The Minimum Wage

A federal minimum wage was first set in 1938 at 25 cents per hour.  It is currently $7.25 per hour.*  This country thrived for many years without a minimum wage.  Now the minimum wage is here to stay, and as a matter of political reality, it can never be decreased or frozen — and certainly not eliminated.

The minimum wage was originally intended to be a fair wage for entry-level, menial, unskilled labor that anybody could do.  It was never intended to be enough to feed an entire family or put the kids through college.  For that you need a good job — one that only comes from experience, education, and stable employment.

The minimum wage (like most other government intervention) does more harm than good.  And if you'll look around at the grocery store, or a fast food restaurant, you'll see there are plenty of people who demonstrate that the minimum wage is too high already.

Notice if you will that whenever the minimum wage is discussed on television "news" programs, they'll always show footage of welders, construction workers, auto mechanics and other blue collar workers, none of whom earn the minimum wage.

Background and overview articles:

(Scroll down for timely news, or click here.)

History of the minimum wage:
The Dems' Proposed Minimum Wage Hike Is Racist and Will Promote Greater Income Inequality.  Minimum wage laws began rearing their ugly little heads at the beginning of the 20th century when racist white people began to worry about people of color taking their jobs.  For example, in 1925 a minimum wage was instituted in British Columbia with the racist goal of pricing Japanese immigrants out of the lumber industry's job market.  Likewise, in 1931 the U.S. Congress passed the Davis-Bacon Act as a racist means to keep African-Americans out of union-controlled job markets.  During the peak of The Great Migration in the 1920s, northern cities were flooded with hardworking black men looking to make a better life for their families.  Racist union bosses and their racist union members understood that the hardworking newcomers posed a problem.

Carts and Horses.  [Scroll down]  So, we want to solve the problem of poverty.  The obvious solution would be to give the poor more money.  Problem:  poverty, solution:  more money.  So, let's raise the minimum wage.  More money = less poverty.  Unless:
  [#1]   Companies can't afford to pay out more in wages, so they eliminate positions.  The ultimate effect is that more people are poor than were in the beginning.
  [#2]   Because these companies can no longer keep enough workers on staff, they pile the extra work onto those few workers left, and eventually, they quit and hope against hope there's an opportunity elsewhere.  So we lose workers.
  [#3]   Last week 10,000 California workers were let go due to the increase in the minimum wage.  That's 10,000 sources of government revenue gone, at least temporarily.  Now even the government is poorer.  And that's just three ripples moving out from this "solution."
The point is that superficial "solutions" are no solutions at all.

Does Raising the Minimum Wage Cause Job Loss?  Does raising the minimum wage cause job loss?  It's a complicated issue, with such factors as economic growth, economic justice, income, the deficit, fairness, inflation, poverty, inequality, the work ethic, and eligibility for benefits thrown in to cloud the picture. [...] What does the research say?  Results are all over the place.  As Dee Gill wrote, "...the research evidence of what actual minimum wage requirements do to job numbers goes both ways; many studies find that minimum wage laws reduce employment, and many other studies on the exact same laws find they have little or no effect on jobs.  Some 60 years and hundreds of research papers from prestigious universities, government agencies, and private organizations have created little consensus on the subject, academic or otherwise."

Minimum Wage Laws Are a Terrible Idea.  Every employer pays as much as he or she can to get the best possible workforce.  If the government sets a floor on what can be paid for a certain kind of job, either the job won't be filled; someone overqualified will do it; or automation will substitute.  There's tons of research on the minimum wage.  But the bottom line is common sense.  All employers will hire the best workforce they can afford.  If government limits what they can afford, the workforce will be constrained.

The Unintended Consequences of The Minimum Wage.  Unfortunately, we live in a world in which too frequently government won't leave us alone, and instead, very actively tries to mind our business for us.  Let us briefly look at one such instance in which Uncle Sam puts his nose in other people's business, that being the legal hourly minimum wage. [...] The assertion is made that anything less than an hourly wage in that general amount (or more!) is denying a person the chance to earn a "living wage."  It is offered as paternalistic intervention in the labor market meant to improve the working and living conditions of those who may be unskilled or poorly experienced to have a chance to earn enough to get ahead in life.  Who, after all, can be against someone having some minimal amount to live decently?  Only the cold, callus, and uncaring, surely; or those who are apologists and accomplices of the greedy, selfish, and profit-hungry businessmen who have no sense of humanity for those who are in their employ.  That's why there needs to be a law.

The 4 Biggest Future Dangers for America That You've Never Heard Of.  [#2] Automation replacing jobs:  As computers become ever more sophisticated, there will be more and more jobs they can do.  Wal-Mart has started experimenting with using a robot to scan shelves.  Burger joints are using automation to order food.  Companies are already experimenting with driverless cars and artificial intelligence.  The consequences for the human workforce could be staggering.

Don't Cheer Minimum-Wage Hikes — They're Killing Millions Of Jobs.  Twenty-one states and Washington, D.C., will raise their minimum wage this year, under the misbegotten notion that it will help the poor, in particular struggling minority youth.  It won't.  As a new study from the American Action Forum shows, not only will most workers not be better off, they will take a huge hit.  Why?  Common sense tells you that when you raise the cost of something, anything, less of it will be used or consumed.  It's a fundamental precept of economics.  And labor is no different.  Coercive minimum-wage hikes this year, the AAF estimates, will kill 261,000 jobs held mostly by poor, undertrained, undereducated, young suburban millennials and minority teens.

Fast food chart
Chart: What Your Favorite Fast-Food Items Would Cost With $15 Minimum Wage.  For Americans hitting the drive-thru at their local McDonald's, a $15-an-hour minimum wage could hit them in their wallets.  According to a January report released by James Sherk, a former research fellow in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, fast-food prices would rise by 38 percent under a $15-an-hour minimum wage and cause a 36 percent drop in employment.  Sherk's research comes after several cities and states across the country voted to raise their minimum wages, with increases typically phased in over the next five years.

An Alternative to Increasing the Minimum Wage.  Underemployment and low wages in working-class communities have led not just to the loss of the dignity of work, but to a host of ensuing societal diseases that should have conservatives horrified: family breakdown and illegitimacy, drug addiction, crime.  Over the past few years, progressives have congealed around a simple response to this problem: raising the minimum wage.  Mandate a higher wage, and bosses will have to pay employees more, and that way they'll have more money.  Hey presto, problem solved!  Of course, conservatives know this is crazy.  Unintended consequences always exist.  A minimum wage is absurd, amounting to a ban on low-skilled people from entering the workforce and climbing the first rungs on the ladder of opportunity.

The Coming Minimum-Wage Tsunami Will Wash Away Millions Of Minority Jobs.  [A new] study by the American Action Forum, a nonpartisan think tank led by former Congressional Budget Ofce Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, looked at minimum-wage hikes scheduled to take effect in the coming years in 14 states and the nation's capital and found they will "cost millions of jobs across the country and each lost job only leads to total wage earnings rising by a few thousand dollars."  The reason is simple:  When you raise the minimum wage of low-skilled, low-productivity labor — a group that disproportionately includes young minority males — you inevitably destroy jobs.  No business will hire someone and pay him more than he's worth.  So all those states might think they're helping the downtrodden and the poor, and striking a blow for equality by mandating higher wages, but they're doing just the opposite:  Pricing many young people out of entry-level jobs.

The Racist Roots of Minimum Wage Laws.  There is little question in most academic research that increases in the minimum wage lead to increases in unemployment.  The debatable issue is the magnitude of the increase.  An issue not often included in minimum wage debates is the substitution effects of minimum wage increases.  The substitution effect might explain why Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national network of business owners and executives, argues for higher minimum wages.

Report: Minimum Wage Hikes Will Lead to 1.8 Million Job Losses.  Minimum wage increases over the next several years will result in 1.8 million job losses, according to a report from the American Action Forum.  By July of this year, 22 states and the District of Columbia will have implemented minimum wage increases.  In just 2017 alone, wage increases will lead to 383,000 job losses.  While the goal of increasing the minimum wage is to increase earnings for low-income individuals, the report finds that the additional earnings transferred from the job losers to the job keepers is minimal.

Is Anybody Shocked that Higher Minimum Wage Mandates Are Resulting in Fewer Jobs?  While economists are famous for their disagreements (and their incompetent forecasts), there is universal consensus in the profession that demand curves slope downward.  That may be meaningless jargon to non-economists, but it simply means that people buy less of something when it becomes more expensive.  And this is why it makes no sense to impose minimum wage requirements, or to increase mandated wages where such laws already exist.

Racial Issues.  Many things that are supposed to help blacks actually have a track record of making things worse.  Minimum wage laws have had a devastating effect in making black teenage unemployment several times higher than it once was.

Minimum wage laws don't work.  Here's why.  A minimum wage seems to be a compassionate law requiring employers to pay low-income workers a wage necessary to meet a reasonable standard of living.  So should we have a minimum wage?  And if so, what should it be?  The current minimum wage is $7.25, which merely acts as a floor price since most states have their own, higher minimum wages.  The 2016 Democrat and Republican presidential nominees both support some sort of minimum wage.  Hillary Clinton has advocated for a federal minimum wage of $12 per hour, while Donald Trump has been vague.  In some instances, he has called on raising the minimum wage to $10, but in other cases, emphasizes that such policy should be left to the states.

Elitist Arrogance, Part II.  Recent years have seen proposals for an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.  Some states and localities, such as Seattle, have already legislated a minimum wage of $15 an hour.  Nobody should be surprised that fast-food companies such as Wendy's, Panera Bread, McDonald's and others are seeking substitutes for employees who are becoming costlier.  One substitute that has emerged for cashiers is automated kiosks where, instead of having a person take your order, you select your meal and pay for it using a machine.  Robots are also seen as an alternative to a $15-an-hour minimum wage.  In fact, employee costs are much higher than an hourly wage suggests.  For every employee paid $15 an hour, a company spends an additional $10 an hour on non-wage benefits, such as medical insurance, Social Security, workers' compensation and other taxes.  That means the minimum hourly cost of hiring such an employee is close to $25.

Ex-McDonald's CEO: A $15 minimum wage destroys critical career opportunities.  Most restaurant businesses — including McDonald's and Famous Dave's of America — are run by individual franchisees who by and large operate independently of corporate headquarters.  These franchises are faced with slim profit margins, with business expenses like staff and rent offsetting a large chunk of revenues from sales.  As such, franchisees are ill-prepared to pay their employees more for the same work if they hope to keep hiring new people and expand their business.  A $15 hourly wage would effectively make employees more expensive without increasing revenue, eating away at the profits job creators need to stay afloat.  To offset higher labor costs, these job creators would be faced with a few undesirable options:  Raise prices, cut back on staff, or switch to automation (and perhaps all of the above).

Three myths behind higher minimum-wage laws.  Our lecturer-in-chief recently informed the class that "it's not cool to not know what you're talking about."  Great.  Now if only Mr. Obama would take that message to his comrades on the left advocating a minimum wage of $15.  For these legions, it seems to be an article of faith that public policy is best guided by magical thinking, facts and logic [notwithstanding].  But, of course the president is marching to the same drummer — just leading from behind.  The propaganda supporting the Fight for $15 — or $12 or, before that, $10.10 — is as duplicitous as it is abundant.

#FightFor15 ignores 100 years of economic evidence on the minimum wage.  The shockwaves that hit after minimum wage increases across the country could be brutal.  Recent studies on the minimum wage make the artificial wage increase look costlier than the rosy future portrayed by supporters. [...] Laws and regulations aren't solutions so much as trade-offs.  The goal is to make benefits outweigh costs.  With the new demands for a higher minimum wage, a blind desire for "justice" and anti-poverty action has blinded supporters to economic fact.  In many instances, the large increases in the minimum wage will have important, relevant costs.  Dismissing those costs as non-existent does not usher in wise economic policy.

