Last week’s Fox Business Network Republican presidential debate started off with a challenging question about the federally mandated minimum wage.
The leading candidates rejected raising it to $15 per hour, but they could have done a better job explaining the downside of essentially doubling the current rate of pay.
It’s all about jobs.
For starters, I do think that the American worker is grossly underpaid, by about 25 percent to 30 percent — heck, wages have been stagnant for almost a decade.
But raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour is not the way to get wages up in this country. In fact, it would cost perhaps as many as a million people to lose their jobs.
Even President Obama has been calling for a more modest increase in the minimum wage, to $10.10 per hour.
But even his plan will cost jobs and cut employment by 500,000, per the Congressional Budget Office’s own study. The estimates for the number of jobs lost or hiring put off due to a $15-per-hour minimum wage come in at 6.6 million, according to research done by Douglas Holtz-Eakin, the former head of the CBO, and Lawrence Mone, president of the conservative think tank Manhattan Institute.
Raising the salary of some and making or keeping half a million unemployed is not a win for the economy, and it’s not a win for the American worker.
Read the rest here.