Barack Obama

Washington Post Fact Checker Calls Out Obama's "Minimum Wage Increase Doesn't Cost Jobs" Claim


The Washington Post's Fact Checker called out President Obama for his recent claim that there is "no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs."  

Riana/Wikimedia Commons

Obama delivered the questionable remarks at a Center for American Progress-hosted event in the nation's capital on Wednesday. His speech touched on the importance of upholding Social Security and Medicare entitlements, the insiduous threat of growing inequality, the 1 percent, and minimum wage increases. 

The president applauded both New Jersey's voter-approved minimum wage raise and the D.C. City Council's recently announced support for an increase in the city's minimum wage to $11.50/hour. He followed up with a proclamation of his own support:

I agree with those voters, and I'm going to keep pushing until we get a higher minimum wage for hard-working Americans across the entire country.  It will be good for our economy. It will be good for our families.  

He then assured the audience that enacting such a policy would not result in the unintended consequences for the poor that they might have heard about:

Now, we all know the arguments that have been used against a higher minimum wage.  Some say it actually hurts low-wage workers—businesses will be less likely to hire them.  But there's no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs, and research shows it raises incomes for low-wage workers and boosts short-term economic growth.  

The Post Fact Checker, which is a non-partisan blog checking politicians' claims for accuracy, said they approached the president's statement with caution:

The Fact Checker generally hesitates to wade into messy economic debates [since economists have a hard time reaching a consensus]…But here's the president of the United States, essentially saying that the debate has been settled. Is that really the case?

The Fact Checker's conclusion? No, it's not really the case

The White House, in support of the president's comment, pointed to a section of the 2013 Economic Report of the President (pages 120-121). The report noted that most economists had once believed an increase in the minimum wage would reduce employment but that "the consensus view among economists has since shifted as more evidence has accumulated."  It also cited a 2009 meta-analysis of 64 studies of the minimum wage that found "no evidence of a meaningful adverse employment effect" of the minimum wage.

The problem is that while there may be a new consensus emerging on the left-leaning side of economic theory, there is an equally fierce response from other economists.

In 2006, economists David Neumark and William Wascher published a survey of more than 100 studies, and came to an opposite conclusion, directly contradicting the results of the so-called New Minimum Wage Research. They found that the majority of the studies showed that "raising the minimum wage leads to economic distortions and often has unintended adverse consequences for the employment opportunities of low-skilled workers."

Economist Arindrajit Dube and others came up with a new approach in 2010, looking at the impact in counties adjacent at different states, that bolstered the findings of the new minimum wage forces. But economists Jonathan Meer and Jeremy West this yearfired back with a study that found that minimum wage hikes reduce net job growth because of the effect on expanding companies. (In October, Dube responded that their supposed job losses were occurring in the sectors without minimum wage workers, which in turn prompted this rebuttal by Meer and West.) And a 2011 study from economists at the London School of Economics and the Central Bank of Turkey found higher minimum wages increased unemployment.

In conclusion, the Fact Checker, said, "To flatly declare the debate is over is misleading.  He did not quite say there was no evidence–but he came close." They awarded Obama two "Pinocchios."

The president also implied that higher wages wouldn't result in higher prices for consumers:

Others argue that if we raise the minimum wage, companies will just pass those costs on to consumers. But a growing chorus of businesses, small and large, argue differently. 

The Post did not tackle this claim, but it is also dubious. At least one meta-analysis on the price effects of the minimum wage found that a 10% minimum wage increase in the US raises food prices by 4% and overall prices by 0.4%. Other recent research found that a 10% minimum wage increase raised prices by .7%.

Obama's remarks come in light of fast food strikes for higher wages, multiple local and state-wide minimum wage increases across the country, and his own support for the congressional Democrats' proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10/hour and peg it to inflation. 

Watch a Reason TV interview with a few of this week's fast food strikers in New York City:

NEXT: Stocks Jump Following Jobs Report

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  1. Well, it looks like the administration has found one of its distractions from the exchange rollout debacle and the NSA spying. You’re going to lose your plan but…hey look over there! Minimum wage!!!

