Hillary Clinton is All in on the $15 Minimum Wage. Here's Why That's A Bad Thing


At this week's Democratic debate in Brooklyn, NY, Hillary Clinton went all in on the $15-an-hour minimum wage. 

As Peter Suderman noted in his debate recap

Facing off against rival candidate Bernie Sanders on CNN, Hillary Clinton seemed to endorse the idea of a national $15 minimum. Asked whether she would, as president, sign a bill mandating a $15 federal minimum, Clinton said, emphatically: "Of course I would."

That's a new one for Clinton. As she noted in the rest of her response, she has previously voiced support for activists pushing for a $15 minimum at the local level. But she's also endorsed tiered approaches that raise wages higher and faster in wealthier urban areas than in their poorer rural counterparts. And when asked about a national minimum, she's always said that as president she would try to raise the national wage floor to $12 an hour.

Legislation to boost the minimum wage to $15-an-hour was recently approved in New York and California to address concerns of income inequality and wage stagnation. But George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux tells Nick Gillespie that increasing the minimum wage is the "cruelest thing you can do" to workers because it destroys opportunities for low skilled job seekers. 

Catch the interview below. 

NEXT: FIRE's Greg Lukianoff: This is 'One of the Worst Years' for Campus Free Speech

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  1. George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux tells Nick Gillespie that increasing the minimum wage is the "cruelest thing you can do" to workers because it destroys opportunities for low skilled job seekers.

    And gives them the opportunity to get on the dole. A door closes, a window opens. Why do you people hate the poor so much?

    1. Synopsis of a real conversation:

      Me: If the minimum wage is raised to $10/hr, what do you think will happen to all the $9/hr jobs?

      Prog: They'll become $10/hr jobs. It's pretty simple, really.

      1. If you raise the minimum wage to $15/hr, what becomes of all the $15/hr jobs? Construction laborers will be content abusing their bodies and toiling in the heat and cold for a wage that call center reps, assuming they remain employed, enjoy for relatively minimal effort? I work part-time as a semi-skilled laborer. If I could get a job making the same money and only have to deal with surly customers on the other end of a phone line, why would I continue in construction? That's a big and unaddressed "if," of course. Chances are my job would remain and service jobs would move overseas.

        1. Answer:every one making 8,9,10,11,12,13,14 dollars a hour will get a raise and people all ready making that will want more then then the people below them that are now making the same wage.A kid that wok's at McDonald's will make the samd wage as the assistant manager.It's all good?

          1. Ok,Two beers and i type worse than usual.

          2. Ok,Two beers and i type worse than usual.

  2. It's also a pretty cruel thing to do for the few of us who appreciate personal freedom of choice.

    1. If you don't choose to pay somebody well above the value of the labor they provide, maybe you shouldn't have the choice to be in business.

  3. She's just buying votes. She doesn't care about the consequences.

    1. There are no consequences for her no matter what she does, so why should she care?

      1. There was a letter-to-the-editor in our local paper yesterday complaining how Hillary is constantly being dogged by ridiculous 'scandals' invented out of thin air by the GOP. It went on about the email 'scandal', saying that no one should be punished just for having a private email account, just about everyone does along with their work account (yes, they really said this, and I have no doubt the majority of Team Red devotees believe the same thing). It wrapped up by saying if people are still concerned about Benghazi, why aren't they investigating Reagan for the 1983 US embassy bombing in Beirut?

        1. Lou Reed and Abe Vigoda to testify on Regan's behalf.

  4. A fun question to ask MW supporters: if it's legal to volunteer and work for $0/hr, shouldn't it be legal to work for any wage?

    Another fun thing is to ask them if they've ever wondered why McDonald's doesn't charge $20 for a hamburger. Isn't that what a big, greedy corporation would do? What stops them from getting away with it?

    1. Their smugness prevents them from grasping your logic.

    2. When gas prices rise, I'm constantly told that the oil companies are in cahoots, and taking us for every penny they can. When gas prices go down, I usually hear crickets but sometimes I'm told that it's all part of the plan to ratchet up gas prices........you know, two steps forward, one step back.

