The $15-an-hour national minimum wage canard

Do politicians in D.C. understand the economy enough that they should set a high uniform national minimum wage? 

Here's what's going on now with Joe Biden, and he's not the only Democrat touting it.

According to Marketplace:

Among his executive actions Friday, President Joe Biden set the stage for raising the minimum wage for federal contractors and employees to $15 an hour

Technically, he asked the Office of Personnel Management to come up with recommendations on doing that. But it's laying the groundwork for a broader push to raise the federal minimum wage across the board. It has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009.

Don't they know that there are major cost and circumstance differences in cities like San Francisco and Washington, D.C., many of which are struggling to get or maintain jobs?  

If politicians truly wanted to reduce poverty, they would have supported Trump's policies of lower taxes and fewer regulations that cut across the board.  Those policies were producing natural wage raises for those at the bottom and reducing poverty to a record low by the end of 2019.  They came from market factors, not top-down diktats, the laws of supply and demand.

A $15 minimum wage would cost between $20 and $25 per hour by the time all payroll taxes and other mandated benefits are included.

The higher you raise the minimum, the more job opportunities disappear for the poor, the young, and the less educated who are trying to move up the economic ladder.  Older people wanting to supplement Social Security will also see their opportunities destroyed.  Hours will also be cut substantially.

The higher the minimum wage, taxes, and other regulations go, the more companies like Amazon will move toward robotics, artificial intelligence, and taking their businesses and suppliers out of the U.S. to lower-cost countries.

It's as if many politicians would rather have more people dependent on the government than have jobs.

Back in 1987, the New York Times editorialists understood the problem when they wrote:

There's a virtual consensus among economists that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed. Raising the minimum wage by a substantial amount would price working poor people out of the job market.

Too bad Joe Biden never took that lesson in.

Image: PixabayPixabay license.

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