Raising The Minimum Wage Doesn’t Help Workers

minimum wage cartoon2

At the Huffington Post economist Dean Baker is calling for a 20% increase in the minimum wage. “There are some policies that are pretty much no-brainers,” he writes. “Most recent research finds that it has no impact on employment. Even the research that finds job loss shows that the effect is small, suggesting that a 20 percent increase in the minimum wage may reduce employment of young people by around 2 to 3 percent.”

Mark Perry has a thorough rebuttal that is worth reading, but to illustrate that Mr. Baker is flat-out wrong about the minimum wage’s impact on employment among entry-level workers, let’s take a look at some numbers from Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin, like most of the rest of the nation, the minimum wage has increased dramatically thanks to Congress passing higher mandated minimums. As the minimum wage has gone up so has the unemployment rate among teen workers while the average number of hours per week they work has gone down. From the MacIver Institute:

The minimum wage acts as a tax on entry-level labor, inflating its cost. Employers respond to the higher cost of entry-level labor by hiring fewer entry-level workers.

What’s better, more people with jobs at lower wages? Or higher wages and fewer jobs?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • sbark

    ……..but it does help the unions, as they can then push for higher top end wages with the whine that the min. wage is “catching up to them”…………

  • Emil Kashuntz

    Giving the average CEO 350 times what the line worker gets helps. Lowering the taxes on the CEO who makes millions helps, but paying the workers are you nuts. This is right wing greed gone wild. The rich get more of the GDP than ever, and they refuse to pay taxes or let anyone else make a decent living. We have the Republicans to thank for this mess. One child in five lives in poverty, and the greed of the Republicans never relents.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      screw the CEO. The union as a whole costs the company bottom line 10 times more. If you really want equality then freeze ALL pay scales appropriately.

      • robert108

        Or, we could make pay proportional to production of value, with no govt interference of jiggering for social purposes.

    • jl

      Emil, did your parents have any children that survived? “Refuse to pay taxes.” No, they pay the most taxes. “let anyone else make a decent living.” Right, that’s exactly what they want to do- make sure no one makes a decent living so no one can afford “rich people’s” products. Please come back when you have a rational argument in your head.

    • sbark

      So useing your same logic…………..4 children in 5 live in economically viable home because of freedom and capitalism………….Thats great vrs world averages,
      80% of the world lives in poverty, under tyranny or communism…….because their govt is some form of ideological ‘ism such as extreme forms of Liberalism
      Liberalism is just communism, but with the 2nd Amendment still in place……the end goals are the same no matter what continent Leftsist are born in.
      The world run’s on greed, its not inherintly evil……….whats evil is Covetting other peoples property with the class envy and hatred that grows from that inside a person.

    • robert108

      CEOs aren’t “given” their wages, they earn them. The achievers in this country pay the vast majority of taxes, which the greedy Dems try to grab for themselves and their corrupt unionist cronies.
      The greed of the Democrats for our money never relents.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Every time you bring up minimum wage I have to remind you that minimum wage is tied directly to union wage scale. And yet you continue to harp on minimum wage issues. Look, I am going to preach one more time….minimum wage is a Democrat power play to reward union labor, and as we know, union labor votes Democrat. Here is how it works… MOST union wage scales are tied to multiples of minimum wage. If you are union and you work for Cogswell Coggs and you get paid 5 X minimum wage per hour and congress raises minimum wage then YOU get a raise, 5 X that raise per hour. IT IS SIMPLE AS THAT!!!! Minimum wage and democrats are PANDERING POLITICS 101. Now, I am not against anyone making a good living BUT minimum wage is ALL ABOUT pandering and BUYING votes and has NOTHING to do with helping entry level wprkers. THAT is the Democrat party in a nut shell.
    Next time you bring up this headline I will tiredlessley repeat it again, and again, and again.

    • ndoldman

      you missed the fact that union dues are tied to that wage also, so more money for ba’s and campain money.

    • realamericanrep

      Does it make you feel better to wish demise on your fellow Americans?

  • Emil Kashuntz

    The silly dingers that diss unions are clueless about how life was before unions. That is what happens when goofs fail history.

    • sbark

      Unions are like all things Liberal……….they all start out with admirable objectives and goals.
      but always grow into govts within themselves— Unions grow up to destroy GM, grow into leftwing money laundering Public unions.
      Environmental radicals grow from keeping the ditches clean to EPA govt within themselves, no control from Congress and shutting down USA energy supplies.
      Welfare from helping the truely helpless……..to a generational destruction much worse than the Dem’cat KKK could’ve ever pulled off, and get the votes to boot.
      the list is endless due to Liberalism’s 100% track record of failure.

    • mickey_moussaoui

      this is the 21st century old dummy, we have labor laws now

    • robert108


  • Mike

    So you are saying that the recession that happened from 2008 to 2011 had no effect on the teen unemployment rate?

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      Not no impact but a disproportionate impact certainly.

  • realamericanrep

    Your own example proves you wrong. The lowest rate in ten years was after the minimum wage was raised twice. Then in 2008 we also got hit with W’s recession. Can’t be possible that would have ANY impact on the next few years now would it?

    • robert108

      “Then in 2008 we also got hit with W’s recession.”

      False premise, wrong conclusion. The recession was due to the collapse of the Democrat affirmative action home loan bubble. More govt manipulation of the market leads to more bad consequences.