How to Stop Losing the Minimum Wage Issue to the Democrats.  Of course, I know the rationale for a lower (or no) minimum wage.  As a University of Chicago MBA, I know all about price elasticity and supply & demand[,] and how the data (and common sense) dictate that jobs are lost when wages are increased.  In my career, I ran companies with factories in Asia and know that it is logical to manufacture high-volume products in countries where wages & benefits are $3.00 per hour rather than in the US where comparably skilled workers pull in $30+ an hour.  It's no secret why jobs have moved overseas in recent decades.  But, explaining the intricacies of economics to most US voters is futile.  Consider the facts:  12% of Americans lack a high school diploma.  70% have not completed college.  And only 30% of US citizens have passports.  The typical group of Americans at a dinner party does not want to hear how an increase in the minimum wage will inevitably create job losses due to global wage economics.

The Coming Minimum Wage Catastrophe.  The Left's destructive push for a $15 an hour minimum wage threatens to make the American fast-food worker extinct while driving up the price of burgers and other dietary staples relied on by low-income consumers.  It's actually a highly effective job-creation program — for those who manufacture robots and the touch-screen point-of-sale terminals that replace the comparatively expensive human help.  White Castle, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, McDonald's and plenty of other fast-food chains are already considering or making the move to get rid of their frontline employees.  The current feel-good push for a $15 an hour minimum wage has nothing to do with helping workers and everything to do with advancing the goals of the left wing, especially the labor movement.

Minimum wage or maximum deception?  City after city and state after state seem to be moving toward forcing employers to offer a $15 minimum wage because, well, because it sounds good to people who are making $10 an hour.  But just whose fault is it that employers are only paying $10 an hour?  This is not hard to figure out if you took even a high school class in economics.  There is a little something called "supply and demand.  If there are not enough laborers in a particular field to do the job offered by employers, then those laborers find themselves in demand, allowing them to hold out for bigger paychecks.  This is common in skilled positions such as oil-rig workers, nurses, engineers.

$15 dollar minimum wage:  Epic Fail.  If the feds demand that everyone receive 15 bucks per hour regardless of skills, education or contribution, companies will simply asses the situation, determine which positions are worth 15 bucks and eliminate the ones that are not.  No company is going to pay anyone more money than that position brings to the company.  Ain't gonna happen.  We have already seen companies making moves.  We have all purchased items from a store without help of a cashier.  They have now invented a robot that can prepare 360 burgers per hour.  What's next?  If I'm not mistaken, only 4 percent of workers earm minimum wage.  And most of them are teenagers.

A $15 Minimum Wage Is A Booby Prize For American Workers.  In principle, there is solid moral ground for the recent drive to boost the minimum wage to $15, with California and New York State taking dramatic steps Monday toward that goal.  Low-wage workers have been losing ground for decades, as stagnant incomes have been eroded by higher living costs.  This has been particularly tragic for workers in high-priced cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York, where the movement has achieved irresistible momentum.  If the Democrats manage to win a sweeping victory in the fall, the $15 minimum could also be imposed nationwide, with huge impacts on "laggard" regions like the South.

Liberalism's Simple-Mindedness on Defiant Display.  Minimum wage laws are so wrong for so many reasons it's hard to know where to start.  Most polls indicate that a majority of Americans support such laws.  That fact reflects an extremely low "EQ" level of the citizenry.  By EQ I mean economics quotient.  Presumably, most people who support minimum wage laws do so because they believe they will reduce poverty and decrease income inequality.  The opposite is the case, however.  Simple economic logic proves the point, as well as mountains of evidence.  A question that has been asked numerous times of minimum wage advocates is this — if a $15 minimum wage will help low-income earners, why not $20 or $50 an hour?  I have yet to hear a coherent response to that question.  The answer is obvious, of course.  Many workers are not worth $20 or $50 an hour.  Many fewer workers would be hired at those wages.  Unemployment would skyrocket.

Demagoguery and the Minimum Wage.  Particularly among politicians of the left, raising the minimum wage has long been a staple as a campaign talking point. [...] As economists have taught for generations, price controls (wages are prices) never achieve their intended ends.  Simply put, there are irrefutable laws of economics that cannot be repealed by political action.  Demagoguery and emotional appeal may produce short-term political advantage, but ultimately claims based on unsound economics must disappoint those who put faith in those claims.  Minimum wage laws are an exemplar of political action that cannot live up to its claims.

Hillary Clinton: 'No Evidence' to Suggest Raising the Minimum Wage Kills Jobs.  Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton claimed Tuesday [3/22/2016] there is "no evidence" to prove raising the minimum wage costs jobs.

The Editor says...
This page is full of evidence that the minimum wage is a job killer.

All Aboard Starship Bernie!  Every time we raise the minimum wage, youth unemployment increases.  The 16 to 19 demographic had an unemployment rate of 45% in 2011, compared to 26% in the year 2000.  That staggering number represents lost tax revenue, increased social spending and, most importantly, lost opportunity. One of two things happen when the minimum wage goes up:  a business passes the cost on to consumers, or it sheds the least productive employees — like the baggers in supermarkets or kitchen help, and busboys in restaurants.  Can the Vermont senator cite an example of successful socialism?  The USSR collapsed under the dead weight of decades of five-year plans.  North Korea doesn't have an economy.  Cuba is a basket case.  China started on the road to prosperity by abandoning Maoism.

A Retrospective on the Obama Years.  [Scroll down]  Some people have more money and make more money than others.  This inequality is a byproduct of many factors, including talent, intellect, work ethic, birth circumstances, and market capitalism.  But economic fundamentals are ignored in the era of income inequality hysterics.  Witness the recent labor-organized protests over a higher federal minimum wage.  Progressives from coast to coast adopted the mantra.  In response, dozens of states and municipalities raised their local minimum wage.  Yet, progressive theory cannot transform marginal labor into skilled labor.  And so the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported on what fast food chain CEOs have long promised:  higher mandated wages mean fewer jobs and more automation.  Alas, there is no union representing the newly unemployed.

Buddy, Can You Spare $15 an Hour?  One piece of news this past weekend suggests a big minimum-wage hike could cost low-skilled workers their jobs.  Wal-Mart closed its Oakland store amid speculation that the city's $12.55 minimum wage played a role.  Oakland City Councilman Larry Reid told The Chronicle the city's wage law was a factor in the closure.  It's hard to think otherwise when Oakland was one of 269 stores slated to be shuttered across the country, while in nearby San Leandro, where the $10 state wage floor prevails, two stores will remain open for business.  The Washington Post reported last week that Wal-Mart was withdrawing plans to build two superstores in the nation's capital.  A city councilman told the Post that behind closed doors Wal-Mart blamed D.C.'s minimum wage rules (currently $11.50 per hour, but the wage could rise to $15 if voters pass a ballot measure).

W-a-l-m-a-r-t does not spell welfare.  Although mandated wage hikes sound good in theory, in the real world of economics that politicians wholly disregard, they are job-killers.  These district-running Democrats grouse about low-wage jobs and a "living wage" in order to perpetually keep their voter bases stirred up ensuring their own re-elections.  This is their draconian justification to use the heavy hands of government to throw destructive monkey wrenches (these arbitrary, Orwellian regulations) that, in practice, promote more unemployment under the guise of promising its opposite.  In this, they completely ignore the history that such positions were designed as "starter" jobs:  to give the young their first employment experiences.  They were never intended to be the stuff of careers — or the economic basis upon which to raise a family.

Minimum Wage Hikes Are Costing jobs.  Employment data now coming in from six U.S. cities that have mandated increases in the minimum wage are proving a basic economic law:  When the price or cost of something increases, less of it will be demanded.  In his analysis of the preliminary data now available from Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., Jed Graham wrote:  "Job gains have fallen to multi-year lows at restaurants, hotels and other leisure and hospitality venues."

The Minimum Wage and the Great Recession: Evidence from the Current Population Survey.  My baseline estimate is that this period's full set of minimum wage increases reduced employment among individuals ages 16 to 30 with less than a high school education by 5.6 percentage points.  This estimate accounts for 43 percent of the sustained, 13 percentage point decline in this skill group's employment rate and a 0.49 percentage point decline in employment across the full population ages 16 to 64.

Minimum Wage Increases Spell Disaster for America's Retail Companies.  [A recent] report finds that its not just Walmart who would be negatively affected, but many of the other big retail companies too — including McDonald's, Starbucks, Target, and Walgreens.  A wage increase from $7.25 to $9 an hour would increase the profit per-employee by over 40%.  Sounds great for employees, right?  Not exactly.  The increase makes those jobs far less valuable to the company and often leads executives to eliminate those positions.

Minimum wage increase push just a political ploy.  On the same day that he announced a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) told a union rally in Manhattan that he is asking the state legislature to make $15 the minimum for all workers.  "Every working man and woman in the state of New York deserves $15 an hour as a minimum wage, and we're not going to stop until we get it done," he declared. [...] Jared Meyer with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and Economics thinks "a $15 an hour minimum wage is a dangerous idea that's really an uncharted territory.

3 unintended consequences of Seattle's minimum wage hike.  [#2] The Demise of the Tipping Culture:  Some restaurants are excited about doing away with tipping while raising base pay, but others are skeptical.  Many are worried that their best servers will leave, as the tipping system allows them to make more in an hour than a base hourly wage ever could.  "The tipped culture is what draws people into the industry," Christin Fernandez, spokeswoman at the National Restaurant Industry, pointed out.  The minimum wage increase in Seattle will raise base pay for everyone in the restaurant industry, but that could backfire on servers who no longer have the opportunity to earn tips.

Minimum Wage for Thee, But Not for Me.  The AFL-CIO, official labor union of the Democrat Party, wants a higher minimum wage to provide "protection for the country's lowest-paid workers."  The SEIU, another large labor union, wants a bump in the minimum wage to create jobs and generate economic activity. [...] Let's follow the money.  A company can unionize and instead of paying $15 per hour, pay only $8 an hour, saving a bunch of money.  A win for the company.  Workers in the newly unionized company are now paying union dues.  A win for the union.  Finally, over 90 percent of union political donations, made up largely of dues, go to Democrats.  A win for the Democrats, the party that would grant the minimum wage exemptions by virtue of their control of the executive branch of government.

California: $15 Minimum Wage, $30 Per Pizza, Massive Fail.  Small businesses are already struggling to survive the spate of minimum wage increases to $15 per hour in parts of California. [...] Even though businesses with less than 56 workers are exempt from the $14.44 rate and do not have to raise their wages to $15 until 2018, Vic Gumper, who owns Lanesplitter Pizza, with outlets in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany and Emeryville, decided not only to bite the bullet but swallow it, paying his workers $15 to $25 an hour while eschewing tips or raising prices.

Minimum-wage offensive could speed arrival of robot-powered restaurants.  [Scroll down]  The industry could be ready for another jolt as a ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour nears in the District and as other campaigns to boost wages gain traction around the country.  About 30 percent of the restaurant industry's costs come from salaries, so burger-flipping robots — or at least super-fast ovens that expedite the process — become that much more cost-competitive if the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is doubled.  "The problem with the minimum-wage offensive is that it throws the accounting of the restaurant industry totally upside down," said Harold Miller, vice president of franchise development for Persona Pizzeria, who also consults for other chains.

Where's The Beef? $15 Wage Means 36% Smaller Burger.  Would you pay the same price for a Mini Mac instead of a Big Mac?  Raising the average fast-food wage to $15 an hour could force restaurants to hike prices by 11% — or shrink the size of burgers by 36%, according to an IBD analysis of data from a recent Purdue University study.  Higher prices and smaller burgers are just two of the unappetizing menu of options facing fast-food chains and their customers as cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle and New York raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

National $15 Minimum Wage Is Trouble.  [I]t's important to realize that the argument against minimum wages isn't that they hurt the rich; it's that they can end up hurting the poor.  Raise minimum wages too high, and you'll eventually choke off employment, harming the very people that the policy is intended to help.  We're not going to get an answer to the employment question until some cities try a $15 minimum wage.  It might work, and it might not.  Smaller minimum wage hikes in the past weren't too damaging, but $15 is uncharted territory.  Experiments such as those in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles will help us determine whether $15 is too high.

Sorry, Paul Krugman: The Minimum Wage Won't Miraculously Cure Poverty.  Paul Krugman stated in The New York Times today that "there's just no evidence that raising the minimum wage costs jobs, at least when the starting point is as low as it is in modern America."  To support his position, he cites studies by University of California professor David Card and Princeton University professor Alan Krueger.  Some commentators want a $12 minimum wage, as proposed by President Obama, a 66 percent increase.  Others, such as the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and New York Communities for Change, want a $15 minimum wage, a more than 100 percent increase.

