Back in 2014, the Congressional Budget Office published a study on the projected effects of hypothetical minimum wage hikes from the current federal $7.25, to either $9 or $10.10.
The study confirmed fears about job losses, projecting between 100,000-200,000 losses from a hike to $9, and between 500,000-1,000,000 from a hike to $10.10.
But 2014 was ages ago in political years, and liberals have moved further left when it comes to the minimum wage. Conservatives could once try to get liberals to ponder the negative consequences of upping the minimum wage by asking, “If a hike to $9 or $10 is so great, why not $15, $25, or $50 an hour?” But nowadays, the response to that question is more likely to be, “Great idea!”
Yet, while the idea of a $15 minimum wage may be more popular, the effects are the same. When Seattle commissioned a study on the effects of their hike to $15 (which hadn’t even fully gone into effect; it stood at $13 at the time of the study), it ended up finding out that the hike actually cost the city’s low-wage workers $125 net each month – after the costs associated with the wage hike were taken into effect.
Instead of adjusting their minimum wage policy in response to the new information, they opted to fire the entire team of researchers who uncovered the negative effects.
That was last month – this month we’re greeted by a report that a $15 minimum wage could cost 45,000 jobs …. in a single county.
According to Red Alert Politics, Montgomery County, a Washington, D.C. suburb with more than a million residents in southern Maryland, is represented by all Democrats, and their County Council voted 5-to-4 to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour. County Executive Ike Leggett vetoed the measure in January, and since then, the county commissioned a report on the effects of the increase.
PFM Group Consulting found that an increase to $15 per hour would result in 45,000 fewer jobs, $396.5 million in lost income, and $41 million in lost revenue to the county by 2022.
Even the left-leaning Washington Post editorial board called this report “sobering.” Unfortunately, these facts aren’t stopping some county council members. Council member Marc Elrich (D-At Large) has already reintroduced a different version increasing the minimum wage to $15. Fewer jobs, less income, and less revenue apparently aren’t enough to dissuade those motivated by pro-union political forces.
To give some more perspective in just how significant 45,000 job losses is in a county with roughly one million inhabitants, their entire food service sector employed 29,391 people in 2014, while food and beverage “stores” employed 12,148.
Sounds like something worth trying on a national scale? Hell no!