Bad News for Those Who Support Raising the Minimum Wage

Earlier this week, a study from the University of Washington indicated Seattle’s $15 minimum wage hike did not help low-income workers. Instead, it ended up costing them $125 per month on average.

Supporters of higher minimum wages have long tried to wish away the basic economic principle of supply and demand. When the price of labor is artificially increased by a minimum wage law, the demand for labor goes down, as does the supply of jobs.

As a result of Seattle’s law, which started incrementally raising minimum wage prices three years ago, employers have been forced to reduce their employees’ hours or cut jobs altogether. Young people and low-skilled workers have been hit the hardest.

It’s often said that high-cost cities like Seattle should be in the best position to deal with a high minimum wage. The fact that the policy doesn’t work here doesn’t bode well for the policy’s proponents in other cities.

While their methods are misguided, advocates for minimum wage increases are correct in their concerns about stagnating wages and weak buying power. Far too many people are still living paycheck-to-paycheck and struggling to make ends meet. But the solution isn’t to raise the minimum wage – it’s to get big government out of the way.

American families can break free of their struggle only when the economy is thriving and the right opportunities are available. Higher taxes, burdensome mandates, the Affordable Care Act and a host of other sweeping government regulations limit the ability of employers to give raises, hire more people, and create the opportunities Americans – especially young people – need.

You can read the full study by the University of Washington here.

Author Generation Opportunity

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  • Don Payson


  • Amanda

    I’ve seen this happen to many times in the last 10 years!!

  • Matthew L. Enderle

    When I had my first job MW was $7.25. I remember people saying they remembered it less than $6.50 even.

  • David Coplan

    In 1997, min wage in Michigan was $4.25 and gas about a $1/gallon. First problem since the 1800s is government. Small more efficient government costs less. It’s that simple. Second is wasting tax $. Less waste, less taxes, bigger paycheck, more spending, more jobs. A strong military for defense and cut back on foreign interventions. No sanctuary cities for tax evaders which is by far the main problem will illegal aliens. Dump the UN-Affordable Care Act. Create a better system. English is the official language. Americans shouldn’t have press 1 for English. No speak English, NO unemployment or other tax payer funded benefits. People here on work and education VISAs are ineligible. Lift Federal Ban on marijuana and impose fed tax towards paying down national debt. Mandatory balanced Federal and State budgets. Elected officials failure to meet budget deadlines shall make them ineligible for re-election for 10 years.

    This would be a great start.