Starbucks And The Minimum Wage Hikes: What A Brew.  Starbucks raised its prices Tuesday from five to 20 cents a drink.  Despite falling coffee bean prices, the java seller has been hit with minimum wage and other pay hikes to please the left.  Guess who's paying?

How stupidly obvious WAS this end result of the SF minimum wage hike?  Suffice it to say that these people don't know anything about how businesses operate, but still think that they do.  As you can see, plug in that combination of reckless confidence and slack-jawed idiocy into a convenient Blue State government matrix, and voila! — You get bad, self-defeating policy.

Study: Minimum wage hike boosted price of Chipotle burritos.  Raising the minimum wage doesn't happen in a vacuum, according to new research on Chipotle.  When Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. raised its minimum wage in San Francisco, it raised its prices proportionately, according to William Blair, a global investment banking and management firm, which issued a report on Tuesday [7/7/2015] to its investors.

States with the Highest Minimum Wage.  Hourly earnings in the U.S. rose 0.3% in May to $24.96 a jump of 2.3% from the year-ago period.  However, those earning the minimum wage are still getting paid a lot less even in the 29 states paying above the federal minimum wage.

$15 Minimum Wage: Women, Blacks Hurt Most.  This push for higher minimum wage will mostly hurt women — a constituency that the left claims to care so much about.  According to the National Women's Law Center, women are at least half of the minimum-wage workers in all 50 states.  In New Hampshire, Arkansas, Maine and Pennsylvania, 70 percent of the minimum wage workers are female.

Minimum Wage, Maximum Stupidity.  Take the left's penchant for form over substance, combine with a fundamental ignorance of what money is and what it does, stir with hammer and sickle, and what do you get?  You get a crusade to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour.

When Will They Ever Learn?  One doesn't even need an economics class to understand that a $50-million house will not have a bunch of buyers in a bidding war, compared to a much less expensive house.  Or that a sale, lowering the price of something, is a good way to sell more and clear the inventory.  So why is there such confusion about the minimum wage?  A wage is simply the price of labor.  Raise the price, and demand goes down.  And vice versa.  Watch it play out in San Francisco, Seattle, and Los Angeles as small businesses, unable to afford their new cities' minimum wages, close their doors or lay off employees.

The Working Wage.  Every time I've gotten into a written or verbal discussion about minimum wage laws (or the relatively new crusade for a "living wage," which is another exercise of compulsive power beyond what the law requires, premised on the idea that business owners who obey the minimum wage laws are nonetheless greedy villains) someone objects that people "deserve" so much better than the paltry whatever-dollars-per-hour, and nobody could possibly "live" on it.  I insert a placeholder for the dollar amount because it's an argument I've been hearing throughout my entire life.  The wage changes over time, but the argument doesn't.  It's not easy to explain that raising the price of labor does not automatically increase its value.  A law that requires payment of $10 per hour to ever brand-new, inexperienced, unproven worker does not suddenly make them worth $10 per hour.

Obama's Peculiar View of Economics and Law.  Obama wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour but the CBO — whose words Democrats admonished were sacrosanct during the health care debate — has concluded that would kill about 500,000 jobs.  White House and liberal think tanks have countered raising the wages of hamburger flippers would miraculously increase demand for their services and GDP, because those who remain employed would have more money to spend — forget the fact that Americans would pay more for fast food and have less to spend on everything else.

Child-care worker sees hours cut after Oakland's minimum wage hike.  Child-care assistant Eunice Medina, 23, was thrilled when Oakland's minimum wage took effect in March.  But almost as quickly, Medina's workdays were cut and her hours shaved from eight to six. Her employer, Asiya Jabbaar, says she had no choice.

Business group that backed L.A. mayor's minimum wage plan 'not so happy' now.  As the Los Angeles City Council prepares for a final vote Wednesday [6/3/2015] to raise the minimum wage, leaders of the most prominent business group to back a citywide pay boost have privately expressed concerns about changes made to the proposal since Mayor Eric Garcetti first sought their support.  The Los Angeles Business Council, a Century City-based coalition of firms that has supported liberal causes such as affordable housing and clean-energy projects, endorsed Garcetti's plan to increase the minimum wage to $13.25 by 2017.

Unions Now Want An Exemption From The Minimum Wage Hike They Pushed.  Those who think the minimum wage doesn't cost jobs might want to have a chat with unions in Los Angeles.  After pushing for a big hike in that city's minimum wage — which will climb to $15 an hour by 2020 — labor leaders now want an exemption for companies that have unionized workers.  Why?  Because, according to Rusty Hicks, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, "with a collective bargaining agreement, a business owner and the employees negotiate an agreement that works for them both.  The agreement allows each party to prioritize what is important to them."

LA's labor unions want an exemption from the city's new $15-an-hour minimum wage.  The Los Angeles City Council recently passed a bill to hike its minimum wage to $15 an hour, a change strongly supported by Southern California labor unions.  Except now the unions want a last-minute change in the bill — an exemption for unionized firms, which would be allowed to pay less than $15 an hour if a collective bargaining agreement calls for it.

In Los Angeles, unions make an offer companies can't refuse.  From the truth is stranger than fiction except if you're in Los Angeles and/or dealing with union personnel file we learn what happens when reality slaps high-sounding abstract liberal theory in the face.  In this instance, reality wins.  Sort of.

Unions seek exemption from LA minimum wage law they helped pass.  For months, organized labor went after companies like McDonalds and Walmart, shaming any business that paid the old minimum wage.  Carrying signs saying, "We see greed" and "We are worth more," union members marched outside businesses and appeared at City Council meetings demanding Los Angeles raise the minimum wage from $9 to $15 by 2020. [...] Yet after pushing through the new wage law, union officials are asking for a waiver that would allow any company that unionizes to avoid paying the minimum wage.

Democrats Should Live Up to Their Own Lectures.  "We owe it to workers across the country to make sure our minimum wage is set to a level that works for them and their families," Senator Patty Murray (D., Wash.) insisted last month, as she introduced the Raise the Wage Act.  It would boost the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $12.00 per hour by 2020 — a 66 percent hike.  Added House co-sponsor Representative Bobby Scott (D., Va.):  "We can't build a strong economy on the backs of impoverished workers."  Thirty-two senators have co-sponsored this bill, as have 165 House members.  Amazingly, the Employment Policies Institute reports, 94 percent of these 197 Democrats pay their interns zero.

Hillary Clinton, Bill de Blasio and the false god of American politics.  The minimum wage has been converted into something it was never intended to be — a permanent salary regarded as the chief support for a worker's family long term.  Instead, it should be taken for what it is, an entry-level position that gives workers an opportunity to move up to a better job at higher pay, taking full advantage of advanced training programs offered to them.  Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, however, may result in robots replacing workers.  Food will be ordered from a computer at your table.  It's already happening in some restaurants.

Economic malpractice on the minimum wage and a remedial assignment.  [T]he $15 per hour wage is not determined by some rigorous cost-benefit analysis that concludes that $15 per hour generates the most benefits with the least costs.  Rather, it's a number that is just "plucked from the air."  And if you're using the PFA approach to determine the minimum wage in some fantasy world that is not grounded in economic theory, empirical evidence, science or logic, then why not make the minimum wage $25, $75 or $150 or $1,000 per hour?

Minimum wage workers tend to be young, single, part-time workers with less than a high school diploma.  For workers ages 16 to 19 years old, only 15.3% made the minimum wage or less in 2014 (about 1 in every 6.5 workers in that age group) and almost 85% of those workers earned more than the federal minimum wage last year.  For workers ages 25 and older, only 2.5% (1 in 40) earned the federal minimum wage or less last year.  So even the vast majority of teenagers (more than 8 of every 10) earn more than then federal minimum wage.

Timely news and commentary:

California Fast Food Franchisees Forced to Cut Employees' Hours due to $20 Minimum Wage.  California fast food franchise owners are being forced to cut their employees' hours following Gov. Gavin Newsom's (D) $20 minimum wage law, which went into effect in April.  Lawrence Cheng, whose family owns several Wendy's restaurants in southern California, has had to fill in behind the register to make up for the dramatic cuts, he told the Associated Press.  While he used to have "nearly a dozen employees" working the afternoon shift at his Fountain Valley location, he is reportedly down to just seven per shift.

California's Minimum Wage Continues to Destroy Restaurants.  Would you rather have some jobs available at $12 an hour or no jobs available at $20 an hour?  The answer may vary depending on whether you're a business owner or job seeker — or politician or bureaucrat.  Regardless, the opening question, which is of the kind late economist Walter E. Williams often asked, should be pondered with news that California's new $20 minimum wage is continually claiming victims.  The latest is a San Francisco McDonald's franchisee who'd been in business for 30 years.  This pales in comparison, though, to one of the new minimum wage's first victims:  Rubio's Coastal Grill.  That chain is closing 48 Golden State locations — more than a third of its 134 remaining restaurants across California, Arizona, and Nevada.

California somehow manages to keep getting worse.  California continues to reap the consequences of disastrous left-wing policy decisions, but it's hard to feel bad for voters who keep affirming Democratic control.  In April, the minimum wage for employees of fast food chains with more than 60 locations increased to $20 per hour.  Of course, this has resulted in job losses, reduced hours, and food becoming more expensive.  Blaze Pizza announced it is moving its headquarters from California to Georgia, Pizza Hut has laid off 1,200 delivery drivers, and In-N-Out was forced to raise its prices.  One chain, Rubio's Coastal Grill, said that it was closing 48 California locations because of the "rising cost of doing business" in the state.

In-N-Out hikes prices thanks to California's new $20 minimum wage.  In-N-Out is beefing up its notoriously cheap prices to keep up with California's new $20 state minimum wage at fast food restaurants.  In Los Angeles County, a double-double burger combo at the low-cost burger chains now goes for $11.44 — a $0.76 increase from last year, KTLA reported.  In San Francisco's tourist-heavy Fisherman's Wharf location, a double-double burger coupled with french fries and drink costs $13.63 after taxes.

How's that $20 minimum wage working out?  Gavin Newsom instituted a $20 minimum wage for fast food workers in California. 3 months later and nearly 10,000 fast food workers have been laid off, chains are closing down locations, and others are declaring bankruptcy.  [Tweet]

Fast Food Workers Make $20 Min.  Wage in California, Now Everyone Wants It.  California implemented a $20 minimum wage only a month ago, which many workers celebrated.  However, the initial optimism has given way to concerns as massive layoffs sweep various industries.  Who could have predicted that?  Also, not every fast food worker is getting $20 an hour.  Now, all want wage increases, and the unions are pushing for more with no end in sight.  Before you know it, more layoffs will follow, and businesses will fold.

Barely A Month Old, California's $20-Hr.  Fast-Food Minimum Wage Is Already An Economic Disaster.  California Democrats who pushed through the state's punitive new minimum wage must be feeling mighty proud about now.  Not only are fast-food joints closing or replacing low-end employees with overseas workers and robots, now the law is costing the very people it was supposed to help while decimating consumers' wallets.  Well done!  The $20-an-hour wage floor foisted on California's fast-food restaurants, dubbed with the innocent-sounding moniker Assembly Bill 257, was signed into law last fall.  It didn't take long to become a disaster.  Hoover Institution senior fellow and economist Lee Ohanian showed just how quickly bad policies can wreck an economy.  And the damage was done even before the law officially went into effect a month ago today.

Subway Could Shrink to Smallest Size in Years as California's $20 Minimum Wage Does Major Damage.  The Subway chain is shrinking in a trend that could grow now that California's sky-high minimum wage for fast food workers is in effect.  Subway closed 733 American stores in 2023, according to the New York Post.  Although it added 396 stores and acquired some others, overall the chain's store count dropped by 443.

Labor group says California $20 min wage 'just the beginning'.  A fair wage advocacy group is demanding that California's new $20 minimum wage law for fast food workers be extended to all sectors to help working-class people who are struggling with the state's high cost of living.  FOX Business spoke with Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage to discuss what she described as the skyrocketing levels of home insecurity and food insecurity post-pandemic.  Fast food workers winning a $20 minimum wage, she said, "was just the beginning."  Jayaraman pointed to the exorbitantly high cost of living in the Golden State where, in some counties, an individual would need a $40 an hour salary to live comfortably.

