Back when they were advocating for a $9 or $10 minimum wage, liberals may have been able to get away with arguing that it wouldn’t cost jobs (though they were still wrong then). But it’s much harder to get away with this argument when you’re fighting for $15.
The Congressional Budget Office released a report in 2014 demonstrating that a $10.10 minimum wage would cost between 500,000 and 1,000,000 jobs. Tim Worstall at Forbes estimated that 6.6 million jobs would be lost from a $15 minimum wage using the same model the CBO used — or 16.8 million lost, worst-case scenario.
The evidence is pretty clear that such an absurdly high minimum wage would cost jobs, so it begs the question; are its advocates simply clueless? Most probably are, but as HotAir reports, this isn’t a concern to some advocates.
We’ve recently seen these same activists adopting a new line of talking points. This phenomenon is on display in a new column at the Washington Post carrying the catchy title, (and I’m not making this up) The $15 minimum wage sweeping the nation might kill jobs — and that’s okay.
After a brief history of the Fight for 15, the author begins citing various experts who admit that it’s at least possible that such policies will put minimum wage workers out on the streets, but hey… in any type of fight there’s bound to be a few people who get a black eye, right?
“Why shouldn’t we in fact accept job loss?” asks New School economics and urban policy professor David Howell, who’s about to publish a white paper on the subject. “What’s so bad about getting rid of crappy jobs, forcing employers to upgrade, and having a serious program to compensate anyone who is in the slightest way harmed by that?”
The author of the Washington Post article is Lydia DePillis, a Post reporter specializing in labor. (And also a member of a union herself, which she describes in exhilarating detail on her Facebook page, so take the objectivity factor as you will.) But let us give credit where due. Math is hard, as we all know, but it does seem to finally be sinking in among union activists. So why would they go along with it?
So what about those who lose their jobs?
As DePillis points out, we don’t need to feel too bad for them. We can just create more taxpayer funded public assistance programs to hopefully keep them out of the soup kitchens.
So the solution is to staff government with those previously employed at McDonalds. If that doesn’t scare you more than job losses, I don’t know what will.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]