Within a relatively short period of time, the concept of a $15 minimum wage went from being a laughable concept (even among those who favor hiking the minimum wage) to making its way into the Democratic Party’s platform.
Two states have passed legislation mandating a $15 minimum wage: California, whose revised minimum wage takes effect in 2022; and New York, which will raise its minimum wage to $12.50 in 2020, then have it annually indexed to inflation until it caps out at $15.
The District of Columbia will also have a $15 minimum wage in 2020.
Yet while the so-called “Fight for Fifteen” movement seeks to impose a $15 minimum wage by cold-hard force, one major retailer is doing it voluntarily.
According to The Hill,
Retail giant Target is raising its minimum hourly wage to $11 next month and to $15 by the end of 2020, it announced Monday. The store’s move will keep it in competition with companies like Walmart, Whole Foods and Costco, which have also raised wages in past years.
Target spokeswoman Jenna Reck said the wage increase demonstrates a “much bolder and more vocal investment in our team.”
“This is something that will help set Target apart,” Reck said.
The increases will apply to the 100,000 seasonal workers employed in Target’s 1,800 stores. The company has declined to provide details about how much the move will cost or how many of its 323,000 regular season employees would be affected.
Keep in mind that any benefits Target does see as a company from their $15 minimum wage (such as a higher quality staff, less employee turnover, etc.) would not occur if all their competitors were forced to adopt a $15 minimum wage.
Even the ultra-liberal economist Paul Krugman accurately pointed out in 1998 that, “surely the benefits of low turnover and high morale in your work force come not from paying a high wage, but from paying a high wage “compared with other companies” — and that’s precisely what mandating an increase in the minimum wage for all companies cannot accomplish.”
Target has faced hard times over the past year, mainly resulting from a boycott in response to their transgender bathroom policy. Perhaps improving their image in light of that is part of their strategy here.