Is Raising the Minimum Wage Really ‘Fair’ to Minimum Wage Workers?
Democrats plan to use the issue of the minimum wage to regain support in 2014, after taking a serious blow in popularity because of the ongoing Obamacare debacle. President Obama will lead the charge.
Sadly, neither Mr. Obama nor Democrat leaders in Congress have a great track record for job creation. Obamacare is most prominent among the Democrats’ job killers, but myriad liberal policies have stifled job creation and job security, especially for low income earners. A federal minimum wage increase would simply join the ranks of these imprudent policies.
What’s worse, many of the stunts liberal Democrats have pulled have been for political gain. It sounds magnanimous to say you want to raise the minimum wage, and Democrats know they’re putting Republicans in a tough spot if Republicans are forced to vocalize their opposition.
Many Republicans oppose raising the minimum wage because it will hurt the very workers it is intended to help. President Obama’s senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer indicated that Democrats are doing this more for the American people than the political gain it will afford Democrats:
It puts Republicans on the wrong side of an important value issue when it comes to fairness. You can make a very strong case that this will be a helpful issue for Democrats in 2014. (emphasis added) But the goal here is to actually get it done. That’s why the president put it on the agenda.
Is it really fair to low income earners to minimize their job opportunities by increasing the cost of hiring them – all so Democrats can save face after the Obamacare debacle?
The Heritage Foundation’s James Sherk and Patrick Tyrrell explain this would only add insult to injury:
The government has already effectively raised the minimum wage above $10 per hour—without benefitting workers. President Obama’s health care law requires employers to offer full-time employees health benefits that meet certain “minimum standards” criteria. Otherwise, they pay a penalty. In 2015, this mandate will raise the minimum productivity necessary to hold a full-time job to $10.30 per hour. Employers will lose money if they hire employees who produce less than this amount.
The President now proposes raising the national minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Coupled with the employer penalty and existing taxes, this would raise the minimum cost of hiring a full-time worker to $12.71 per hour. Employers would respond by eliminating jobs and cutting workers to part-time status, making it significantly more difficult for unskilled workers to get ahead.