      These are the same people who tell me that to abolish the Federal Reserve is crazy talk, as they ignore the fact that $2400 today is equal to $100 in 1913, when the Fed was established.

      1. Inflation is necessary to grow the economy. Not, you know, productivity increases. Literally just exchanging green pieces of paper for products and services is what makes the economy grow.

        1. As a practically zero percent interest rate hurts the elderly who scrimped and saved so that they could enjoy their retirements.

          1. Well, maybe older folks should have been more community-minded and bought expensive toys like everything else. Mortgaging your future to pay for big-ticket consumption is what makes Americans rich.

    3. There's another thing I'd like to ask them: why don't companies just pay the lowest possible wage? How come the percentage of jobs that actually pay the minimum are only a single digit percentage of total jobs? How is it possible that lawyers, doctors, and engineers are paid six figure salaries? Aren't these companies just throwing money away? Hell, even when I worked in a non-union auto parts factory as a regular line worker, I made $18.15 per hour after reaching the top-out wage (which occurred after 3 years).

      I also like to ask them their salary, then propose a government mandate to increase the minimum salary for their industry by almost 50 percent. Then I ask them if this would help or hurt their job prospects.

    4. Yeah, well, volunteer work is voluntary. Working for a living is literally slavery.

    5. if it's legal to volunteer and work for $0/hr

      Simple. Eliminate all volunteer work.

      1. Including jury duty? I'm in favor of that!

        1. Oops, sorry. You said "volunteer" work.

      2. They're way ahead of you in California, the progressive paradise:


        1. "I don't understand the state's action. It was my time, and I volunteered."

          You were stealing education from properly accredited winery schools, monster.

        2. Shouldn't the state fine the people who chose to work for nothing but the experience?

          1. How much do college students get paid for doing the work of getting an education?

            Seriously? I don't even know if I'm joking or being sarcastic because at this point it wouldn't surprise me if these twisted bastards don't already think this way. Free college? Fuck that shit - Bernie wants me to go to college he damn well better be paying me a living wage.

            1. Europe does it, so it must be good.

            2. I always felt school should have payed me if they wanted me to do my homework at home.

          2. Fine the people? Nonsense. Put the evil employer in prison for forcing the person to work for nothing. People don't work for experience, they work for money. So you can't work for experience. It simply does not compute. Oh, you mean like an unpaid internship? Only rich kids can afford to take them. So it's not fair to poor people who can't afford to work for nothing.

            Remember, everything must be fair. With enough laws and cops and prisons and taxes and most importantly good intentions, we can make the world a fair place. Or pave the road to hell.

  5. Don't ever get confused, progressives virtue signal first, actually solving problems, well that's not really their concern at all.

  6. A FEDERAL (!!!!!!!) minimum wage?!?! I thought FDR was dead and rotting in his grave.

  7. A very patient man tries to get Bernie Sanders to understand that the basis of govt is violence:


    1. fun fact: the root of the word govt is the Greek word that means to steer or rule.

      1. Nothing says freedom like the yoke.

        1. We enjoy so much freedom, it's almost sickening. We're free to choose which hand out sex monitoring chip is implanted in. And if we don't want to pay our taxes, why, we're free to spend a weekend with the Pain Monster!

    2. The money shot is around the 3:20 to 3:50 mark.

    3. Good video. Too bad Bernie was too stupid to learn any lesson from it.

      Interestingly, one of the highest rated comments is praising Bernie's performance. He looked like an absolute fool.

    4. I found this after watching that:

      Government has no freaking money

  8. Spot the Not: quotes from politicians on the minimum wage

    1. In the 1960s, a minimum wage job would keep a family of three afloat.

    2. The minimum wage was the 20th century equivalent of the Emancipation Proclamation.

    3. At the current $5.15 an hour, the federal minimum wage has become a poverty wage. A full-time worker with one child lives below the official poverty line.

    4. No family gets rich from earning the minimum wage. In fact, the current minimum wage does not even lift a family out of poverty.

    5. The typical minimum wage earner is a provider and a breadwinner - most likely a woman - responsible for paying bills, running a household and raising children.

