As we sink deeper into the Obama Era, it is becoming more apparent that “Dear Leader” does not want people starting businesses, working hard, and making their own money to feed and clothe themselves and their families.
We’ve got record unemployment. BarryO, Dingy Harry, Kay Hagan and the rest of their accomplices pushed through this ObamaCare. It provides one hell of a disincentive to expand your business, give your employees more hours, or to even hire more people. You know, the kind of stuff we need to have happen in order to experience economic growth.
BarryO and his girl Kay have even signed on to the idea of once again raising the minium wage. Here, some really smart folks from AEI explain why that is a horrible idea:
If the debate proceeds as it has – many times – in the past, then most Democrats will embrace the president’s message and back the proposal, while most Republicans will oppose it, on the grounds that higher labor costs will lead to higher unemployment.
But we shouldn’t rely on political opinions in this debate. Facts clearly demonstrate that raising the minimum wage is a bad idea.
The case against raising the minimum wage is straightforward: A higher wage makes it more expensive for firms to hire workers. How big an effect does this have on the job market? Economists debate this. But no one argues that increasing the minimum wage increases the number of unemployed workers who find jobs. In the end, the trade-off is clear. People who keep their jobs get more money; those who lose their jobs, or fail to get new ones, suffer.
In announcing his proposal to increase the minimum wage, the president argued that doing so would alleviate poverty. The president is certainly correct to turn his attention to the poor, many of whom have been suffering for years in a tough economy. And it is clearly desirable for households that engage in full-time work not to live in poverty. But increasing the minimum wage would not accomplish this goal.
Research published in 2010 by economists Joseph Sabia and Richard Burkhauser concluded that if the federal minimum wage were increased from $7.25 an hour to $9.50 an hour (remember that the president’s proposal is to increase the minimum wage to $9 per hour), only 11.3% of workers who would gain from the increase belong to poor households.
First, many people who live in poverty do not work, and would thus be unaffected by an increase in the minimum wage. In addition, workers who earn the minimum wage are generally not the primary breadwinners in their households. They are secondary earners – an elderly parent earning some retirement income or a spouse with a part-time job. Or they are young people living with their parents. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that while workers under age 25 make up only about 20% of those who earn hourly wages, they constitute about half of all workers earning the minimum wage or less. Raising the minimum wage is therefore an ineffective anti-poverty proposal. […]
The cost of a higher wage is borne by employers and consumers – and by the unfortunate people who end up not working because of it.
It is also important to consider the president’s proposal to increase the minimum wage in the context of today’s labor market. The unemployment rate for African American teenagers stands at a staggeringly high 43.1%. For white teenagers, the unemployment rate is 22.1%; a little more than 11% of workers older than 25 and without a high school diploma are unemployed.
To put these numbers in perspective, overall unemployment at the height of the Depression was about 25%. Especially for low-skill workers and for young workers, the two groups of workers who will be disproportionately hit by a minimum-wage increase, ours is a labor market in crisis. Increasing the cost of job creation now is unwise.
One reason public officials continue to embrace such a bad idea is that it’s popular, and thus can provide an opportunity to score political points. The last time we had this debate, it was President George W. Bush who signed a minimum-wage increase into law. The fact that even a Republican president did so shows just how tempting this policy is to politicians.
Why not support increasing the minimum wage? Because it will make it more expensive for businesses to hire young and low-skill workers at a time of crisis-level unemployment. Because it will not alleviate poverty. Because there are much better alternatives to help poor families, and because the minimum wage is a dishonest approach that hides the true cost of the policy.
Barry’s latest piece of
sabotage *ingenuity* is an executive order requiring overtime be paid to full-time salaried employees. When you are salaried, you typically are given greater responsibility and are expected to work until the job is done. Hourly employees stop the minute their shift ends.
This executive order puts business owners in the awkward spot of having to spend more money on overhead, in trying economic times, or risk harassment from EEOC or the Department of Labor or other similar FUN people. With this executive order in place, why bother hiring full-time employees?
It’s another step in the statist agenda. It’s Ayn Rand’s prophecies coming true. Government keeps “looking out for the little people” by slowly bleeding the people who create jobs and power our economy. What happens when those people finally throw up their hands and decide they don’t want their blood, sweat and dollars feeding the beast anymore?