Trump, Sanders, and Clinton All Want a Minimum Wage Hike. Here's Why That's a Bad Idea.

Two Reason TV videos explore the possible downsides to federal wage hikes.


Donald Trump joined his Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders this week in calling for a higher minimum wage. It's a reversal of his earlier opposition to a wage hike, which he claimed would hinder America's ability to "compete against the world." He made the pronouncement in typically vague Trumpian terms, telling CNN, "I am open to doing something with [the wage], because I don't like that."

The three remaining major presidential candidates may favor a federal minimum wage hike, but the majority of economists still agree that increasing the minimum wage does indeed cause unemployment. Even Alan Kreuger, co-author of a seminal study minimum wage advocates often point to as undermining the minimum wage-unemployment link, believes that the $15-an-hour federal minimum wage advocated by Sanders and Clinton is too high, writing this in a New York Times op-ed:

…a $15-an-hour national minimum wage would put us in uncharted waters, and risk undesirable and unintended consequences.

A more pointed critique of the minimum wage comes from George Mason University economist Don Boudreaux, who told Reason's Nick Gillespie, "Taking away from workers an important bargaining chip, namely, the ability to work a wage less than the minimum, is the cruelest thing you can do for a lot of these workers."

Watch the full interview with Boudreaux below.

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And how high would minimum wage advocates hike the wage, anyway? Do they believe there are any potentially negative consequences? Reason TV took to the streets of Los Angeles' trendy Silver Lake neighborhood to find out:

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