A Fifteen Dollar an Hour Minimum Wage, Pros and Cons

 

A New York Times piece crossed my desk a couple of
days ago and it seems to see as much down as up-side. NYT writers Jim
Tankersley and Emily Cochrane refer to a new report by the Congressional Budget
Office, so I guess that says it all—people with no skin in the game making
judgements
.
It’s bullshit, but we’ll take it a
step at a time.

What happens if there’s a $15 minimum wage? The report
projects:
 
• Higher pay for at least 17
million workers in the U.S., and maybe as many 27 million
. Maybe? That’s a
pretty wide spread, 8% of the entire population.
As many as 1.3 million people
lifted out of poverty
. What’s goin’ on with the numbers here? 47 million
Americans live below the poverty line. You can pretty well be that all
of them are making less, way less, than $15 an hour.
But an estimated 1.3 million
Americans could be put out of work, and that figure could be as high as 3.7
million
. Out of work? Explain that to me.
I remember that not all that long
ago the experts told us that if gas hit $1.50 a gallon the economy could
collapse. We’re paying twice that now and rolling along just fine. Pigs could
fly as some will tell you, but don’t bet on it.
Let’s parse that.
Lower-paid workers would see
their incomes rise
.
Okay, sounds good to me and wonderful
for them. And what would those lower paid workers do with that added
income? What the Wal-Marts and Amazons of the so-called business community
don’t seem to get through their thick heads is that 47 million Americans would love
to replace their old dying fridge, buy a newer used car and maybe, just maybe,
buy some clothes that aren’t hand-me-downs.
Mostly at the expense of
business owners, who would earn lower profits because of increased labor costs
As per above, just how
would business owners suffer lower profits, with 47 million brand new
consumers?
and other higher-earning
Americans, who would pay more for goods and services
.
Yep, that’s true. That’s what
always happens when wages rise, but we got out of that habit about forty years
ago. And they’d be just fine, as they are now just fine with
three-dollar gas.
The economy would be slightly
smaller than it would have otherwise been, because of lost efficiency
.
It’s efficient to have
poorly paid workers? Not only does that statement denigrate the poor, it’s
demonstrably false. Higher paid, motivated workers are always more
efficient. That’s the engine upon which this nation was built (in the days when
it still built things, instead of consuming the cheapest of the cheap).
(NYT again, winding up) The results are “likely to fuel
both supporters and critics of a House bill. Representative Steny H. Hoyer of
Maryland, the majority leader, said in a letter to Democrats that the
legislation would be considered next week, signaling that the House leadership
felt confident in its ability to secure enough votes to pass the measure
.”
Ah, now we’re talking about pigs
flying again.
They probably will be able
to pass such legislation, although it’s doubtful because Democrats are always
doubtful.
But it’s dead-on-arrival in the Senate, because
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell won’t possibly let it come to the floor
for a vote.
All of which proves that, under
certain circumstances, pigs can fly.
There is no greater pig in
Washington than Mitch McConnell and he’s flying high as a kite, while
America swings in the wind and the Senate continues to fail its Constitutional
duty under his leadership.
Don’t blame the New York Times, they’re just
reporting the report.

 

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