    6. Raising the minimum wage isn't just pro-worker; it's pro-economic growth.

    1. At the current $5.15 an hour, the federal minimum wage has become a poverty wage. A full-time worker with one child lives below the official poverty line.

      At an arbitrary price-point, a hypothetical person with a hypothetical child working an arbitrary number of hours becomes the arbitrary comparison point for an arbitrary metric.

      You know what that hypothetical person needs? A much tougher time finding and keeping a job.

      1. So, if you are a single parent working at the minimum wage, you'll be poor? I'm shocked- shocked I tell you.

        What a shame that people have no control over when they become parents and that most people tend to work for the minimum wage their whole lives.

        1. Single parenthood isn't a choice, it's an identity. They have as much a right to exist as any self-supported two-parent family.

        2. Single parenthood isn't a choice, it's an identity. They have as much a right to exist as any self-supported two-parent family.

            1. That's ok, single commenthood is tough too.

    2. A very hesitant guess at #2, sir, if it pleases you.

    3. Bonus real quotes:

      From Nick Hanauer:

      "Amazon didn't create any jobs. Amazon probably destroyed a million jobs in our economy."

      "During Seattle's successful campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage, our opponents would sometimes roll their eyes and snort, 'If $15 is so good, why not $50?' It was a straw man argument: Nobody was proposing a $50 minimum wage; it would have been too high, and we said so."

      "Greed is a sin because humans are social creatures. And they simply cannot survive without the opposite of greed, which is cooperation."

      "I make an eight-figure income annually."

      "The only really expensive thing in our family budget, frankly, is private air travel."

      "The person earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 isn't going out to eat at restaurants. They're not taking piano lessons. They're not going to the gym or the yoga studio. They're not sending mom flowers on Mother's day. What good is this person in the economy? If you raise it to $15 an hour, they're doing all of those things."

      1. I hate people so much sometimes.

      2. It's not a straw man, at worst it's reductio ad absurdum, and it's not even that. Of course nobody is proposing a $50 minimum wage, but that's not why it's brought up. The question being asked is why nobody is suggesting $50. If $15 is enough to cover the necessities (and in places like L.A. and NY, it really isn't), and raising it to $15 causes no economic dislocation, why stop at $15? Why not $20, $30, or, yes, $50? The point is that even ardent MW supporters must acknowledge that at some level, the price becomes untenable. And then they have to ask why that's the case, but more importantly, why there's no dose-response curve up to that level. If at $15 the negative effects of a higher wage are negligible but at $16 they're catastrophic, why did that extra dollar make such a difference whereas the increase to $15 was painless?

        1. One argument I use is: when something costs more, people usually to buy less of it. If you make it cost more to hire people, fewer people get hire. Their response is usually some hogwash about how demand can be inelastic, though they can never show how this applies to labor demand.

          You can force businesses to pay more, but you cannot force people to start businesses or expand them.

          1. I can hear the special pleading already. "It's different for labor! Business have to employ people to make things or they won't make a profit, therefore labor is inelastic." Great, I guess that's why we have so many more manufacturing jobs and assembly lines manned by people rather than robots.

          2. but you cannot force people to start businesses or expand them

            Forcing people to purchase insurance expanded those businesses....oh, that's not what you meant. Carry on.

          3. When I use that argument, the typical response is that it's not a matter of economics. It's a matter of fairness. People deserve a living wage, especially when the person paying them is rich. So it's a simple matter of fairness that the rich employer pay a living wage. Remember that leftists care more about fairness than anything else. Costs, like dooming unskilled workers to permanent unemployment, are unintended and therefore not their fault.

            There really is some truth to that expression about the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

      3. "Greed is a sin because humans are social creatures. And they simply cannot survive without the opposite of greed, which is cooperation."

        Armed government goons enforcing economic diktats handed down from bureaucrats = shiny, happy cooperation with everyone holding hands and singing kumbaya

        People engaging in voluntary trades that make them both better off = rugged, mean-spirited, greedy dog-eat-dog capitalism

        I get it now.

        1. Says the guy who has a net worth of a billion dollars

      4. My blood pressure was so much lower when you were in training.

        1. Deep breaths. Embrace the derp.

      5. "Amazon didn't create any jobs. Amazon probably destroyed a million jobs in our economy."

