I think people who persist in clinging to theories that have been soundly refuted by facts should not be called “economists”: they should be called “philosophers”. The consensus among economists is that raising the minimum wage has little or no effect upon employment — because the evidence demonstrates that it does not. The reasons why that is the case are varied, but a major one is that at that end of the employment spectrum, the demand for employment is inelastic. If it takes three people to perform a task, paying them $10/hr won’t make the task require fewer people.
The chart above shows the results of more than 1,400 different studies. The x-axis shows the size of the employment effect, and the y-axis shows that statistical power of the analysis.
The results have clustered around the finding that a moderate wage increase — in line with the administration’s proposal to increase the minimum rate in 95-cent increments — has zero effect on total employment. And the higher a study’s statistical power, the more likely it is to fall on the line showing zero effect.
“I really think that’s a very compelling takeaway,” said Hall, who has testified before multiple state legislatures on the issue. “It puts the lie to the notion that it’s going to be a tremendous job killer.”
Personally, I would go with $15/hr. There is no reason in the world that taxpayers should be footing the bill to make up for the below-subsistence wages paid by employers like Wal-Mart (Report: Walmart Workers Cost Taxpayers $6.2 Billion In Public Assistance). Increase the minimum wage to a responsible level and put the cost of doing business on the business, where it belongs.
Systematically oppressing the bulk of a population is not only morally indefensible, but terribly short-sighted. There are not enough firearms in this country to protect the rich (or just the reasonably comfortable) from the poor, if the poor decide they’ve had enough. Personally, I’d favor raising the minimum wage to $15/hr, eliminating loopholes that allow employers to pay even less than the minimum wage, and then pegging it to the Consumer Price Index (although someone should take a close look at how CPI is calculated to make sure that’s not being manipulated).