August 18, 2015

FUNNY HOW INCOME INEQUALITY IS ALWAYS THE WORST IN BLUE STATES AND CITIES: Want to increase income inequality? Raise the minimum wage.

Minimum wage jobs are not careers. They provide critical work experience that school simply cannot teach for those who haven’t worked before. If young people cannot get their first jobs, they cannot get their second or their third jobs.

While some workers will get a raise if the minimum wage is increased, this will come at the expense of cutting off opportunity for the young. Unsurprisingly, because the minimum wage makes it effectively illegal for employers to hire the least-skilled workers, the unemployment rates for teens in high-minimum wage states are higher than those in low-minimum wage states. The real minimum wage is $0 an hour, because employers always have the choice to let employees go, or not hire them at all.

Once the minimum wage increases in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York are fully phased-in, their levels will be higher than any other country’s minimum wage — meaning these cities are moving into uncharted territory. After adjusting for purchasing power, the highest international minimum wages are in France ($10.70) and Australia ($10.50). Instead of offering entry-level jobs, employers who can stay in business after they are forced to pay these wages will rely on increased automation or skilled workers.

While proponents of increasing the minimum wage believe that they are leveling the playing field, they are actually removing the first few rungs of the career ladder for young Americans. No matter how well-meaning the proponents of raising the minimum wage may be, constructive policy should be judged on results, not intent.

I actually don’t think they’re well-meaning at all. I think they want to produce a large, dependent population that can be farmed for votes.

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