Posted by on May 25, 2017 11:20 pm
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Categories: ATM Bernie Sanders Congress Economy fixed Labor Labour law Law Minimum wage Minimum wage in the United States Minimum wage law Nancy Pelosi Politics Social Issues socialism Steny Hoyer Wage

Top congressional Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and Bernie Sanders, held a press conference earlier today to officially introduce their “Fight For $15” minimum wage legislation, dubbed the Raise the Wage ActAmong other things, the bill primarily serves to more than double the federal minimum wage from it’s current level of $7.25 to $15 by 2024. 

The Raise the Wage Act would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024 and would be indexed to the median wage growth thereafter. These increases would restore the minimum wage to 1968 levels, when the value was at its peak. The bill would also gradually increase the tipped minimum wage, which has been fixed at $2.13 per hour since 1991, bringing it to parity with the regular minimum wage. Moreover, it would also phase out the youth minimum wage, that allows employers to pay workers under 20 years old a lower wage for the first 90 calendar days of work. This legislation would give more than 41 million low-wage workers a raise, increasing the wages of almost 30 percent of the wage-earning workforce in the United States.

The Raise the Wage Act is front loaded to provide the biggest impact to workers. Upon enactment, the federal minimum wage would be increased from $7.25 to $9.25.  The following increases are: $10.10 (2018); $11 (2019); $12 (2020); $13 (2012); $13.50 (2013); $14.20 (2023); $15.00 (2024).

Meanwhile, foreshadowing the Democrats’ key campaign promise in 2018, undoubtedly designed to win back working class voters of the Midwest who abandoned them ‘yugely’ in 2016, Nancy Pelosi vowed her party would pass a $15 per hour minimum wage within the first 100 hours if they manage to recapture Congress during the next election cycle.

“We’re willing to fight for $15, and I’ll tell you one thing for sure, we win the election and in the first 100 hours we will pass a $15 per hour minimum wage.”

“We’d rather have it now.  We’d rather win on the issue than worry about the election.”

Of course, seemingly no amount of empirical evidence will ever convince progressives that raising minimum wages to artificially elevated levels is a bad idea.  Somehow the basic idea that raising the cost of a good ultimately results in lower consumption of that good just doesn’t compute. 

So while it will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears, we would once again point Ms. Pelosi to a recent study from the American Action Forum (AAF) which estimated that 2.6 million jobs will be lost around the country over the next several years as states phase-in minimum wage hikes that have already been passed (see “State Minimum Wage Hikes Already Passed Into Law Expected To Cost 2.6 Million Jobs, New Study Finds“).  Shockingly, and only after running a lot of really complicated math using complex equations that most of us stupid people just wouldn’t understand, AAF ultimately concluded the whole elasticity of demand thing actually works (a.k.a. ‘the higher shit is priced the less people will buy of it’).

Moreover, as Dunkin’ Donuts’ CEO recently pointed out, a significant number of Americans working for minimum wage are teenagers and not the “older, blue-collar workers” that Bernie and Nancy say they want to help.  Which, of course, means that to the extent they get to keep their jobs a fair portion of the minimum wage increases will simply flow to teenagers who may already be a part of affluent families.

But goodluck with the crusade, Nancy and Bernie!  If you get hungry along the way, we highly recommend you try out a sandwich from this new “Big Mac ATM” which comes with McDonald’s special sauce and all the fixin’s but requires exactly 0 of your minimum wage workers to prepare.

Minimum Wage

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