The minimum wage is a sort of litmus test. And not only for economists. For social justice advocates, too.
Forget, for a moment, the economics of it. In essence, minimum wage legislation imposes compulsory unemployment on the poor, the unskilled, racial minorities, the young, the physically and even more so the mentally handicapped—the very people all men of good will most want to help. Before the advent of this law, the unemployment rate for white middle-aged people and black teens was just about the same. Now, the latter are unemployed at quadruple the rate of the former.
A federal appeals court on Thursday halted a mandate from the Biden administration that required an hourly minimum wage of $15 for outdoor recreation companies operating on public land.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver granted an injunction in a lawsuit filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation against the Biden administration on behalf of outdoor recreational groups that have contracts with the U.S. government or operate on federal land.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration again Thursday, this time for requiring federal contractors to pay a $15 an hour minimum wage. It’s the 21st lawsuit the attorney general has filed against the administration. Joining him are the attorneys general from Louisiana and Mississippi.
“The president has no authority to overrule Congress, which has sole authority to set the minimum wage and which already rejected a minimum wage increase,” Paxton argues.
Their lawsuit follows one filed last December by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of outdoor adventure guides, Arkansas Valley Adventures (AVA), a licensed river outfitter regulated by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and the Colorado River Outfitters Association (CROA). The CROA, a nonprofit trade association, represents more than 150 independent operators who primarily conduct business on federal lands using special use permits through Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.
A group of Democrats is pushing for the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps that could employ “millions” of young people at a minimum of $15 per hour as a way to tackle climate change.
“I was proud to stand alongside Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez this year as we reintroduced the Green New Deal and also brought forward our new Civilian Conservation Corps because that legislation is a pathway to new jobs in our country, union jobs for young people,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said during a news conference focused on including the Civilian Climate Corps in the filibuster-proof budget reconciliation bill the Democrats are drafting.
Opponents of minimum wage laws tend to focus their criticism on one particular adverse consequence: by artificially raising the price of labor, they reduce employment, particularly for the most vulnerable in society.
“Minimum wage laws tragically generate unemployment, especially so among the poorest and least skilled or educated workers,” economist Murray Rothbard wrote in 1978. “Because a minimum wage, of course, does not guarantee any worker’s employment; it only prohibits, by force of law, anyone from being hired at the wage which would pay his employer to hire him.
Though some economists, such as Paul Krugman, reject Rothbard’s claim, a recent study found the overwhelming body of academic research supports the idea that minimum wage laws increase unemployment.
If Joe Biden gets his way, the federal minimum wage will soon more than double, from the current $7.25 to $15 per hour. To quote our commander in chief, “if you work for less than $15 an hour and work 40 hours a week, you’re living in poverty.”
To rehash the minimum wage debate would be redundant. Anyone with business experience should see what’s going to happen. Many small independent businesses, retail stores, and restaurants that pay minimum wage will go under.
Meanwhile, major corporate chains will automate, shedding workers and raising prices, consolidating their grip on every market sector where they’re active. Unionized government workers will automatically get raises because their wages are indexed to the minimum wage—putting even more pressure on government budgets and taxpayers. People in the private sector who have spent decades learning a skill—and as a result can command wages upwards of $25 or $30 an hour—will become justifiably disgruntled, because they will no longer be making much more than minimum wage. The underground economy will explode.
At 2:00 AM on Saturday, February 27, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a “COVID relief and economic support“ bill at a cost to taxpayers of $1.9 trillion. The next Saturday, Senate Democrats passed a very similar bill, and President Biden stated he will sign it. This will be the sixth “COVID relief” law and swell the tab for such legislation to a total of $5.3 trillion. The combined cost of these laws to every household in the United States will be an average of $41,036.
Though the Senate parliamentarian rejected their efforts to include a $15-an-hour minimum wage in President Biden’s so-called COVID-19 relief bill, Senate Democrats are scrambling for a way to include it. Their efforts demonstrate the importance of this issue for the progressive left. But should they succeed, would such a measure truly help struggling Americans as promised?
Costco will raise its company-wide minimum wage to $16 per hour, a one-dollar increase that raises its wages higher than its fellow big-box retailers, the company’s CEO said during a congressional hearing Thursday.
Costco plans to raise its minimum wage from $15 to $16 because it is committed to paying workers “very competitive retail wages,” CEO Craig Jelinek said during a Senate Budget Committee hearing Thursday. Jelinek stopped short of advocating in favor of a federal minimum wage overhaul, instead saying he was solely focused on Costco.
The leading advocacy organization for small businesses in the U.S. is focusing its legislative efforts on defeating a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The minimum wage is the biggest issue the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) has lobbied on recently, the group told the Daily Caller News Foundation. After a series of pandemic-related victories on Capitol Hill, capped off by the December stimulus package that included $284.5 billion for small businesses, NFIB decided to lobby Congress to “do no harm.”
A $15 minimum wage would result in 1.4 million jobs lost and disproportionately hurt younger workers and those with less education, a new Congressional Budget Office report says.
President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and other Democrats have proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, more than double the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.
President Joe Biden’s new $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief proposal includes a surprising provision: raising the federal minimum wage to $15.
The fight for a higher minimum wage is not new, although it has been intensified by current events. The idea, more specifically, is to provide a “living wage.” Proponents argue that, currently, minimum wage workers cannot afford basic living expenses. But even if one assumes for the sake of argument that this is true and sets aside the fact that small businesses are already on the brink of collapse, it’s impossible to determine one suitable “living wage” for all parts of a vast and diverse country like the United States.
More than 80 states and local municipalities are slated to see minimum wage hikes in 2021, even as business owners continue to struggle during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Employment Policies Institute, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C., that studies how public policy impacts employment growth, released a comprehensive list of the minimum wage increases that will go into effect next year and in subsequent years.
“Minimum wage increases are demonstrated to cause job losses even in times of economic health,” said Michael Saltsman, EPI’s managing director. “These states and local areas are increasing the cost of labor as businesses are dealing with forced closures or a drastic drop in revenue. Employers and employees will pay the price for these misguided good intentions.”
Democratic Georgia Senate candidate Jon Ossoff in a Monday campaign video called on federal immigration authorities to ensure illegal aliens aren’t being paid “less than minimum wage.”
“In Georgia’s agricultural sector, the campesinos (farm workers) who work in the fields, enduring some of the most brutal conditions of labor anywhere in this country to keep America fed, paid less than the minimum wage, [are] often subject to abuse by employers,” Ossoff told a group of supporters on the video call.