        Well, if an increase in jobs is what you want, let's abolish machinery and give everyone sticks and spoons to build houses and canals and roads and i-pads....................oh, and let's abolish i-pads while we're at it.

        And can't you see that raising the minimum wage decreases the number of jobs?

        1. Money is not the same as wealth AND a job is not the same as productive labor.

      6. Who is that clown?

        1. He inherited a lot of money and his first and only job is with his family's business. I do not recommend watching his TED talks.


        2. He is the definition of a hypocrite. He doesn't currently pay the living wage that he calls for prompting his followers to try and spin it away:


    4. 5 - I hope

    5. Well, they're all lies or misdirections - so they all look legit to me.

    6. 1?

      They all sound like quotes from Nancy Pelosi and Ted Kennedy.

    7. 2 is the Not. The rest in order are from Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Jon Corzine, and Thomas Perez (#5 and 6).

      1. What did I win?

        1. A Bernie Sanders Teddy Bear, a $79.99 value.

          When I think socialism, I think $80 teddy bears.

          1. It's made with recycled stuffing! Now we know what Hillary did when she shredded the hard copies of her emails.

      2. jesus.

        I figured 5, because it was so blatantly factually incorrect.

        40% of minimum wage earners are 16-19yr olds.... 60% are under the age of 24. 80% are part-time workers in/after school.... or just "gap-filling", doing part-time labor for extra $. Or they're ex-cons doing mandated work-release programs, etc. 90% of min-wage earners are *already 150% above the poverty line* in terms of household earnings.

        The actual % of 'single mothers' who support families on minimum wage is like 10% or less. and i sincerely doubt anyone in that situation isn't already getting aid in many other forms that make their hourly pay irrelevant; they choose to work below the limit before benefits are risked being cut off.

        1. Also, 12 percent of minimum wage earners come from households that earn over $100,000 per year:


          These are most likely the teenage children of rich people. In other words, even if minimum wage did help some poor people, it's a very poorly targeted way of doing so.

  9. Why not a $35 minimum wage? Why not?!!

    1. Only $35 per hour?? You can't raise a family of seven in a midtown Manhattan apartment on that wage, you monster!

      1. why is a living wage all about raising a family? I need a living wage that pays for my moonbase and launch vehicle.

    2. Don't give them any ideas!!

    3. Ooh, I have an even *better* idea: instead of setting a minimum wage, set maximum prices. Presto! Everyone can buy more stuff now. Why, you could even make a law to keep rents low. We could call it "rent control".

  10. Freakonomics had a recent podcast about guaranteed minimum income. It was full of awful arguments, which is unusual for freakonomics.

    1. The GMI is one place where all the smart people I like take leave of their senses and it becomes Bizzaro World.

      1. I'm fully in favor of a minimum income if everything else, all welfare programs and labor laws, are taken off the books.

        1. (Of course, even if the GOP made that case, we'd end up with a supplemental income and every existing program, because GOP.)

          1. To be fair, I'm sure Democrats don't have a problem with that either.

        2. Right, but since that will never happen...

          And what are we going to do when some Fetanyl addict blows through his GMI in a week and needs food? Start a needs-based food program, of course! And then were back where we started.

          1. You'll need more super bright and righteous politicians and bureaucrats to fix that. Same ones who got us in the mess to start with.

          2. EXACTLY! and then, wouldn't everything simply increase in price proportionally?

  11. Most politicians are fucking sociopaths who will play the fiddle while Rome burns to the ground, never feeling even a hint of remorse for the evil they have wrought. This is the sad truth. They have gotten to the point of pretty much openly mocking the people they are supposed to serve and most people are too stupid to even see notice.

    1. Not true! Frank Underwood is a work of fiction and a character with absolutely no basis in reality. Those script writers are sooooo creative.

      1. I'm pretty sure Underwood is closer to the truth of things.

    2. +1 bitter clinger

  12. The defenders of $15/hour are admitting that it's poison, but saying it's not poisonous enough to worry about. In effect they are saying: "Sure, drinking a cup of this will kill you, but we're only saying you should drink a quarter of a cup!" This is, of course, the exact opposite of the progressive thinking when it comes to the environment. They get freaked out over toxins in parts per trillion.