    1. The Republicans should propose a $50 minimum wage.

      1. $1 billion! Then everyone will live as kings!

        1. I say raise it $1 trillion. Why do you hate the poor so much?

          1. Why stop there? In my Nexus 7 (2013) case, there’s a genuine Zimbabwe 100 Trillion bill. Yes, I’m a trillionaire.

      2. 50 bucks and hour is cool. Everyone would make at least 100K if they worked 40 hours a week. Prosperity for all, by presidential decree!

  2. Raise minimum wage to $100 per hour. That way people will have more money to spend and will cause an economic boom even though people spending money is bad. Is my progtalk good enough?

    1. You should apply to Slate as a writer.

    2. Nope, make it no less than $1000/hr. Every full-time employee becomes a multimillionaire one-percenter, and therefore is not paying their fair share of taxes! Instant economic boom because everyone is rich, instant huge increase in government revenues because everyone is rich, amirite?

      Am I?



      1. With that sort of cash flow, I bet the government could print EVEN MORE money. THINK OF IT!

    3. Spending money = good: GDP growth and higher tax revenues for government.

      Saving money = bad: lowers GDP and costs jobs.

      Hope that clears it up for you.

  3. ” there’s no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs”

    That’s why every gas station in the country has attendants who check your oil and wash your windows when you fill up. Millenials might not believe it, but that’s the way every gas station in the US operated back until the 1970s. The minimum wage completely eliminated those jobs.

    1. Not completely. Doesn’t Oregon require attendants? Danged hipsters.

      1. New Jersey too, since the public can’t be trusted with the difficult task of putting gasoline in their vehicles.

        1. I’m sure Chris Christie needs all the help he can get.

      2. Doesn’t Oregon require attendants?

        According to a friend in Portland some woman called in to a radio show to freak out about a proposal to let people pump their own gas. She thought it was dangerous. The radio host said “Uh, Californians do it all the time. If Californians can do it without incident, I’m sure we can.”

        Smug Oregonian bastard, but he’s right.

        1. And somehow all those people just the cross the river in Vancouver Washington who shop and commute into Portland everyday do not spontaneously combust.

          1. We made this friend pump gas every time we stopped on a long road trip through CA. He was a basket case the first couple of times he did it, and then next time he was home had the attendant screaming at him for stealing his job when he absentmindedly started filling his own tank.

        2. I’ve never driven through either Oregon or New Jersey, so I don’t know how I’d feel if I were required to hand over pumping duties to an attendant. I imagine it would feel like handing over butt-wiping duties to a bathroom attendant.

          1. It’s pretty simple, but what I used to like to do in Jersey was, because I had Connecticut or New York plates, if the attendant/pump guy was the slightest bit slow I’d get out and start pumping. They’d of course go crazy and run over and say I couldn’t do that, but they didn’t go too crazy because of the out of state plates.

            If I can’t pump my own gas, you better not be slow, bitch!

            There was also the time my cousin and I pulled up to the attended pumps in Connecticut (you could pump your own gas, or for slightly more, an attendant would do it for you). He scrabbles around in his console and comes up with like 42 cents and hands it to the attendant and tells him he wants 42 cents of gas, pumped by the attendant, of course. I almost passed out laughing.

            1. I would just tell them, ‘don’t touch my shit.’ They didn’t touch my shit. Polite but firm shortens unnecessary conversations every time.

          2. The guy who insisted in Oregon that I not pump my own gas was kind of apologetic about it.

            Still kind of a dick move, but by the legislature and the progs who voted for it, not the dude at the pump.

          3. Is it still $250 and two points to pump your own gas in New Jersey? I once witnessed a state trooper actually write a ticket for this.

      3. Not completely. Doesn’t Oregon require attendants?

        THAT’S IT! EUREKA, I’VE FOUND IT! Just have the government require everyone be employed.

        Looking back, it seems so simple.