The many disadvantages of an increase in hourly minimum wages.  Minimum wage increases can have unintended consequences, such as reduced working hours, cut benefits, or increasing unemployment.  Poor neighborhoods, instead of benefiting from a minimum wage increase in the long run, pay for it in increased commuting prices, rent increases, higher food and drink costs, and an overall cost of living increase.  Businesses with apprentice and job training programs are hurt financially if they are forced to pay unskilled workers an increased minimum wage.  Minimum wage entry-level jobs are harder to get because most businesses are unlikely to hire young adults with no previous job experience.  It is a myth that an increase in minimum hourly wage benefits the poor the most.  Poor neighborhoods struggling to survive, unless they are on total welfare, bear the brunt of higher prices in businesses located within or on their borders.

Restaurant Worker Laid Off In Store Closing Warns About State's Rising Minimum Wage.  Former Fosters Freeze Assistant General Manager Monica Navarro warned Wednesday about the effects of California's rising minimum wage on workers.  The state's minimum wage hike for fast-food workers is resulting in layoffs.  Navarro appeared on Fox Business to discuss how the Fosters Freeze, a chain fast-food restaurant in Lemoore, California where she was employed, announced their permanent closure on April 1.  While some employees thought the announcement was an April Fools Day joke, Navarro said she learned about the shutdown through coworkers who showed up for work that day.  Navarro told the Fox Business show hosts that while California does not require employers to notify employees, it would have been helpful if they had.

The minimum wage is too high already:
'Hiring Gen Z is a nightmare — they don't turn up to their first day of work'.  "A nightmare" is how James McNeil describes his experience working with members of Generation Z.  Many young workers are barely able to get through an interview, are unwilling to pick up the phone and have even ghosted their new companies completely on the first day of their jobs, according to exasperated employers.  McNeil, 38, had been in charge of a sales team of an organisation collecting music royalties from businesses and often he received job applications from 20-somethings to join the company.  "We'd book interviews [but] people wouldn't turn up, or they'd turn up late, or they'd turn up and were wildly unprepared," says McNeil, who now runs Ready2Lease, a car leasing firm.  "They didn't know anything about what they were doing, what they were there for."

Mass Layoffs Begin At California Fast Food Chains As $20 Minimum Wage Law Takes Effect.  Inflation has driven up operational costs for businesses across the US and shrunk profit margins for major food chains in the past few years.  This has led to higher menu prices (like the "$18 Big Mac") and slowing sales for every major fast food company.  Another anchor dragging on the restaurant business in many regions was at least two years of covid stimulus coupled with rent moratoriums, creating aggressive labor shortages and raising wages in upwards of $16 per hour for brand new no-skill employees.  Small chains and mom-and-pop businesses simply can't compete.  Larger chains raised prices but have also been forced to reduce employees and labor costs through automation, but the layoffs are just getting started.

It's Economic Logic:  Increasing the Minimum Wage Creates More Unemployment.  Some economists believe that the increase in the minimum wage will boost unemployment, while other economists think otherwise.  Hence, they believe that raising the minimum wage would raise the living standards of workers.  For example, in a study conducted in the 1990s, economists David Card and Alan Krueger examined a minimum-wage rise in New Jersey by comparing fast-food restaurants there and in an adjacent part of Pennsylvania, finding no impact on employment.  Other economists, however, found that the increase in minimum wages increased employment.  Given the contradictory results, is there an alternative approach to decide whether an increase in the minimum wage will result in an increase or reduction in employment?

Newsom exempts more 'friends' from $20/hour fast-food wage law.  Not too long ago, Gavin Newsom got caught with his hand in the cookie jar of political cronyism.  In response to a draconian law passed raising fast-food worker wages to $20 an hour, known as A.B. 1228, Newsom carved out a little exemption for his friends at Panera Bread on the laughable grounds that these establishments bake bread on the premises.  In reality, the owner of several Panera establishments was a high school buddy who was a really good donor to his campaigns.  Once caught, Newsom backed off, but right when he thought no one was looking, he went right back to the cookie jar again to carve out more little exemptions for his friends who donated well, as if word had gotten around, signing off on a "cleaned-up" bill known as A.B. 610.

California Pizza Chains Plan Layoffs in Advance of New $20 Minimum Wage.  Who could possibly have seen this coming?  California's minimum wage for fast food workers is going up next week and some chains are already planning layoffs in response.  Newsom signed the bill raising the minimum wage last September. [...] California Democrats and unions are always generous with other people's money but the result will be pink slips for hundreds of workers.

Newsom Donor Greg Flynn Agrees to Pay $20 Minimum Wage Amid 'PaneraGate' Scandal.  Panera Bread franchisee and Newsom donor Greg Flynn announced on Wednesday that he would be complying with the AB 1228 $20 per hour wage law for fast food companies when it begins next month following over a week of backlash against him and Governor Gavin Newsom over allegations that he had originally been exempt to the law because of his donor ties with Newsom.  When AB 1228 was passed last year, all fast food companies were covered under the bill, directing them to make the new minimum wage for their industry only from $16 an hour to $20 an hour.  Initially there were only a few exemptions:  certain restaurants in grocery stores, and restaurants with on-site bakeries, with Panera Bread being the largest one exempted.  For months, this went without question, as the reasoning behind it seemed reasonable. [...] News outlets began looking into who owned these Panera Bread locations.  That's when it was discovered that Flynn, who owns well over a third of the exempted Panera Bread locations in the state, is a major donor of Governor Newsom, as well as a high school friend.

One week earlier...
Panera Bread Exempt From $20 Per Hour CA Minimum Wage Law, Because Newsom Protects His Wealthy Buddies.  In September 2023, California passed a $20 an-hour minimum wage increase, which had an immediate chilling effect over fast food and fast casual chain dining.  Many of these restaurants upped their already increased prices; some fired staff — like Pizza Hut did with its delivery drivers — and moved to more self-serve and robot checkout.  Some are even closing locations.  Unless you're Panera Bread.  In California, Greg Flynn owns multiple Panera Bread chains in the state.  Flynn also happens to be a "friend" of California Governor Gavin Newsom.  You do the math.  [Tweet]

Panera Bread to launch cheaper sandwiches, abandon dinner in 'largest menu transformation ever.  Panera Bread plans to expand its salad and sandwich options with the "largest menu transformation ever" — including many items for less than $10 — as it shifts away from dinner meals, the company announced Thursday.  The popular chain — which recently earned an exemption from California's new $20-an-hour minimum wage law — will add nine new menu items and enhance the recipes for 12 existing classics in a "new era" at the company, according to a press release.  The rollout at Panera's more than 2,100 locations is slated to begin April 4.

Longtime Newsom Donor Owns Panera Bread, Which is Exempt From California Minimum Wage Increase.  California Gov. Gavin Newsom fought to exempt fast-food chains from the new minimum wage increase if the company baked its own bread and sold it as a standalone item.  The minimum wage will increase to $20.  But why?  The first and only restaurant you think of is Panera Bread. [...] [Panera Bread owner Greg] Flynn is a regular donator to Newsom.  He gave $100,000 to fight against the recall.  Newsom got another $64,800 during his 2022 reelection campaign.  People close to Flynn told Bloomberg News he "has been known to tout his relationship with Newsom" and bragged "he can reach the governor via text."

Target offers robot nail manicures: 'It takes 10 minutes and you don't have to tip'.  As prices rise across the nation, beauty lovers are looking for more affordable alternatives to their standard self-care routines.  Those looking for a manicure that doesn't require tipping their nail tech are in luck:  Robot manicurists are here to help.  While the robots themselves aren't new, they're benefitting from renewed momentum as women seek cheaper ways to maintain their beauty regimens.  Videos show how fast and easy it is to get your nails painted by a robot.  [Video clip]

New $20 minimum wage law in California set to take effect, but people notice an 'obscure' exemption.  Talk about fortuitous!  In a strange turn of events, one of Gavin Newsom's biggest donors hits the jackpot, and when the state-mandated $20 minimum wage for certain fast-food workers takes effect in April, this lucky duck employer won't be subject to complying with the increase, thanks to an "obscure" exemption in the statute. [...] Greg Flynn is a billionaire, one of Newsom's (and other Democrats') most loyal and longtime benefactors, and according to Bloomberg, "the largest restaurant franchisee in the US, if not the world."  Flynn's fast-food portfolio includes establishments like Taco Bell, Wendy's, and Pizza Hut[,] but his California fast-food portfolio is limited to one brand:  Panera Bread.  And, surprise surprise, the new law's "obscure exemption" seems only applicable to... Panera Bread.

Fast Food Franchise Owners Speak Out Against $20 Minimum Wage.  As AB 1228's start date to give $20 an hour to fast food employees nears, multiple franchise owners reached out to the Globe and said what the fast food landscape in California will look like in the near future.  Following the signing of AB 1228 in October by Governor Gavin Newsom, the new $20 minimum wage for fast food employees, a massive jump from the $16 minimum wage, has had multiple companies take extreme measures.  Some, like Chipotle and McDonalds, have announced already raised prices before the wage raise date of April 1st.  Others are investing in automated kiosks and other automated devices to help reduce the number of employees.  Some stores outright closed.  Most notable, however, has been the massive amount of layoffs.  Already, over 1,200 Pizza Hut drivers have had announced lay-offs, with drivers to be replaced by services such as DoorDash and Uber Eats in the coming months.

Barbara Lee Wants Outrageous $50 Minimum Wage.  Democratic House Rep Barbara Lee recently appeared on a debate stage and stated her case for a $50 federal minimum wage.  Lee has been a House Rep in a district mainly covering Oakland since 1998.  She was debating other candidates who were running for US Senate in California.  [Tweet]

Minimum wage could rise to $50 an hour, or $100,000 a year, under radical new plan.  A California lawmaker has proposed an ambitious plan to raise the minimum wage to $50 per hour.  Democratic Representative Barbara Lee argued that, due to the affordability crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area, a family of four needs at least $127,000 to survive.  Lee's proposal means that minimum wage workers would earn more than $100,000 per year.  She made these comments while debating with Reps Adam Schiff (D-CA), Katie Porter (D-CA) and Republican Steve Garvey.  Schiff and Porter have both called for the minimum wage to be increased to at least $20 an hour.  However, Garvey has resisted raising it.  He warned that increasing it to $20 could lead to higher costs for hard-working Californians because the cost will ultimately be passed on to consumers.

The Editor says...
[#1] As many others have pointed out for decades, the minimum wage was never intended to support an entire family.  [#2] If prices are too high in San Francisco, it's partly because the minimum wage is already too high.

McDonald's location in Connecticut slammed over 'outrageous' Egg McMuffin price.  A McDonald's outpost in Connecticut is being slammed for its "outrageous pricing" after a customer was charged more than $7 for an Egg McMuffin — and nearly $6 for a side of hashbrowns.  "$7.29 for one McDonald's Egg McMuffin.  What has the world come to??"  New York-based Bespoke Investment Group wrote on X of the breakfast sandwich, also posting a photo of the stiff bill.  The receipt showed that on Saturday, the user spent $14.58 on two Egg McMuffins at a McDonald's in Fairfield, Conn., located at a rest stop off Interstate 95.

The Editor says...
There are at least three obvious reasons for the high price:  The I-95 rest stop location is probably sitting on very expensive real estate, the minimum wage in Connecticut is very high, and Joe Biden printing money like there's no tomorrow, inevitably resulting in inflation.  The minimum wage in Connecticut is $15.69 per hour.  Only California and Washington have a higher minimum wage.  In Texas and many other states, it's $7.25 per hour.

