Should the national minimum wage be raised? | The Tylt
In March 2019, Maryland became the sixth state to adopt a $15 minimum wage. Across the country, cities are enacting higher minimum wages for hourly workers, and the issue has found its way to the floor of Congress. Proponents of higher pay say it is necessary to allow hourly workers to earn a living wage. Opponents believe forcing businesses to pay employees more will depress the economy and increase unemployment. What do you think?
Should the national minimum wage be raised?
The new minimum wage will benefit more than 250,000 Amazon employees — including part-time and temporary employees — as well as another 100,000 seasonal employees, the company said. Some employees who already make $15 per hour will also see a pay increase.
Amazon said the effect of the higher pay will be reflected in its forward-looking quarterly guidance. Shares of Amazon were trading marginally lower Tuesday morning.
..."We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead," Bezos said in a statement. "We're excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us."
An early July 2019 report by the Congressional Budget Office indicated that while raising the minimum wage would be helpful to millions of Americans, it would result in over one million lost jobs. Per CNBC:
Raising the pay floor to $15 per hour by 2025 would boost wages for 17 million workers, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated. At the same time, 1.3 million people would lose jobs, according to the CBO projections.
...Opponents of hiking the pay floor to that level — more than twice the current U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 that took effect in 2009 — argue it would cut positions for minimum wage workers amid higher costs.
John Komlos, a professor emeritus of economics and economic history at the University of Munich, claimed in an op-ed for PBS that the only people who truly take issue with raising the minimum are those at the top of the economic food chain.
Raising the minimum wage has not hurt anyone except the boogeyman in the imagination of the 1 percenters and their entourage. Conservatives are merely throwing invectives at a phantom of their own imagination. But they never complain about the annual salary of Target’s CEO being $28 million or that of Walmart being $19 million. No, that doesn’t increase prices at all, but increasing the wage of their employees from $9.47 to $11.00 an hour does. What hypocrisy!
Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, disagreed with Komlos' assertions in her own PBS op-ed, writing that while raising the minimum wage could help some low-wage workers, the net result would be negative for the American workforce.
First, let me say that there’s no doubt that raising the minimum wage from its current level might help some workers. That claim isn’t in dispute. The claim that’s being debated here is whether this policy change will have a negative impact on any workers and whether the aggregate effect of the change will be a net positive. As we will see, most economists find that the negative impact of the change overwhelms the positive.
An extensive survey of decades of minimum-wage research, published by William Wascher of the Federal Reserve Board and David Neumark of the University of California, Irvine, in the 2008 book “Minimum Wages,” generally found a 1 percent or 2 percent reduction for teenage or very low-skill employment for each 10 percent minimum-wage increase. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office also calculated that an increase in the federal minimum wage from its current level, $7.25 an hour, to $10.10 per hour would cost about 500,000 jobs.