        1. I believe Obama is on record bemoaning ATMs and the jobs they destroyed.

      4. And it’s only gas. Self serve diesel is completely in the Beaver State.

        Here’s a laugh. ORS 480.315:

        The Legislative Assembly declares that, except as provided in ORS 480.345, it is in the public interest to maintain a prohibition on the self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids at retail. The Legislative Assembly finds and declares that:

        (1) The dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by dispensers properly trained in appropriate safety procedures reduces fire hazards directly associated with the dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids;
        (2) Appropriate safety standards often are unenforceable at retail self-service stations in other states because cashiers are often unable to maintain a clear view of and give undivided attention to the dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by customers;
        (3) Higher liability insurance rates charged to retail self-service stations reflect the dangers posed to customers when they leave their vehicles to dispense Class 1 flammable liquids, such as the increased risk of crime and the increased risk of personal injury resulting from slipping on slick surfaces;
        (4) The dangers of crime and slick surfaces described in subsection (3) of this section are enhanced because Oregons weather is uniquely adverse, causing wet pavement and reduced visibility;

        1. (5) The dangers described in subsection (3) of this section are heightened when the customer is a senior citizen or has a disability, especially if the customer uses a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair, walker, cane or crutches;
          (6) Attempts by other states to require the providing of aid to senior citizens and persons with disabilities in the self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids at retail have failed, and therefore, senior citizens and persons with disabilities must pay the higher costs of full service;
          (7) Exposure to toxic fumes represents a health hazard to customers dispensing Class 1 flammable liquids;
          (8) The hazard described in subsection (7) of this section is heightened when the customer is pregnant;
          (9) The exposure to Class 1 flammable liquids through dispensing should, in general, be limited to as few individuals as possible, such as gasoline station owners and their employees or other trained and certified dispensers;

          1. (10) The typical practice of charging significantly higher prices for full-service fuel dispensing in states where self-service is permitted at retail:
            (a) Discriminates against customers with lower incomes, who are under greater economic pressure to subject themselves to the inconvenience and hazards of self-service;
            (b) Discriminates against customers who are elderly or have disabilities who are unable to serve themselves and so must pay the significantly higher prices; and
            (c) Increases self-service dispensing and thereby decreases maintenance checks by attendants, which results in neglect of maintenance, endangering both the customer and other motorists and resulting in unnecessary and costly repairs;
            (11) The increased use of self-service at retail in other states has contributed to diminishing the availability of automotive repair facilities at gasoline stations;
            (12) Self-service dispensing at retail in other states does not provide a sustained reduction in fuel prices charged to customers;
            (13) A general prohibition of self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids by the general public promotes public welfare by providing increased safety and convenience without causing economic harm to the public in general;
            (14) Self-service dispensing at retail contributes to unemployment, particularly among young people;

            1. (15) Self-service dispensing at retail presents a health hazard and unreasonable discomfort to persons with disabilities, elderly persons, small children and those susceptible to respiratory diseases;
              (16) The federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Public Law 101-336, requires that equal access be provided to persons with disabilities at retail gasoline stations; and
              (17) Small children left unattended when customers leave to make payment at retail self-service stations creates a dangerous situation.

              1. -Small children left unattended when customers leave to make payment at retail self-service stations creates a dangerous situation.

                Oh my goodness. Mandating gas pump attendants tied to ‘it is for teh childrenz!’

                You have to at least admire the sheer audacity there.

              2. That.

                Is shameful.

                The 48 states that allow “at retail” self serve have gas stations bursting into flame quite regularly…

                Mendacious fucks.

                1. I actually found this online just now:

                  -Robert Renkes (2007) of the Petroleum Equipment Institute(PEI) initiated an ongoing analysis of electrostatic gasoline station fires. He collected a sample consisting of 166 incidents of refueling fires caused by electrostatic charges since 1992. In these 166 incidents, 34 cars were completely destroyed, 14 had severe paint damage, nine had $1,000?$8,000 in damages, nine had melting around the fill pipe,and many more had a variety of lesser damages. During this same period, roughly two dozen people suffered first-or second-degree burns due to fires while filling their gasoline tanks. Of all recorded accounts, 79 fires were caused when people entered and exited their cars while pumping gasoline and did not ground themselves before handling the gasoline pumps. Another 59 fires were sparked without anyone entering and exiting their cars. And 17 fires occurred while people were handling their gasoline caps. New Jersey and Oregon had the two lowest incident scores throughout the study’s fourteen-year period.