1,200 Pizza Hut Drivers [are] Among [the] First Victims of California's $20 Minimum Wage Folly.  My foray into the workforce was a minimum-wage job making pizzas and washing dishes at Pizza Hut.  The money I earned supported my spending as a new driver and taught me how to budget and save for the future.  And the experience I gained — everything from teamwork to customer service to safety standards — has stuck with me throughout my career.  If I were growing up in California today, though, that same job opportunity probably wouldn't exist.  As a 16-year-old without experience, I couldn't produce $20 per hour of value for Pizza Hut — or probably any company.  But $20 per hour is where Assembly Bill 1228 in California sets the bar for fast-food workers.  After factoring in mandatory employment taxes, that comes out to more than $48,000 per year for a full-time employee.  Not surprisingly, multiple Pizza Hut franchises announced they are laying off 1,200 delivery drivers.  These drivers are likely just the first of potentially thousands more fast-food workers who will lose their jobs.

The Empire State rings in the new year with a pay bump for minimum-wage workers.  New York's minimum-wage workers had more than just the new year to celebrate Monday, with a pay bump kicking in as the clock ticked over to 2024.  In the first of a series of annual increases slated for the Empire State, the minimum wage increased to $16 in New York City and some of its suburbs, up from $15.  In the rest of the state, the new minimum wage is $15, up from $14.20.  The state's minimum wage is expected to increase every year until it reaches $17 in New York City and its suburbs, and $16 in the rest of the state by 2026.

Democrats Get Ready to Screw a Bunch of People.  If you know anyone in California who works in the fast food industry — usually teenagers and other people supplementing their income with part-time, flex work — they're screwed.  What was once the launching pad into the work world will not be too expensive to hire as many people to do, as the state raises their minimum wage to $20.  Sorry, but if you can be replaced with a touch screen and a credit card swiper you aren't worth $5 an hour, let alone $20.  "Pizza Hut is set to lay off more than 1,200 delivery drivers in Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties in the coming year, ahead of a new state law that boosts the fast-food minimum wage," reports CBS News.  That's one chain in one geographic area, what do you think it's going to be like in the rest of the state?

California's Minimum-Wage Hike Hasn't Even Happened But It's Already Killing Jobs.  The Golden State's leftist Democrat-dominated legislature loves to grandstand as a champion of the downtrodden and the working poor, even if the policies they enact end up hurting those people the most.  That's certainly the case with the state's minimum wage hike, which is set to hit in 2024. [...] Let's start by saying we're not against anyone getting a raise.  But raises should come from the companies themselves, not from government decrees.  As study after study in recent years show, government-mandated minimum wage hikes usually hurt those they're meant to help.  It's an irony that seems lost on California's leftist political class, now in total control of the state, continues to "help" those at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder by making it more expensive for businesses to hire them and keep them working.  Already, with California's looming minimum-wage tax on fast-food chains in the state, employers are tweaking costs by reducing hours, laying off workers and charging you more for that cheeseburger, fries and a drink that you crave.

California Pizza Hut Operators Laying off All Delivery Drivers Due to Mandated Wage Increase.  In their seemingly never-ending quest to make lives for Californians miserable, the state legislature passed a bill that Governor Newsom signed into law mandating a $20 minimum wage for fast food workers by April of 2024.  Now you'd think that would be great for the workers, who are often low-income and could use the extra money.  But that can only happen if they have a job... and for at least 1,200 employees, they soon won't as multiple Golden State Pizza Hut franchises, collectively operating hundreds of stores, are laying off all their in-house drivers.

Newsom signs $25 minimum wage law for all hospital workers, finds out afterward it will cost California $4 billion.  Governor Hairspray doesn't pay attention much to California's budget numbers when he signs off on a bill. [...] So now the state gets to pay the janitors, gardeners, Mexican cleaning ladies (yes, real ones, and they live in Mexico and commute), gift shop clerks, and anyone else in the employ of a hospital, $25 an hour, no exceptions, and no matter what the value of their jobs are in the free market.  What a great way to spend the state's revenue at a time of a $14 billion deficit.  Now Newsom gets an $18 billion deficit, but when you have a billion here, a billion there, who's counting?

Fast Food Workers Demanding $20 an Hour Just Got Bad News, New Robot Can Cook 8 Burgers a Minute.  In a move that could drastically reshape the fast-food job market, especially in states like California where the minimum wage has recently been raised to $20 an hour, a startup called Aniai has unveiled a robotic chef that cooks burgers at an astonishing speed.  Named the Alpha Grill, this robot can cook eight burgers in less than a minute, setting the stage for a future where machines could replace human cooks in fast-food kitchens.  Winning the 2023 Kitchen Innovation Award, the Alpha Grill is no ordinary burger-making machine.  It uses smart technology and sensors to perfectly cook each burger.  According to the article, "It grills the burgers perfectly every time, so there are no worries about overcooking or undercooking."  These high-tech features allow the Alpha Grill to adjust its cooking style based on the size and thickness of the meat.  Unlike traditional grilling, the robot knows when the burgers are done and cooks both sides at once, so there's no need to flip them.

The CBC Favorite for Senate, CA Rep. Barbara Lee Is in Trouble, Jumps the Shark on $50 per Hour Min. Wage.  After blowing her chance to be Governor Gavin Newsom's appointment to fill the late Dianne Feinstein Senate's seat, California Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) decided she needed to distinguish herself from her two fellow congressional candidates, Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and Katie Porter (D-Irvine). [...] This is a ridiculously unsustainable idea.  An 18-year-old clerk or burger flipper will start out at the same salary as the majority of internists.  Not gonna happen, my friend, but chalk it up to each candidate trying to outdo each other with the Big Labor activists they were courting on Sunday night.  All three candidates are effectively cut from the same progressive cloth and support the same talking points, so nothing to see there either.  What this push for an increase in the federal minimum wage is about is getting ahead of a potential LaPhonza (Ayyee!) Butler Senate run.

California's $20 Minimum Wage Will Hurt the Fast Food Workers It's Meant to Help.  Last month, Gavin Newsom signed into law a California bill that will raise the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 an hour starting in 2024.  While the law has been hailed as a victory for low-wage Californians, the reality is much more complicated.  When states force industries to massively increase wages, the result isn't that the same number of employees start making more money.  Instead, enacting a climbing minimum wage often results in higher unemployment and higher prices.

California fast food workers will earn at least $20 per hour.  Unions representing health care workers, fast food workers and other industries are increasingly flexing their power, as employees take to the picket lines this summer.  Across industries, workers are seeking improved benefits, better working conditions and most commonly, increased wages.  In California, nearly 1 million fast food and healthcare workers are set to get a major raise after a deal was announced earlier this week between labor unions and industries.  Under the new bill, most of California's 500,000 fast food workers will be paid at least $20 per hour next year.  And a separate bill will increase health care workers' salaries to at least $25 per hour over the next 10 years.

What Will Happen When Only Self-Checkouts Remain?  I rarely go to McDonald's, but the last time I was there, my only option was to place my order via a kiosk.  The only time I saw an employee was when someone emerged from the back to give me my food.  It didn't feel convenient at all but rather post-apocalyptic.  To a certain degree, this was to be expected.  The demand for higher minimum wages prompted many companies to take a closer look at automation.  A robot or a kiosk may need to be serviced or rebooted now and then, but they never call in sick, unionize, or rage-quit in the middle of the lunch rush.

Washington State farm workers learn that the real minimum wage is zero.  While individuals may be irrational, humans taken en masse respond rationally to incentives and disincentives.  As Washington State's farm workers are discovering, this applies with special force to economic principles.  Leftist economic legislation always hurts most those who are the ostensible beneficiaries of its policies.  In Washington, the leftist Legislature decided that it was unfair that seasonal farm workers don't get time-and-half-pay when their work exceeds 40 hours a week.  So they mandated it. [...] It sounds like such a decent thing to do.  After all, as NPR reports, Jim Crow is why agricultural workers aren't treated like other hourly workers in America.  Or maybe the problem is that agricultural work isn't like other work in America.  Crops don't follow a business calendar.  Instead, they follow nature's inexorable cycles, one of which is that, when crops are ready, if you don't get them out of the fields immediately, they over-bloom, rot, or die, making them valueless.

There are never enough regulations for progressives.  Bernie Sanders now wants a minimum wage of $17 per hour and a 32-hour work week. [...] Bernie, like most progressives, probably has no idea what that does to inflation and the hit that causes to productivity.  Here is a simple calculation:  If you get the same pay for 32 hours that you got for 40 hours you divide 32 into 40, which is 80%, so that is an automatic 20% increase in costs to the businesses, and that will have to be passed to the customers.  Bernie seems to have no idea what a policy like this would do to incentivize companies to hire fewer people and replace them with automation, but he probably doesn't care.  The goal of Democrats for decades seems to be making more people dependent on the government instead of having a goal to make more people independent and giving them the opportunity to move up the economic ladder.

A Minimum-Wage Hike Would Still Hurt Poor Workers Most.  Vermont's self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders is a nonstop cheerleader for a minimum-wage hike.  Recently, in Britain's Guardian newspaper, he once again called for a huge increase in the minimum wage.  Sounds generous, until you realize it would in fact hurt most the working poor, those who supposedly would reap the greatest benefits of a boosted minimum wage. [...] The idea that there are "too many" people "trying to survive and raise families on $9, $10 or $12 an hour" isn't exactly true, at least not for the vast majority of workers.  Among the 76.1 million hourly wage workers, the average earner took home $33.18 an hour in March, or roughly $1,141.39 a week.  That's $59,352 a year.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics' own data (for 2021, the latest full year for data) show that just 1.4% of all hourly workers made at or below the current minimum wage.

Workers in the US now want at least $76,000 to start a new job as minimum wage expectations continue to rise.  American employers may need to fork out even bigger bucks to lure in workers.  Employees' wage expectations have risen to a new high of $75,811 a year, according to the New York Fed's SCE Labor Market Survey in March.  The reservation wage, or the lowest wage that someone would accept for a new role, is almost $2,100 higher than it was in November when the survey was last conducted, at which point the wage was $73,667.  The survey asked respondents about the lowest wage or salary they would accept before taxes and other deductions if they were offered a job today in their line of work that they would consider.

The Editor says...
I'm no economist, but the way I see it, inflation operates in a cycle:  When prices go up, wage demands will also go up, if the workers have any leverage at all.

Useless Minds.  One potential solution to the displacement of workers by automation is to adopt a Universal Basic Income (UBI), where everyone in society is guaranteed an income regardless of employment.  People might use their unlimited free time to pursue other interests since it would be pointless to retrain for the old careers.  Those might be volunteering, artistic pursuits, or caring for family members.  These activities may not be valued in terms of monetary compensation but can still provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.  In a completely automated society, the ownership of the economy would depend on the economic system in place.  If the society was capitalist, the robotic economy would likely be owned by individuals or corporations, presumably taxed by the government to provide a UBI for the economically "useless mouths."  In a socialist or communist system, the means of production would be owned by the state.  Since state-owned factories have historically been less productive than private enterprise the UBI provided by socialist/communist robots might prove lower.  But essentially the arrangement would be the same.  Greater and greater percentages of the population — regardless of whether they are capitalist or socialist — would be dependent on the dole.

Nina Turner, driving force behind restaurant automation.  [Scroll down] What is a living wage?  Well, it's a somewhat nebulous concept which says workers should earn enough to cover the costs of food, housing, taxes, all the basics for themselves and their dependents without spending more than about 30% of their income on rent.  MIT created a living wage calculator which is update regularly and varies within each county in a given state based on the cost of living.  Here's the MIT chart for Orange County, CA.  [Chart]  There's more to it, but as you can see a living wage for a single adult with 3 kids could be as high as $81 an hour (partly to account for the cost of child care).  That's an annual salary of $168,480 which is a lot of money to pay someone who flips burgers at McDonalds.  So a McDonalds in, say, Anaheim, CA staffed by 3 cooks, 3 cashiers and two cleaners could be spending well over a million dollars a year on just 8 employees.  And most McDonalds are open at least 16 hours so with two shifts you'd need to double that amount.

An Actual Threat to Our Democracy.  The ever-crazier California legislature has passed a law that, as the Wall Street Journal's editors describe it:  ["]...creates a state council to dictate wages, working conditions and benefits, among other things, for fast-food workers who aren't unionized.  The law is intended to coerce fast-food franchises to surrender to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).["]  Can that possibly be constitutional?  I don't know, but it any event it is a terrible idea:  ["]...the state council could issue edicts such as raising the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $22 a[n] hour.["]

McDonald's new fully-automated restaurant.  McDonald's has opened up a fully-automated restaurant in Texas, which is completely run by machines so you don't have to speak to anyone, and it has left people on the internet divided.  The brand-new eatery, located just outside Fort Worth, uses advanced technology so that customers can order their food and receive their meal without having to interact with any humans, and while some people are excited about the idea, others find it a little creepy.  A TikToker who goes by the username @foodiemunster online recently visited the restaurant and documented the entire thing on the video-sharing app, and it launched a major debate among viewers.

