Eli Lehrer: Hiking the Minimum Wage Won't Help the Poor

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Wallet
NoHoDamon / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

The ground has been shifting in the battle over the minimum wage. With President Obama's proposal to hike the national minimum from $7.25 to $9 an hour stalled in Congress, local labor activists have been aiming even higher, getting behind a vastly higher minimum wage of $15 an hour. The proposals are gaining steam. The small city of SeaTac, Wash., which includes Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, already has a $15 minimum in force, while Seattle plans to implement one over time. Similar "super-minimum" proposals also are under consideration in cities like San Francisco and Chicago. Recent state-level legislation will phase in a minimum wage of greater than $10 in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Hawaii and Vermont. Massachusetts' minimum will rise to $11 by January 2017, while the District of Columbia's is set to rise to $11.50 by July 2016.

Raising the minimum wage is simply a terrible way to help the poor, writes El Lehrer. Even if it's not as disastrous as some market advocates claim, it's likely to do more harm than good.

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