                  1. So that’s an average of 3.3 “incidents” per state over a period of 14 years. Yeah, totally justifies drawing a conclusion about the effect of War On Self-Serve laws.

                2. 24 hour self-serve pumps are a boon for long distance travelers. Are there none in Oregon or Jersey?

                  … Hobbit

        2. Self serve diesel is completely legal in the Beaver State.

          Or Derp State.

          1. Well, diesel is used by truckers who are professional drivers, not your amateur prole.


              There is self serve on card locks for gas (and of course diesel), but ordinary retail customers can’t use them for gas. The vehicle has to be owned and operated by a business, non-profit, or government agency and you have to buy 900 gallons per year.

      5. Yes, but they don’t do shit other than fill your vehicles. If they took time to check your oil and wash your windows, everyone would have to wait even longer than we already do.

    2. And all this time I was blaming Big Oil

    3. Ha in Canada we still a lot of those. No federal min wage here just provincial.

  4. How about copying Leopold II? Take a crack at ruling a part of Africa. Everyone will a have a hand in it in order to not get ahead of themselves.

    1. Whatever you’re talking about, I want NOTHING to do with it.

    2. Sure. That turned out so well for everyone else who tried it. I am sure it will be great.

      1. Real TOP. MEN will solve all problems.

    3. Jeez nobody noticed any of the puns I made there?

  5. “…there’s no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs..”

    It is impossible for me to believe that Shitweasel and his fellator Tony ( who repeated that talking point yesterday ) buy that shit. The evidence is ample, plain to see and very solid. It is Baghdad Bob level bullshit.

    Have we ever had a president as mendacious as this one?

    Lying liars will lie.

    1. “…there’s no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs..”

      I’m pretty sure I was taught that it does in fact cost jobs back in High School Econ and it was no libertarian course as you can imagine.

      1. You don’t even need evidence to reach obvious conclusions.

        Say you’re a business owner, paying your entry level workers min wage of 7 bucks an hour. Obama jacks it up to 12 bucks an hour. Do you employ the same number of workers, or fewer? Do you hire the next few workers sooner, or put it off longer?

        Do you replace your entry level workers with workers who can handle more tasks? Do you start looking into automation that wasn’t economically viable before?

    2. There’s nothing but solid evidence. What they like to hide behind is that they’ve not really been able to force through minimum wage increases that increased the minimum much (if at all) above market wages. So while there’s been some negative effects, they’re nowhere near what they would be if the wage floor went substantially above market. Like, say, $15/hour across the nation.

      1. And as Bryan Caplan was pointing out, if the increase is anticipated far enough in advance, employers will decrease personnel through attrition and fewer new hires, rather than firing existing employees outright. (I think there was also a point about more people declining to enter the workforce.)

        The effect gets smoothed out over time and largely precedes the actual implementation of the law. And since nobody is being fired because the increase in minimum wage, the lost jobs aren’t as clearly seen.

      2. It also helps that every minimum wage increase has been immediately followed by increased taxation, usually of the stealth variety via federal reserve printing.

    3. Would McDonalds buying about ten thousand self-serve ordering touchscreens (like the ones you see at Sheetz) to replace counter workers be a legitimate data point?

  6. I’m sure there’s no solid evidence that higher taxes and regulations costs jobs, right?

  7. Is the president really that dense.

    I sell hamburgers. I charge x and my labor costs are y. Y goes up, x stays the same?

    and I’m not sure that raising the min wage does cut employment by that much, they mostly just raise prices

    And anyway, I can’t figure out why they have counter help at fast food places anyway, I could press the button that looks like a hamburger without cheese as well as the worker can.

    And yeah, it certainly seems reasonable that the minimum wage should be at least $100, why do the politician want people to try to get by on $15 an hour, that’s not very much.