The Editor says...
The location of this restaurant is never given, as far as I can see, except to say it's just outside of Fort Worth.

5 Things to Know About McDonald's New Test Restaurant in Texas.  There's never been a McDonald's restaurant quite like this before.  Here's what you need to know about a new McDonald's test restaurant located just outside Fort Worth, Texas (and why we're so excited about it): [...]

The Editor says...
This is a corporate press release from McDonald's, and there no mention of the restaurant's location.

The people behind McDonald's New Test Restaurant in Texas.  [This is another McDonald's press release, and again, the only hint about the location is that it's "just outside Fort Worth, Texas."]

California voters may block the new fast food minimum wage law.  In August, the California legislature narrowly passed a new law designed to micromanage the fast food industry in that state known as the FAST Act.  (Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act.)  Governor Gavin Newsom signed it into law on Labor Day.  The food and beverage industry started raising the alarm immediately, describing all of the negative effects this legislation could produce.  The law would allow the legislature to create an unelected board (the "Fast Food Council") that would oversee everything from benefits and wages to working hours.  But one industry group began collecting signatures to demand a referendum on the new law.  The deadline for submitting signatures was this Monday and it looks like they met the goal.

Seattle's Dick's Drive-In Mocks Left and Right Pandering About the Minimum Wage.  [Scroll down] Every time a business automates, and in particular a fast-food restaurant automates, a Right that learned all the wrong lessons from the Left about pandering starts generating faux tears about how wages floors are bringing on the replacement of man by machine.  Which is gag-inducing, and economically illiterate.  To see why, ask yourself what businesses and fast-food restaurants would be doing if the minimum wage were zero.  Logic says they would be doing the same.  See Dick's Drive-In yet again.  Figure that Dick's still needs workers, which means that compensation of $25/hour would be the norm even without government intervention.  What's important is that the above would likely be true even if Dick's could secure the services of workers for less than $25.  Why?  The answer is that cheap labor is very expensive.  Incredibly so.  Low-paid workers frequently live down to their pay, they quit without care, and worker turnover is incredibly expensive.  Henry Ford taught us this truth over 100 years ago.  He didn't overpay his workers so that they would buy Fords; rather he overpaid them so that they would stop quitting.

The minimum wage:  A simple and wrong answer.  On July 1, the minimum wage was increased in over 20 states, cities, and counties throughout the U.S. At the federal level, there is a proposal to more than double the minimum wage to $15/hour.  It does seem like such a simple solution to low wages:  Just pass a law raising them.  Indeed, polls have consistently shown that over two-thirds of people favor a mandated higher minimum wage.  But if raising hourly wages merely entails legislation, why be so stingy?  Why not $30/hour, or $300/hour?  Why not legislatively make all those low-end workers into millionaires?  If it can be done by just a congressional vote, why not?

A Living Wage?  Let's begin with a definition of what a Living Wage is:  "A Living Wage is a socially acceptable level of income that is meant to provide adequate coverage for basic necessities such as food, shelter, child services, and healthcare."  Investopedia states that a Living Wage for a family of four was $68,808 as of 2019.  That is more than this country's Average Median Income of $67,521 in 2020.  'Socially Acceptable?'  Now, that describes my problem.  Socially Acceptable to whom?  Consider this:  The idea for a Living Wage began in the Soviet Union.  Or, as Marx liked to say:  "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."  The Living Wage movement is Marxist to its core, granting a higher wage than justified by a worker's productivity, to someone who has a need and then capping wages for those with superior abilities.

$30 An Hour Minimum Wage?  This Democratic Candidate Says Yes.  A Democratic congressional candidate in Washington State is arguing for a $30 per hour minimum wage, claiming that the $15 minimum wage movement is an outdated number.  Rebecca Parson, a candidate for Washington's 6th District that includes Tacoma, shared the comment recently in a post on Twitter.  "$15 minimum wage is an antiquated demand.  It should be $30 per hour," she tweeted.

Biden's War with Prices.  America experimented with wage and price controls back in the 1970s, and the results weren't good.  We speak of wages and prices as though they were two different things.  But a wage is a price, the price of labor and services rendered; it's just one of the costs of doing business.  In his SOTU, Biden said:  "Let's... raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour."  But often, the value added to a business by the work of some individuals just isn't worth $15.  Minimum wage laws are the government dictating a price, which jacks up other prices, like for a cheeseburger.  In the sphere of wages, government intrudes into price in a variety of ways.  The bailouts of GM and Chrysler were partly about the government propping up the price of UAW labor.  Mandated employee benefits jack up the price of labor, which gets passed along to the consumer.

Over Half Of US States Will Increase Minimum Wage In 2022.  Over half of the states in the U.S. will institute a minimum wage increase in 2022, according to a report.  A total of 26 states will raise the minimum wage in 2022, with 22 of the states starting the pay hikes on Jan. 1, according to payroll experts at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.  "These minimum wage increases indicate moves toward ensuring a living wage for people across the country," Deirdre Kennedy, senior payroll analyst at Wolters Kluwer, said in the report.  "In addition to previously approved incremental increases, the change in presidential administration earlier this year and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have also contributed to these changes."  West Hollywood, California, will see the largest minimum wage increase, with hotel workers set to earn at least $17.64 per hour starting on Jan. 1, according to the report.  California and New York have the highest minimum wages in the nation, $15 per hour.

Avoid the Reductio When Arguing Over the Minimum Wage.  When I analyze minimum-wage legislation with my freshman economics students, I always emphasize the fact that the analysis itself cannot determine if such legislation is good or bad.  Such a determination is not in the province of science.  Economic analysis can reveal only the likely consequences of a minimum wage.  Assessing the merits or demerits of these consequences necessarily involves value judgments.  And because minimum-wage statutes, like nearly all government interventions, have both upsides and downsides — in popular parlance, they generate some 'winners' and some 'losers' — value judgments cannot be avoided when considering how to weigh the benefits reaped by the 'winners' against the losses imposed on the 'losers.'  Science cannot tell us the maximum amount, if any, of a loss the 'losers' can suffer in order for the policy nevertheless to be justified.

Walmart Brings Automation To Regional Distribution Centers.  The progressive press had a field day with "woke" Walmart highly publicized February decision to hikes wages for 425,000 workers to an average above $15 an hour.  We doubt the obvious follow up — the ongoing stealthy replacement of many of its minimum wage workers with machines — will get the same amount of airtime.  As Chain Store Age reports, Walmart is applying artificial intelligence to the palletizing of products in its regional distribution centers; i.e., it is replacing thousands of workers with robots.  Since 2017, the discount giant has worked with Symbotic to optimize an automated technology solution to sort, store, retrieve and pack freight onto pallets in its Brooksville, Fla., distribution center.

How Our Leftist Government Gets Its Minimum Wage Hike without Legislation.  The Biden administration has discovered a back door into raising the effective minimum wage.  Paying lucrative supplemental unemployment benefits, which is effectively subsidizing leisure, increases the opportunity cost of working and thereby places upward pressure on wages as employers seek to incentivize would-be employees to move off the couch and into the workforce.  No minimum-wage legislation and political combat with the Republicans is required to implement this policy.  The federal government need only keep the spigot open on supplemental unemployment benefits, and employers seeking to attract workers will have no choice but to increase the wages offered to compete.  The long-run effects of this policy are deeply concerning precisely because they are so harmful to workers.

In Another Blow To Minimum Wage, Amazon To Bring Cashierless Checkout Tech To 'Full-Size Grocery' Store.  In the latest setback for those seeking an increase in the federal minimum wage, Amazon announced that it will be opening its first full-size and fully operational grocery store, complete with "cashierless checkout technology" in Washington state.  This "Amazon Fresh" store will utilize what the Big Tech giant has dubbed, "Just Walk Out" technology, which means that you do not have to stop at a checkout register to pay for your items.  Upon entry to the store, customers scan a QR code with their Amazon account details, while the store infrastructure tracks what is selected from the shelves.  The customer can then leave, and Amazon will bill their account automatically.

Clockwork manicure robot is proof the future is here.  Need a manicure?  There's now a robot for that.  In under 10 minutes and for less than $10, you can get a "Clockwork Minicure" — the perfect manicure, done by a robot.  [Video clip]

Former McDonald's CEO warns $15 minimum wage directly contributing to fast-food industry's automation push.  Last month, McDonald's announced plans to raise the starting hourly wage range to $11-$17 per hour for crew and $15-$20 per hour for shift managers.  The fast-food chain noted in its wage hike announcement that it planned to hire 10,000 new employees over the next three months.  However, McDonald's current CEO Chris Kempczinski confirmed during Alliance Bernstein's Strategic Decisions Conference last week that the company is testing an automated, voice-recognition based drive-thru ordering system at 10 of its Chicago locations.  Kempczinski noted that the artificial intelligence technology has 85% accuracy with filling orders, with workers having to step in for approximately one in five orders.

How Biden is raising the minimum wage by the back door.  How do you raise the minimum wage without raising the minimum wage?  This is a riddle that the Biden administration has solved with a set of economic policies that specialize in perverse incentives to crush small business.  Chief among these policies is continuing unemployment aid to millions of Americans while job openings go unfilled.  Once again this week the jobs numbers underperformed, missing projections by 100,000.  This is starting to be a habit for Biden.  Increasingly Build Back Better looks more like sit on the couch and watch the checks roll in.  Republicans in congress and in state houses across the country understand that we must stop paying people not to work.  Democrats have another idea.  And you will be shocked to learn it involves even more government spending.

The new, new way to raise the minimum wage.  The line we're being sold by the left is that the stimulus payments are to help people in need during this COVID economic "crisis." [...] This is in spite of data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that while roughly 10 million folks are unemployed, there are 8 million job openings going unfilled. [...] Well, here's the new, new plan.  Pay people with stimulus money an amount below minimum wage not to work, but enough to survive.  Like a teenager given the choice to do household chores for $7 per hour or $5 per hour to do nothing, we all know their decision.  That's because the pay for mowing the lawn or washing the car is below what economists call a "reservation wage."  It's not worth the extra two bucks an hour to quit playing videogames.  But what if the pay for chores were raised to $10 per hour, or even more?  Boom!  The lawn is perfectly trimmed, and the car is shiny like new.

7 Ways Biden Wants to Make America More Like California.  [#3]  In 2016, California became the first state to adopt a $15 minimum wage statewide.  The full wage doesn't take effect until next year.  "While you're thinking about sending things to my desk, let's raise the minimum wage to $15," Biden told Congress.  "No one ... working 40 hours a week should live below the poverty line."  The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, meaning an employer cannot pay an employee less than that.  More than half the states, 29, impose a higher minimum wage than the federal one, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.  A 2019 study by the University of California, Riverside predicted problems for full-service restaurants and the industry's employees.  "The model suggests that there would be 30,000 fewer jobs in the industry from 2017 to 2022 as a result of the higher minimum wage," the study says.

Biden signs $15 minimum wage for federal contract workers.  President Joe Biden signed an executive order Tuesday to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour for federal contractors, providing a pay bump to hundreds of thousands of workers.  Biden administration officials said that the higher wages would lead to greater worker productivity, offsetting any additional costs to taxpayers.

The Editor says...
If higher wages lead to greater productivity, why isn't the minimum wage at least $50 an hour?  Obviously Mr. Biden's assertion is not true (to put it politely).  Some people's job performance is not worth $15 per hour.  Random laborers don't turn into brain surgeons if you pay them $100 an hour.

