The PJ Tatler

Obama Accuses Republicans of Giving America 'The Shaft'

The president — to be more accurate, the Organizing for Action workers who tweet on his behalf despite legal requirements that OfA be independent from the White House — tweeted this today.

Just to go over the statistics one more time, raising the minimum wage does not and never would “give America a raise.” The implication in that is that the vast majority of Americans are living on the minimum wage. That is far enough from the truth to constitute a lie.

Fewer than 5% of American workers live on the minimum wage. Many of them are teenagers and young adults working in their first or second jobs, and many of them are not poor at all. They are middle class kids working while they obtain their educations.

The minimum wage was never intended to be a permanent condition. It is a starting wage.

Raising the minimum wage nearly always leads to unintended negative consequences that President Obama never acknowledges, including businesses laying off some workers to compensate for being forced to raise wages for all of their minimum-wage workers. Raising the minimum wage also causes some employers not to hire more workers at all, because the forced wage hike gets in the way.

In the next tweet, Obama moves from the outrage statement to the action statement:

Why $10.10? Why not $11.00, or $20, or more? It’s an arbitrary number picked because it’s easy to say and remember. It’s all about public relations, not economics.

The bottom line is, if one wants to kill off a few jobs at the lower end of the economic ladder, raising the minimum wage across the board would be an excellent way to accomplish that. Raising the minimum wage will also hasten the day when machines replace even more workers.