    1. They already have you swipe your credit/debit card yourself, so a clerk isn’t even needed to take payment.

    2. Yes, x stays the same. People aren’t going to pay more for mystery meat burgers just because you pay your workers more.

      What will happen is you will either cut the number of staff and make them work harder, or you’ll make less profit, or you’ll go out of business and all your workers will lose their jobs.

      1. No what happens is you get massive wage inflation across the board.

        Someone who went to school for 4 years isn’t going to tolerate having the pay gap closed with a burger flipper. They will demand higher wages.

        It pushes up the wages of everyone. Driving up prices and putting the poor back where they started off.

        No one is any wealthier, they’re just playing with bigger numbers.

        Yes there will be some automation, but i think largely what we’ll see is simple price inflation.

  8. the insiduous [sic] threat of growing inequality


    I’m sorry, could someone explain to me how wealth inequality is a threat? Saying it is, doesn’t make it one.

    1. The argument, which is wrong, is that in the long run this will lead to a permanent underclass and a mostly permanent upper class. They decry a world in which Bill Gates can be worth billions and there still be homeless people in Seattle. They ignore the fact that Bill’s wealth is of no detriment to their well being. They should be worried about economic mobility, not wealth disparity.

    2. Honestly wealth inequality seems like another word for wealth envy used in populace rallies.

      Hey look how much more that guy is making more than you. I mean it doesn’t really hurt you any, but he has more money!

  9. Why do we talk about minimum wage? Those who are in favor of it will certainly favor not working at all and having government provide everything they will ever need and in the proper amounts. At that point people are merely ambulatory flora.

  10. “His speech touched on the importance of upholding Social Security and Medicare entitlements, the insiduous threat of growing inequality, the 1 percent, and minimum wage increases.”

    IOWs, subject of which he is totally ignorant.

  11. What piece of shit that guy is.

    Hey you. Whoever you are. You’re a piece of shit.

  12. I find it quite interesting that the one demographic that likely will get hit by such an absurd proposal is the one most represented in the video. I speak, of course, of African-Americans.

    One of the girls interviewed basically admitted she has no education but still wants more money.

    I’d fire those people. Seriously, if I saw one of my workers banging on a tam-tam like a left-wing drifter I’d have no choice.

    1. Reporting from SF:

      “But little has changed in Elida Munoz’s life in that time. The 37-year-old mother of two still work two fast-food jobs – one at Jack-in-the-Box in Oakland, the other at KFC in Emeryville. One shift runs from 9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., and the other begins at 8 p.m. and ends at 4:15 a.m.
      The big change in her life is that now she’s seven months pregnant, with little prospect that her pay will go up.”

      Yes, she is now looking at supporting three kids and somehow her wages haven’t increased! She said all the magic words, too!…..039151.php

      1. Oh, but you see, this is why we have to have the contraceptive mandate on top of the minimum wage!

      2. If you work at KFC for 17 years and are still a cashier, the problem is in the mirror. Not even assistant manager?

        I wouldn’t be completely surprised if one of those employers has a conflict of interest provision and fires her after she outed herself in the newspaper as working for two different chains. Besides, those shift times don’t add up. I don’t buy that she’s working 40 hours at each one. Maybe 20, probably less. And what does picketing Mickey D’s have to do with her actual employers- KFC & Jack in the Box?

        (Personally I have no problem with someone working their entire life in what is generally considered an entry level job if that’s what they want to do and their employer is willing to continue to employ them.)

        1. I’m going to guess parents are taking care of the kid.

          We have a CNA at our facility who works here 40 hours and 40 hours at another facility. It looks grueling but clearly not impossible.

          The mother seems to watch her kids most of the time.

      3. Working 16 hours a day with two kids, how the &^*% did she have time to get pregnant?

  13. At least of all the liberal-leaning papers, WaPo is showing some life by publishing articles of the President. Good on them. Unlike the NYT who have abandoned all semblance of good journalism.

