HOT MIC: Supreme Court Rules on Trump Travel Ban, Religious Liberty

HOT MIC: Supreme Court Rules on Trump Travel Ban, Religious Liberty

We ought to have a category called "Least Surprising News of the Day." Or, perhaps "Episode LXCII: Slapping Liberals in the Face with Reality."

When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city's minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they'd hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers. Yet according to a major new study that could force economists to reassess past research on the issue, the hike has had the opposite effect.

The city is gradually increasing the hourly minimum to $15 over several years. Already, though, some employers have not been able to afford the increased minimums. They've cut their payrolls, putting off new hiring, reducing hours or letting their workers go, the study found.

The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, conducted by a group of economists at the University of Washington who were commissioned by the city. The study, published as a working paper Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, has not yet been peer reviewed.

I hate to say "We told ya so" but...no, that's not right. I love saying "We told ya so."

On the whole, the study estimates, the average low-wage worker in the city lost $125 a month because of the hike in the minimum.

The paper's conclusions contradict years of research on the minimum wage. Many past studies, by contrast, have found that the benefits of increases for low-wage workers exceed the costs in terms of reduced employment -- often by a factor of four or five to one.

But...but...but...the "past studies" (no mention of who conducted the research, no links, no evidence) couldn't be wrong, could they? Who funded the research? Were they peer reviewed?

"This strikes me as a study that is likely to influence people," said David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was not involved in the research. He called the work "very credible" and "sufficiently compelling in its design and statistical power that it can change minds."

Another example where wishful thinking overcame rational thought and directly affected the lives of ordinary people in a very negative way.