Minimum Wage

$15 Minimum Wage Follies in California and New York: New at Reason

Good intentions, but a near total failure as an anti-poverty policy


University of Dallas

Both California and New York have just adopted measures to raise their minimum wages to $15 an hour over the next few years. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti hailed the increase, declaring, "Today California leads the nation once again, passing a historic minimum wage increase that will help lift millions of hardworking men and women out of poverty." New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was pleased too: Not long before signing the legislation, he had been saying, "If you work full time, you shouldn't have to live in poverty—which is why it's time for New York to lead the way and pass a $15 minimum wage." Like many supporters of the increases, both politicians evidently believe that it is an effective anti-poverty policy. It's not.