    1. At least of all the liberal-leaning papers, WaPo is showing some life by publishing articles of the President. Good on them. Unlike the NYT who have abandoned all semblance of good journalism.

      The Bezos effect? WaPo hired Balko too. Something delightful is afoot in the building.

  14. and research shows it raises incomes for low-wage workers and boosts short-term economic growth.

    Uh huh, it probably does. You know what else boost short-term economic growth but damages long-term growth?

    1. Errr….Hitler?

    2. Unprotected sex?

  15. The “real world” studies finding no job losses due to a minimum wage are b.s. Here’s my analogy.

    Simple physics tells us that increased vehicle weight will result in decreased gas mileage. However, it’s very possible to imagine a survey of drivers, asking them for details of their mileage and driving habits and what they carry in their vehicles, would not find a clear correlation. But it’s there, in any case. If your study didn’t find it, your study is flawed. Period.

    Similarly, common sense will tell you that if a person’s labor is worth $7/hour, they won’t simply get a raise when the minimum wage is $8/hour. They’ll get fired, and someone else will get hired, someone who’s better at the job, or can handle increased duties. Or the business won’t hire an extra person.

    I also think it’s important, in these discussions, to bring up the arguments of the original minimum wage advocates. They wanted to 1) discourage the hiring of women, so that they would stay home and have babies instead, and 2) disemploy the handicapped and racial minorities. That’s right, the minimum wage was a Progressive, racist, sexist, eugenics measure.

    1. I do not think empirical questions can be answered by common sense or a priori axioms. I am at least open to the possibility that the minimum wage does not have the effect classical economics predicts.

      1. “I am at least open to the possibility that the minimum wage does not have the effect classical economics predicts.”

        By what mechanism?

        1. Theory should follow data, not data theory. If the data do not show what the theory suggests, then no matter how ‘common sense’ the theory we should start thinking differently.

          1. Except that “Businesses will try to minimize expenses” is so commonsensical that the burden of proof should be on those who think it’s incorrect. And they are nowhere near to providing convincing evidence that that statement is incorrect.

          2. Bo –

            The question is easy – do taxes on anything cause less of that thing?

            The answer is yes in every case – because taxes on anything represent nonproductive use of money – it’s a loss for both the consumer and the producer.

            & going slightly further – same with drugs and such, as drug laws can be *thought of as big “tax” on the product as the product price increases directly proportional to the additional risk carried by the illegality of supply.

            By *thought of “big “tax” I meant only for explanation purposes as the full analogy is weak – even though tax is theft, banning nonviolent, noncoercive behavior and enforcing that through the US’s LEO & prison system is vastly more horrendous than normal taxation.

            Even though in a perfect world both would be zero.

            Reminds me of another prevalent myth these days – the belief that the perfect tax rate isn’t zero.

            I believe that used to be much more common knowledge….but of course that’s when people agreed on things like, raising taxes on X, negatively affects it, but since we’re too smart to believe in old wive’s tales about people losing jobs to the Minimum Wage Monster?, we don’t think that way anymore.

            Because apparently, by shear belief, reality can be altered.

      2. With very few exceptions (e.g. status symbols) raising the price of something means people will buy less of it. I see no reason why low-skilled labor should be one of those exceptions.

  16. I read this article from the Post last night. I found it a bit serendipitous given I had a lengthy exchange with Tony on this issue. I took it for granted that there was widespread agreement among economists that the minimum wage has a significant impact on hiring, but from the article there does seem to be more debate about this than I thought. Interesting, something learned every day I suppose.

    I still oppose minimum wage laws on moral grounds (as I explained to Tony, it involves threatening to use force against someone for having the temerity to…hire and pay a fellow if the payment is lower than the politicians who are not part of the exchange find insufficient). That was always my chief grounds to do so.

    I also think Episarch is correct that the administration and the Democrats are just throwing this out in a hoped for smoke screen or distraction. If they really wanted the minimum wage to have increased they would have pushed for it when they were in charge of Congress.

    1. Bo,

      I own a small business. We have a $10.15 minimum wage in Quebec. Yet, we have one of the highest unemployment rates. I’m guessing a whole subset of our culture is stuck in welfare hell because even if they want to work the government won’t let them.

