Raising The Minimum Wage Doesn’t Help, It Hurts
According to We Party Patriots this chart “shows how many minimum wage hours a worker needs to work in order to be able to afford a two-bedroom unit at “Fair Market Rent” in any given state.”
If we take this data at face value, in no state can someone earning the minimum afford a two-bedroom apartment while working a standard 40 hour week (click for a larger view).
We can say a lot of things about this. We can point out that most minimum-wage earners are high school and college students, or part-time workers who aren’t the primary earners in their households. We can point out that there are plenty of apartments that are cheaper than two-bedroom apartments.
But the argument the chart is making is that we have to raise the minimum wage to a “living wage” or something like that.
What jumped out at me, though, was the apparent correlation between the minimum wage and cost of living. Where is it hardest to afford a two-bedroom apartment while earning the minimum wage? In places like California, Connecticut and Illinois which have some of the nation’s highest minimum wage mandates.
Where is it the easiest to rent a two-bedroom apartment while earning the minimum wage? In states like North Dakota, Montana and Iowa which require only the federal minimum wage.
If the argument is that raising the minimum wage makes it easier to affording housing, this chart doesn’t prove it. If anything, this chart proves that a higher minimum wage means a higher cost of living.
Of course, there are a lot of factors that go into the cot of living besides the minimum wage, but you get my point.
What minimum wage proponents don’t understand is that labor markets are not static. If you raise the minimum wage the cost of goods and services provided by minimum-wage earners will only increase proportionately. If employers don’t just hire fewer minimum wage-earners.Tags: living wage, minimum wage