Nick Hanauer made billions of dollars as a tech investor, and for this reason he is invited to write his thoughts on the minimum wage in various publications. It’s unfortunate, because he is exceptionally wrong and uninformed.
So where to begin? To start with, despite pontificating confidently about the minimum wage for years, he seems to have no understanding of why many liberal economists are worried about setting the minimum wage too high. In a piece arguing that it’s “nonsense” to think there is any risk to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, he writes:
But minimum-wage opponents are not haggling over a number. They are not making a nuanced argument that the minimum wage might be bad for some people if it’s too high or phased in too fast or if the economy is too weak to absorb the change.
This is interesting because a lot of critics are making exactly this argument, and the only way to not know that is to be totally ignorant of the actual debate about the minimum wage. For example,here is Alan Krueger, one of the most influential minimum wage scholars in the world, making a nuanced argument that the minimum wage might be bad for some people if it’s too high or phased in too fast. But I guess you might not be familiar with Alan Krueger if you are profoundly ignorant of the actual debate about the minimum wage.
Too harsh you are saying? Well in a tweet earlier this year Hanauer said this...