    Always bring this up to minimum wage advocates: The Eugenics Plot of the Minimum Wage: There really was a white male scheme to exterminate African Americans

    1. They often argue that the increase will on net benefit business owners, because their employees will have more to spend on their products.

      1. I think I'll trust business owners with that decision over people who have never worked in a real job their entire life.

      2. The economics versin of the perpetual motion machine.

        1. It's just idiotic. As if someone working in a restaurant or bookstore is going to spend their raise where they work.

          1. You've clearly never worked in a bookstore.

      3. They often argue that the increase will on net benefit business owners, because their employees will have more to spend on their products.

        The other one I always hear (reportedly from some big-name University's economics department) is that raising the minimum wage will help employers because it will "reduce employee turnover and increase employee productivity."

        And the television never answers me when I then yell: "If it's such a goddam great thing for the employer, why do you have to force them to do it?"

        1. It's all stupid. It's broken window fallacy: they'll talk about raising the minimum wage and the good effects that would fall out of minimum wage earners getting more money.

          As if that's the only thing that happens.

          They can set a minimum wage, but they can't order every worker to be worth it. The extent that they pretend it's a risk-free proposition is the extent to which they leave in magical thinking fantasy land, where you pray to the legislature gods, and they bless you.

          Fortunately for them, that's about the level most of the supports think at.

          Employees turn over because they find better work elsewhere. Raising the minimum wage across the board doesn't make that go away. If you pay someone a minimum, then anywhere else they can go is just as good, if not better, everything else being equal.

  13. We will never be able to turn the USA into Denmark or Norway, which oddly seems to be what all the leftist bots want. I bet not even 1% of them have ever been to one of those countries or know anyone who has or anyone who lives there. But that's what they want!

    The most successful, richest, freest country the world has ever seen, and they're dying to change it!

    Unfortunately, we will be able to turn the USA into Venezuela and that's where we're headed. There will be runaway inflation, no jobs, nothing on store shelves, but hey, everyone will be equal!

    1. I think we'll see massive disobedience before that happens. Red states will nullify and individuals will ignore legislation and play the odds they're not the one caught.

      In time this will make all the legislation unenforceable.

      1. I hope you're right. Myself, not quite as optimistic. I think they are going to totally destroy the country before we can start rebuilding.

    2. " and they're dying to change it!"

      Change scares me too. But it's inevitable.

  14. I'm watching Dilma being impeached live on the teevee device.

    1. The vote is 9 for, 1 against so far.

      1. The no votes all have the same excuse. They have to save democracy. Yep, democracy means having your crony friends appoint you the head of the board of a major corporation and then stealing billions. Right, you fucking commies.

    2. So if she is impeached what are the chances the Senate will remove her from office?

      1. I don't know.

        1. But she is almost 40 votes down right now.

          1. This is fucking beautiful.

          2. where can I find live updates?

            1. Globo TV

              1. Or me...
                71-27 for impeachment. They need 253 yes.

                1. She's down 50 votes now...

  15. So will she attempt an auto-coup?

    1. Not a good idea, they'll hang her in public, trust me on this.

  16. Hey Cavs, that was not an impressive win. If you can't put away an 8th seed until the last minutes of a game you're going to have serious problems going forward in the play-offs.

  17. I predict if Trump wins the nomination he matches Hillary ay $15.

    And then he attacks the banks in Sanders fashion.

    1. Trump has already said that "a low minimum wage is not a bad thing."

      So given how many contradictory positions he's already taken, you're probably right.

  18. Im making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do,

    --------------------- http://www.worknow88.com

  19. " it destroys opportunities for low skilled job seekers. "

    New opportunities will arise. The 'low skilled job seekers' are more resourceful than you imagine.

  20. RE:
    Hillary Clinton is All in on the $15 Minimum Wage. Here's Why That's A Bad Thing

    Hitlery is never wrong.
    She will be the first to tell you.
    Just ask her husband.

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