      Not only that, in addition to being over regulated and taxed, we have low productivity rates and an anemic economy with little or no innovation.

      In my case, if the government were to demand I pay, say, $14, my margins would be erased and I would be faced with the prospect of increase debt by borrowing or paying myself less – which already is not that high. Or, I can simply fire or not hire but in my business I have to follow government rules or lose my permit.

      More over, they superficially push wages up because the industry I’m in is subsidized so I find myself in an Orwellian world where I have to pay government-recommended scales even though I’m private.

      Get how they have businesses in a tight position?

      In my case, I pay about $2000 on payroll taxes per month. THAT’S A LIVING WAGE right for someone I need but can’t hire.

      Now imagine that ACROSS THE ECONOMY.

      People have to start thinking and I think a good start is to teach business in school at an early age.

      As far as I’m concerned, political entities like the Parti-Quebecois, Obama and people like Tony are parasites and destroyers of growth and wealth.

      1. Just because I am open to the possibility of a minimum wage not negatively impacting jobs as I once thought was the consensus of economists does mean that I think taxation and regulation does not greatly harm the economy.

        1. I recognize that. I expanding my point.

      2. Most minimum wage increases aren’t an immediate hike of $3.75/hr. Obviously large increases in the minimum wage are going to cause unemployment.

        The open question is whether small, slow increases, like 50c/hr over 7 years, cause unemployment. In the real world supply and demand are inelastic, allowing employers to absorb the cost by raising prices by a similarly small amount, small enough to avoid causing customers to go without their product. (note that there won’t be any issues with losing business to competitors since the competitors must also pay the higher wage)

        1. True, small amounts of poison over a long period of time aren’t as likely to kill you as taking it all at once. But that doesn’t mean poison is a good thing to take slowly.

        2. Tulpa, this is true and has been the strategy.

          But whether it jolts the economy off the bat or over the long-term, it’s still poison as papayaSF mentions below.

          You’re just driving the cost of everything up over time AND lowering employment rates for low-end workers.

      1. Makes total sense. I mean, I can’t see how it doesn’t. I know dumbasses only see that all business are “Wal-Mart” therefore they “can afford to pay higher wages” while failing to see the ramifications on smaller businesses which can literally put someone out of business. More likely, hiring freezes.

        The other thing here is that a lot of the businesses targeted (McDonald’s etc.) are franchises. The person who owns the franchise is NOT McDonald’s in the way a leftist sees it. As some of you know, owning a franchise affords you a nice living but your no millionaire unless you own a few.

      2. Interesting. Still, that is a more interesting split than I assumed. I thought it was closer to 90-95% in agreement.

        1. The 21% who disagree are card carrying progressive true believers.

      3. 11. A large federal budget deficit has an adverse effect on the economy. (83%)

        Well one thing is sure, economists as a whole have zero power in directing government behavior.

    2. The only study I’m aware of that has ever come to the conclusion that the minimum wage doesn’t reduce employment is the Card-Krueger study, which has been soundly debunked:

      “What non-economists are often unaware of is that the Card-Krueger study didn’t look at employment among minimum wage workers. It looked at managers’ intentions and recollections about employment. A follow-up study (published in the same journal) by Neumark and Wascher duplicated Card and Krueger’s study using the same population, and the same techniques. But, instead of asking managers what they intended (or remembered) doing in response to the minimum wage change, Neumark and Wascher looked at actual payroll data.

      They found what economic theory predicts — the increase in the minimum wage resulted in unemployment among minimum wage workers.”

      1. The Washington Post article links to several others that purportedly found similar results.

  17. Fifteen dollar too beaucoup!

    1. One of my girls makes $18 an hour. On the government scale she’s “worth” $18.53. In reality, I can afford $17. But good, qualified girls when they come you have to keep them.

      I never hear the end of it. She’s 24. Lives at home (getting married next year) and earns $33 400 a year and still talk as if I pay them like slaves.