There's Nothing 'Manageable' About Minimum Wage Hikes.  The minimum wage isn't a living wage.  On that, I agree with those who want to raise the minimum wage.  However, unlike them, I also recognize that it was never meant to be, either.  However, what's troubling is just how many larger businesses are advocating for a hike in the minimum wage.  One of the latest is Chipotle. [...] Now, that $13 average minimum wage at Chipotle isn't a standard starting wage.  It's an average that takes into account places with relatively low wages and places that require much higher wages.  That said, if it's so manageable to pay workers $15 per hour for Chipotle, then why aren't they already doing it?  Of course, that's a rhetorical question.  They're clearly not doing it because there's no reason to do so.  There are no requirements to pay that much and the labor isn't actually worth that much.  So why are they making a statement like this in support of an increased minimum wage?  That's easy.  Competition.

The Rising Minimum Wage Debate.  There's something about the threat of a storm that always has me stocking up.  And I'm not the only one:  It seemed my entire town had made its pilgrimage to our big-box grocery chain that day, with everyone's carts loaded to the brim.  As I searched for an open checkout lane, I was struck by something:  There was no one even working at the checkout counters.  No cashiers, no baggers — almost every single line was a self-checkout.  This labor-less reality is relatively new.  Granted, I don't always shop at this particular store, but I'd been there a month or two earlier and at that time, there were only a handful of self-checkout lines.  That day, there were only a handful of fully staffed checkout lanes.  What happened?  The threat of a higher minimum wage happened.  And, if the Democrats get their way, automation at everything from grocery stores to McDonald's will be the future sooner than you think.

Vanita Gupta Says She Backs $15 'Livable Wage.' Her Family Business Pays Mexicans $1.30 an Hour.  President Joe Biden's nominee for a top Justice Department post is a longtime advocate for raising the minimum wage to $15, but she owns up to $1 million in stock in a company chaired by her father that pays its Mexican workforce as little as $1.30 an hour.  Vanita Gupta — whose net worth of between $42 and $187 million makes her the Biden administration's wealthiest nominee — owns at least $500,000 in Aptiv PLC, an international auto parts manufacturer chaired by her father.  In contrast with Gupta's advocacy for a $15 an hour minimum wage, the company pays some of its Mexican employees hourly rates as low as $1.30, according to active job listings reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon. One job posted on, for example, offers a line operator role at a Zacatecas plant that pays the U.S. dollar equivalent of $260 a month for a 50-hour per week job.  In her nonprofit work and her personal social media, Gupta has repeatedly expressed support for both the $15 per hour minimum wage and a so-called livable wage.

Far-left enraged with 'corporate Democrats' vote against $15 minimum wage.  Far-left activists are furious with the "corporate Democrats" that sided with Republicans against Sen. Bernard Sanders' latest push to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.  Justice Democrats, the group that helped give rise to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, said the vote in the Senate on Friday [3/5/2021] showed why "we need to not just elect more Democrats — we need to elect better Democrats."  Mr. Sanders offered an amendment seeking to add the minimum wage hike to the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that lawmakers are hammering out in the Senate.

Sanders' $15 Minimum Wage Fails in Senate.  Senator Bernie Sanders' (I., Vt.) proposed amendment to hike the federal minimum wage to $15 failed in the Senate on Friday, with seven Democrats and one independent joining Republicans in voting down the measure.  Senators Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.), Jon Tester (D., Mont.), Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.), Maggie Hassan (D., N.H.), Chris Coons (D., Del.) Tom Carper (D., Del.) and Angus King (I., Maine.) voted against an attempt to waive a procedural objection against adding the wage hike to the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill.

The eight Democrats who voted 'no' on $15 minimum wage.  One of President Biden's top policy goals, an increase in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, suffered a big setback Friday when eight members of the Senate Democratic caucus voted against it.  An effort by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to waive a procedural objection to adding the $15 minimum wage to a COVID-19 relief package was resoundingly defeated by a vote of 58-42 in which seven Democrats and one independent joined all 50 Republicans.

Legal Documents Show Manchin Has Stakes in Companies That Pay Less Than $15 an Hour.  Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), the most prominent Democratic opponent of a $15 federal minimum wage, has a financial stake in at least one company that apparently would have to increase pay if such a measure passed, TYT has learned.  The Senate parliamentarian said last week she does not think the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package is eligible for passage by a simple majority if it includes the hourly wage increase.  Her guidance shifted the focus of progressive efforts from Manchin to Vice President Kamala Harris, who could reject the parliamentarian's finding.  But Manchin, along with Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), could find himself back in the spotlight if Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) succeeds in forcing a vote this week on the $15 minimum wage, as he has vowed to do.  Manchin has said he would accept an $11 hourly minimum wage as part of coronavirus relief, but progressives have said that's not enough.

Why not $50?
AOC: $15 Minimum Wage a 'Deep, Deep Compromise,' Should Be $24.  Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Monday [3/1/2021] criticized certain Democrats for failing to support progressive demands for a $15 minimum wage, contending they are living in a "dystopian capitalist nightmare" and adding that the minimum wage should actually be $24 an hour.  The New York lawmaker defended the progressive push for a $15 minimum wage during an appearance on The Mehdi Hasan Show.  [Video clip]

Despite 2 Strikes at Job-Killing Minimum Wage Hike, Senators Keep Swinging.  First, the Democrats' $15 federal hourly minimum wage mandate was ruled out by the Senate's parliamentarian because it didn't conform to the rules of the Senate for passing reconciliation bills with a 50-vote threshold.  So, Democrats pivoted to a new, even worse plan.  They wanted to tax businesses that hire entry-level and lower-skilled workers.  They wanted to tax the American dream.  The "Plan B" worker tax would have imposed new tax increases on American employers equal to 5% of their payroll costs if they employed workers earning less than "a certain amount."  That amount wasn't specified, but could be the same annual levels as the proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 and index it for inflation thereafter.

The Editor says...
When I entered the work force, the minimum wage was $1.60 per hour, and even at that, I might have been overpaid.

Democrats' 'American Rescue' Bailout Would Enslave Us to Debt and Lockdowns.  [Scroll down]  Third, we passed a coronavirus relief bill in December — that is, just two months ago.  That bill ran to $900 billion and then some, and that money hasn't even been spent yet.  Come to think of it, neither has all the money from the earlier coronavirus relief bills.  By some estimates, there's about a trillion dollars sloshing around the system, waiting to be spent.  And, by the way, the CBO projects that of the $1.9 trillion in spending authorized by this bill, about $700 billion won't be spent until at least 2022.  So much for "emergency" relief.  Fourth, this bill contains a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do with the coronavirus, or relief from it — a massive increase in the minimum wage, for instance.  That's been on the progressive Democrats' wish list for years, since long before anyone had ever heard of the coronavirus.  It's a terrible idea under any circumstance — the Congressional Budget Office says it will cost 1.4 million jobs — but it's a particularly bad idea to roll it into a bill that its supporters claim is designed to help those struggling to find work.

Parliamentarian: COVID-19 bill must lose minimum wage hike.  The Senate parliamentarian dealt a potentially lethal blow Thursday to Democrats' drive to hike the minimum wage, deciding that the cherished progressive goal must fall from a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill the party is trying to speed through Congress, Senate Democratic aides said.

Minimum wage hike can't be part of COVID relief bill, Senate official rules.  Democrats can't include a $15 minimum wage hike as part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, a key Senate official ruled on Thursday [2/25/2021].  Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough's decision dealt a blow to progressives, who had been pushing to include such a provision in the bill.  MacDonough, the nonpartisan arbiter of Senate rules, issued a guidance saying she didn't believe the change complied with guidelines of reconciliation, the fast-track process that Dems are using to pass the bill.  Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders, who previously said he was optimistic that MacDonough would back the provision, slammed the finding on Thursday night.

Don't Overlook Minimum Wage's Negative Effects.  [Walter] Williams devoted much of his professional career to studying minimum wages and documenting their negative effects, particularly on young Black people.  While Williams had the good sense to learn that good intentions alone are insufficient to produce good public policy, many others have failed to learn this lesson.  The latest illustration is an attempt to jack up the minimum wage to $15 per hour as part of another COVID-19 relief bill.  Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., recently declared on CNN's "Inside Politics" that small businesses wouldn't struggle under a federal mandate to pay employees $15 an hour, even during a recession.  To support his claim, he pointed out that Target and Amazon, two of the greatest beneficiaries of the lockdown, raised their lowest hourly wage to $15 voluntarily.  He later asserted that he doesn't want small businesses that are underpaying workers and that $15 is very reasonable.  How he knows this is a mystery, but this arrogance demonstrates an ignorance of basic economics.

Minimum-Wage Hikes and Crime.  With Democrats in full control of the federal government for the first time in more than a decade, an increase in the minimum wage looks more likely than ever.  Both President Joe Biden's coronavirus stimulus proposal and a bill recently reintroduced by congressional Democrats propose raising the federal minimum to $15.  Such a steep increase would have profound social and economic effects, boosting wages for some while driving others out of the work force.  It could also contribute to another, less-expected consequence:  a rise in crime.  A surprising body of research links increases in the minimum wage to increases in criminal offending by those most likely to lose jobs as a result of the wage hike.  One analysis concluded that raising the federal minimum to $15 could create crime costs of up to $2.5 billion — a bill that would be borne disproportionately by the very people whom the wage hike is meant to help.  The minimum wage's economic trade-offs are well known.  It raises the take-home pay of some, while causing others — particularly teens, young adults, and less-skilled workers — to lose their jobs.

8 Things You Must Know About Deeply Flawed COVID-19 Package.  [#5] Its Unprecedented Minimum Wage Increase Would Kill Jobs and Businesses:  While lawmakers should pass pro-investment and pro-jobs legislation during a recession, Congress is doing the opposite: attempting to staple a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour onto a package that is supposedly about the pandemic.  Even though the increase would be phased in over four years, it would have an immediate impact on investment decisions.  Some businesses would spend more on automation to reduce their number of employees.  Others would choose not to invest in opening or expanding, and many struggling to stay afloat would give up and close their doors for good.

Dem Rep. Khanna: 'We Don't Want' Small Businesses That Can't Afford $15 Minimum Wage.  Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA) declared Sunday on CNN's "Inside Politics" that we should not want "low-wage businesses" when pressed on small businesses who would struggle under a federal mandate to pay employees $15 an hour.  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 would cost 1.4 million Americans their jobs over the next four years.

The Looming Democratic Civil War on the Minimum Wage.  The fight to increase the minimum wage is front-and-center now that the second Trump impeachment trial is over.  Democrats plan to use reconciliation to pass a massive $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, which might include a minimum wage hike.  Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote.  Well, so far, they've lost two, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ).  At this point, it's dead in the water.  Will this measure get 60 votes going through the regular legislative process?  Maybe.  Senate Republicans have offered a bill of their own that increases the minimum wage to $15, but it's only for American citizens.  It contains measures to ensure businesses don't hire illegal aliens, so that's not going anywhere.  I do think there might be enough votes to increase the minimum wage, but the politicking will begin here, and once again there will be theatrics.

Do Dems' Care Minimum-Wage Hike Will Devastate Poor, Minorities?  Democrats like to talk about helping the "little guy" struggling to make it in an economically hostile world.  But instead of providing help, their policies often punish the most vulnerable among us.  So it is with the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, as recent research shows.  Democrats have included a federal $15-an-hour minimum wage in the $1.9 trillion pork-a-palooza reconciliation bill they call "stimulus."  The left-media, predictably, have supported the idea.  But a minimum wage hike is not stimulus.  It is, in fact, a devastating blow to small, struggling businesses and, worst of all, for the poorest Americans; it's a recipe for fewer jobs, lower incomes and lasting economic inequality.

Restaurateurs fear Biden's relief package that would double wages for tipped workers this year.  President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package wouldn't just boost the minimum wage.  It would completely overhaul how tipped workers are paid with a restaurant industry struggling to claw its way back from COVID-19 restrictions and shutdowns.  Restaurateurs fear the move would squeeze the industry's tight profit margins and put an unnecessary strain on the still-sputtering economy.  House Democrats' plan would more than double the minimum wage for tipped employees this year, to $4.95 per hour, before ultimately equalizing it with their proposed hourly $15 minimum wage by 2027.

6 Bleak Consequences From CBO's Report on the $15 Minimum Wage.  The CBO estimated median job losses of 1.4  million and noted that losses are "unlikely to be much lower," but "could be much higher" — potentially 2.7 million or more lost jobs.  It's important to note that these job losses don't include losses already estimated to occur because of separate state and local wage increases, such as Florida's recent passage of a $15 minimum wage.  Jobs lost to the minimum wage — by way of companies going out of business, automating low-wage jobs, or off-shoring them — won't come back.

