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Minimum Wage Hike: A Debacle

SHOCKER (NOT) Last April we opined (again) in opposition to government-imposed minimum wage hikes. “We believe in the free market – and the government stepping in to assign wage requirements represents a fundamental incursion on that market,” we wrote.  “Government has no business setting wages or prices.  That’s what socialist…

SHOCKER (NOT)

Last April we opined (again) in opposition to government-imposed minimum wage hikes.

“We believe in the free market – and the government stepping in to assign wage requirements represents a fundamental incursion on that market,” we wrote.  “Government has no business setting wages or prices.  That’s what socialist countries do.”

“Wages and prices should be based on one thing and one thing only … what the market will bear,” we added.

Indeed …

Our opposition to government wage-setting isn’t purely philosophical – there is a significant body of evidence attesting to the fact that mandated minimum wage increases actually lead to lost jobs.

Just this week, in fact, there is fresh evidence from economists at the University of Washington attesting to this very point.  According to a report published this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), these economists analyzed the impact of recent mandatory minimum wage hikes in Seattle, Washington and found a 9.4 percent decrease in the total number of hours worked by low-skilled workers.

Add it all up and that’s roughly 14 million fewer hours worked in a given year – resulting in a net loss of $125 per month for every low wage worker in the city .

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Translated into full-time equivalents, the minimum wage hike has cost Seattle 6,700 positions.  And it hasn’t even been fully implemented yet …

This news should come as no surprise.  Hell, even supporters of mandated minimum wages have acknowledged their economic inefficacy.

“Economically, minimum wages may not make sense,” California governor Jerry Brown said after signing one into law last year in the Golden State.

Ya think?

Of course as we noted last year, this issue is bigger than just numbers.  It goes to the crass exploitation of our lingering economic malaise.  Perpetuating the incentivizing of dependency.

“There’s something else at work here … something that goes beyond accepting more unjustified government interventions or accepting demonstrably bad economic outcomes,” we noted.  “It’s the underlying contempt America’s liberal elite continue to show for those they claim to be serving.  Seriously, a minimum wage hike suggests that the only way these low-income earners can improve their lot in life is for government to dictate marginally higher rate of pay at their dead-end jobs.”

That’s a terrible message …

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