      That’s good coin if you ask me.

      1. I guess that depends somewhat on the hours/work tasks also.

        1. She’s an educator. Her tasks are of no surprise since she went to school for it and freely chose the profession. They actually compare themselves to teachers who make much more. But like my sister tells them, you guys freely chose this path. You can’t come here and then demand teachers salaries! If you wanted to be paid as such then go to school to become one.

          It’s crazy. It’s almost as if that’s an acceptable form of logic now. I’m an educator, I take care of kids so I’m like a nurse so I should be paid like a nurse.

      2. Lifestyle inflation is a bitch when it comes to this argument as well.

        People ramp up their spending to match their paychecks and then perpetually bitch about how broke they are.

        It drives me nuts when I hear nurses who make $40/hr themselves with husbands pulling down another $30/hr complain about how they’re broke and aren’t being paid enough.

        I like to think these type of people are the reason why the US government is in such rough shape financially.

        1. IDPNDNT, that’s exactly what happened with me. The second they got a raise they increased their expenses by going to buy new cars. Another girl told me she wants to buy a new house therefore I had to increase her wage.

          Another one purchased a $500 000 home and couldn’t make ends meet. They’re immigrants and found out that they had to start at the bottom and work their way up. She was getting $11 and I explained with the right education and experience she can make up to $20. But that’s the max in this business.

          She kept complaining until I said, it’s not right you’re asking me to subsidize your mortgage. I didn’t choose to buy that house. My wife and I earn more than her family and our house is worth less than that. We bought a house based on what WE CAN AFFORD.

          Boy, I’m rather verbose on the subject. Sorry.

  18. It’s like how the Washington Post talks about “the consensus among economists.”

    It would seem that their liberal readership will only believe something if it’s agree upon by TOP MEN.

    Seriously, if their was a consensus over some group claiming expertise, proggies would explain that the sky is orange.

  19. I was talking to a liberal Democratic friend of mine last weekend whose observations about the way younger people tend to think made all of this clear to me. What he observed is that we might be the last generation that takes work as a virtue or obligation. Younger people tend to not think of the idea of work as an absolute. What he also explained is that they tend to see injustice in the idea that just because an job produces little value, it shouldn’t necessarily pay a significant wage. And the next day I realized it – we’re living in the age of the attendance trophy political economy. Large numbers of people believe that they’re entitled to “win” just by virtue of showing up.

  20. Increasing the minimum wage to a zillion bucks an hour is one way. But…

    The best economic stimulus, per Nancy Pelosi, is unemployment benefits. I say we increase unemployment benefits to $100,000 a year, quit our jobs, and let the magic happen!

  21. Do minimum way increases cost jobs? Ask the now-unemployed workers in Newcastle, South Africa!

    Small companies in Newcastle unable to pay the government/union mandated wages have closed with many losing their jobs – known as the Newcastle Effect in South Africa. See “the National Bargaining Council for the Clothing Manufacturing Industry recently closed two factories in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, in an effort to force employers to pay government legislated minimum wages.” http://www.freemarketfoundatio…

    The government enforces the radical trade unions’ high wage and benefit policies and it’s so difficult to fire someone that few get hired in the first place. The result? Lost jobs and around 25% of workers unemployed….

  22. So Obama has once again proven himself to be an economic moron.

    And in other surprising developments, the sun rose in the east this morning.

  23. Evidence is for non-orators

  24. Any evidence of progressive labor policies working or not working can e found in France. And guess what? None of them work.

  25. What is amusing about the min wages don’t hurt employment idea is that the vary same proponents of min wages are the same who are proponents of pigovian taxes.

    Pigovian taxes work like this. If you want less of something then you tax it. For example if you want people to smoke less then you should tax it. people see the higher price and will therefor consume less of it.

    This makes perfect economic sense (though the government running around trying to direct human behavior I find disgusting).

    So in essence the same people who agree that higher cigarette prices reduce consumption of cigarettes do not see how higher labor costs could possibly reduce employment.

  26. They’re being way to easy with the “fact checking” The answer is yes, yes it does.

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