on Twitter that she voted to raise the federal minimum wage to a staggering $15 per hour.
One could be forgiven for believing that the bill doesn’t signify much from the measly 30 likes the tweet has received, but the bill shows the radical change in the American psyche. Here in California, the minimum wage is already set to steadily increase every year until reaching the $15 benchmark in 2022. Meanwhile, there are already 29 states plus Washington D.C. that have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum wage.
Why not make the minimum wage rate $10,000 an hour? Now it’s intuitive to us that this would be a very stupid idea but the arguments against it can be scaled down to argue against the proposed increase in the House. The first major issue that arises from coerced minimum wage increases in the resulting unemployment. If your labor is not worth $10,000, you won’t be paid $10,000. If a corporation is forced to pay you a wage that you aren’t worth to them, you will be fired. This would leave much of the nation frictionally unemployed, disproportionately harming poorer individuals, while throwing the country into a financial crisis.
Although not as apocalyptic, the nation will incur some of the same sort of damage with the #FightFor15 campaign. The Congressional Budget Office released a report showing that the increase would put 1.3 million Americans out of work. To put that number into perspective, that is more than the total amount of agriculture, coal, and steelworkers combined, with around 300,000 workers to spare.
An increased minimum wage also leads to high inflation. If everyone makes that much money an hour, prices of good and services will scale by the same amount. This leaves people without a job in desperate need for the basic life necessities that they depend on. Lastly, increasing the minimum in any way crowds out the numerous high schoolers who want a job, but whose work value is less than the established minimum wage. This would mean the high schooler looking to work at McDonald’s and other common first jobs cannot secure his first job and entrance into the field. That creates a higher barrier of entry for work and thus pushes out potential workers. This is evident by the amount of adult workers in “high school jobs.”
It seems that Congresswoman Davis and her Democratic allies are disregarding the economic fact eloquently presented by economist Thomas Sowell, who explained that “the real minimum wage is always zero.” This is because the wage one earns when they are pushed out of the labor market and left unemployed is zero. When Democrats let their partisan ways cloud their judgment of facts, they create nothing but destruction for the working people they seek to protect.
Photo by Lee Campbell