The Editor says...
Off-shore is not a verb, except in the news media.

CBO offers minimum wage reality check.  As President Biden and Democrats kept pushing the absurd idea of increasing the minimum wage during a pandemic that has already adversely affected the service industry, the Congressional Budget Office on Monday delivered a needed reality check.  Democrats led by Biden would more than double the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour between now and 2025.  Conceptually, allowing politicians to determine the floor at which individuals must be paid, rather than the fair value determined by market forces, is a bad idea.  But at a time when so many people are already out of work, it is a catastrophe.  Such a dramatic increase would lead to massive job losses and higher costs to consumers.

CBO: $15 minimum wage would [cost] 1.4 million jobs.  Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour would kill 1.4 million jobs, the Congressional Budget Office said in a new analysis Monday that severely complicates President Biden's demand for a wage hike in any new coronavirus relief bill.  CBO said job losses would grow each year from implementation, and by 2025 there would be 1.4 million fewer people holding employment than there would be without the federal action.  Half of those will have dropped out of the labor force altogether, the analysts said.  "Young, less educated people would account for a disproportionate share of those reductions in employment," CBO said.

6 Things to Know About Democrats' COVID-19 Package.  [#5] Raising the Minimum Wage:  A hike in the federal minimum wage, which is now $7.25 per hour, could be the biggest sticking point in the conference committee.  The Senate adopted an amendment from Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, prohibiting a $15 minimum wage during the global pandemic.  It passed by a voice vote.  In another GOP victory, the Senate approved an amendment from Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, both of Florida, to block tax hikes on small businesses during the pandemic.  Manchin opposed the $15 minimum wage that many Democrats were demanding.  With the Senate split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, and Vice President Kamala Harris casting any tie-breaking vote in favor of the Democrats, every vote matters.  However, Manchin indicated that he isn't opposed to any increase in the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour for low-skilled workers, often younger and working at fast food chains or retail outlets.

Minimum wage?  Self-service pays $0 per hour...with absolutely no benefits.  As Parker Beauregard proved once again yesterday [2/5/2021], when preening politicians force businesses, in this case grocery store workers in Long Beach, Calif., to pay their workers higher wages — for the workers' own good, of course — the workers lose.  Indeed, just about everyone loses.  Except the politicians.  In this case, the grocery store workers lost their jobs.  The residents in the neighborhoods where these grocery stores were located lost the convenience of having reliable, well stocked grocery stores serving a wide variety of fresh food close by.  The city lost the tax revenue the stores generated.  The residents of the city will lose money or services because the city will have to charge higher taxes or reduce services to compensate for lost tax revenue.  The remaining stores will increase prices to cover their increased labor costs.

California politicians demand grocery stores pay workers more; groceries close instead.  Every business operates at a risk, and the risk-reward ratio was obviously closed to the point that it didn't make sense to put effort into a store with declining profits.  Is this so hard to understand?  Apparently, it is, because an emotionally driven, fact-bereft city councilperson going by the name of Mary Zendejas, who sponsored the bill, said that "it really saddens me that they'd rather take away 200 jobs instead of doing the right thing, which is paying hazard pay for these local grocery store workers who risk their lives everyday they come in and who are putting their lives on the line every second they're working."  There is so much wrong with this sentiment.  In Zendejas's world, there is now a moral obligation of private companies to pay whatever rate is deemed appropriate by leftists on a given day.  Today it's a $4-an-hour boost because everyone is a hero.  Tomorrow it's a national $15-an-hour increase.  These are entirely arbitrary numbers, and by Biden's logic, if there is no evidence that they upset the balance of supply and demand, then why stop there?

So much for Joe Biden, moderate.  [For example,] Canceling jobs: the minimum wage increase.  In his pandemic relief proposal, Biden is pushing a $15/hour federal minimum wage, more than twice the current rate of $7.25.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 80.4 million U.S. workers who were paid on an hourly basis in 2017, 542,000 — generally younger and low-skilled workers — were paid the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour.  But the added cost to employers isn't limited to those making the minimum wage.  Increases will ripple up as workers with more experience, responsibilities or skills who are currently making $15.00/hour understandably demand a commensurate increase.  The cumulative effect will force thousands of employers, already struggling to stay solvent, to close their doors.  As Fox News recently reported, 48 percent of small businesses already say revenues are below what they need to stay open.  The minimum wage increase would make that situation worse.

How Many Millions of Jobs Will Be Lost if Democrats Raise Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour?  On Tuesday, Democrats introduced a bill that would raise the minimum wage nationally to $15 an hour over five years.  That would more than double the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.  The Raise the Wage Act would increase pay to $9.50 an hour in 2021, $11 in 2022 before rising n in 2023 to $12.50 per hour.  The minimum wage under the legislation would tick upward to $14 in 2024 and then $15 in 2025.

Why Everyone Is Laughing at the Democrats Minimum Wage Bill Right Now.  The Democrats have put forward their bill to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour... by 2025.  Yeah, you read that right.  [The writer believes] there should be no minimum wage, [an idea] which The New York Times editorial board supported in 1987.  Let the market decide the wages for these low-skill workers: [...] Flashforward to 2021 and we know which side has won and what it has done for these workers. [...] They tried this in Seattle, and it's ruined the restaurant business.

The $15-an-hour national minimum wage canard.  If politicians truly wanted to reduce poverty, they would have supported Trump's policies of lower taxes and fewer regulations that cut across the board.  Those policies were producing natural wage raises for those at the bottom and reducing poverty to a record low by the end of 2019. They came from market factors, not top-down diktats, the laws of supply and demand.  A $15 minimum wage would cost between $20 and $25 per hour by the time all payroll taxes and other mandated benefits are included.  The higher you raise the minimum, the more job opportunities disappear for the poor, the young, and the less educated who are trying to move up the economic ladder.  Older people wanting to supplement Social Security will also see their opportunities destroyed.  Hours will also be cut substantially.

California Democrat floats $23 minimum wage.  California Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., asked his Twitter followers this week to consider the benefits of raising the minimum wage above $20 per hour.  In a since-deleted post captured by ProPublica, Khanna noted that raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour is expected to lift 1 million people out of poverty — while envisioning what an even steeper increase would do.  "Raising the minimum wage to $15 would lift 1 million people out of poverty.  Imagine how many more lives would be impacted if we matched the rate of productivity and made it $23/hr," the post read.  A spokesperson for Khanna's office did not return FOX Business' request for comment as to why the post was deleted.

Biden Vows to Destroy Small Businesses with $15 Per Hour Federal Minimum Wage.  Joe Biden on Thursday [1/14/2021] vowed to destroy what's left of small businesses with a $15 per hour federal minimum wage.  Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion Covid relief plan which included a $15 per hour minimum wage, $30 billion in rental assistance and a ban on evictions and foreclosures until the end of September 2021.  Democrats and RINOs destroyed small businesses with unconstitutional Covid lockdown orders.  Biden promised to help only all non-white owned businesses to reopen and rebuild — whites need not apply.

Tipping point:  Colorado restaurants reeling from COVID-19 pandemic face new wage hike.  Colorado's minimum wage went up 32 cents an hour on Friday [1/1/2021], with restaurants holding on by their fingernails during the COVID-19 pandemic saying it may be the last straw.  The increase could prove catastrophic to restaurants already on the verge of closure, said Sonia Riggs, CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association.  "What may seem like a small amount will actually take a significant toll on restaurants who are already struggling to make rent, keep their employees on their payroll and keep their doors open even in the short term," she said.  As part of a constitutional mandate, the state's hourly minimum wage increases every year and is adjusted for inflation.

A $15 Minimum Wage Would Cost 2 Million Jobs, Professors Conclude.  Instituting a minimum wage hike to $15, as Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden supports, would cost 2 million American jobs, a new report claimed.  The report, from economics professor David Macpherson at Trinity University in Texas and business professor William Even at Miami University in Ohio, found that enacting a federal minimum wage of $15 would hurt the economy, especially industries already hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.  The report looked at the Raise the Wage Act, which passed the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives in 2019, before the pandemic hit.  The bill has no hope of passing a Republican-controlled senate, but if the two runoff elections in Georgia swing Democrat, control could flip and the party could pass the minimum wage increase under a potential President Biden.  Biden, however, has not been officially declared the winner of the 2020 election, as President Donald Trump still has numerous lawsuits in multiple states that must work through the system.

Here Are 11 of Joe Biden's Biggest Debate Lies.  BIDEN: "There is no evidence that when you raise the minimum wage, business has gone out of business.  That is simply not true."  FACT: Biden wants to more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, another disastrous one-size-fits-all idea.  And now he's claiming that forcing companies to double payroll expenses (this also increases taxes paid by employers) won't hurt businesses.  He further claims it never has.  The idea that mandating a raise in the minimum wage hurts businesses and workers is not even controversial.  Everyone knows it does.

Report: Biden Economic Policy Will Kill Two Million Jobs.  One of Joe Biden's top economic policy priorities could kill as many as two million new jobs, a new report finds.  Biden has championed a $15 minimum wage throughout his presidential bid.  The Democrat's website touts helping "get state and local laws increasing the minimum wage across the finish line" and calls it "well past time we increase the federal minimum wage to $15 across the country." An analysis from the pro-free market Employment Policies Institute (EPI) found that a nationwide mandate for a $15 minimum wage — more than double the current federal rate of $7.25 per hour — could eliminate millions of jobs within its first six years.

Seattle Tries To Bury Uber And Lyft With New Minimum Wage Law.  A little thing like a pandemic isn't going to keep the liberal municipal governments of many cities from continuing to prosecute their war on the gig economy, and that's clearly true in Seattle.  Despite having plenty of more pressing issues to address, with all of the rioting and looting going on, the City Council voted unanimously this week to enforce a new "pay formula" for drivers of ride-sharing companies to ensure that they receive the $16.39 per hour pay rate as regular full-time workers in the city.  And the "formula" they've cooked up to do this is nothing but a hot mess.  As usual, the measure had the financial and vocal support of labor unions who have long been fighting to keep these gig economy jobs out of reach in support of traditional taxi companies and their unions.

Minimum Wage Cost Me My Job.  What happens when politicians decide they are in a better position than business owners to know how much workers should be paid?  We don't have to guess.  Cities like Seattle and New York have already done so with their $15/hour minimum wage mandates.  Simone Barron, a lifelong restaurant worker, recounts how "helping" her impacted her wallet, her career, and her life.

Black Lives Matter, Just Not to Democrat Politicians, Part II.  [Scroll down]  The [Davis-Bacon] act requires wages on federal or federally-assisted projects to pay local "prevailing wages."  The way that ends up being read is, "union wages."  This, as Sowell notes above, immediately had the effect of precluding Black workers from the competition.  Although Davis-Bacon was a product of a "Republican" President and two Republican legislators, what followed was pure Democrat... pure leftist.  Under President Franklin Roosevelt's goading, the National Industrial Act was passed in June 1933, the National Labor Relations Act in 1935, and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.  All of the above just exacerbated the effects of Davis-Bacon by making Black labor even more uncompetitive.  I would remind you, all of these laws had solid union support — go figure.  So like many "good ideas" from the left, the folks least able were forced to bear the brunt of Democrat vote-buying chicanery.  The effects of these policies are still around today.

Minimum Wage Laws Create Unemployment.  This insight is always important, in that the unemployment created by this pernicious legislation always attacks the poor and the unskilled, precisely the people who can least afford it.  But it is even more crucial to understand this economic law in the age of pandemic, for two reasons.  One, the unemployment rate has now skyrocketed to gargantuan proportions thanks to government shutdowns.  Two, the Democrats are attempting to impose a $15-per-hour minimum wage on all businesses that receive government relief packages, now and for the future, even after COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

Dems Snuck A $15 Minimum Wage Into The CARES Act — And We'll All Pay The Price.  Buried in a story about the overly generous unemployment "bonus" that Democrats added to the CARES Act is the reason why they insisted on it in the first place — and why it will drag down the recovery once the lockdown ends.  While lawmakers were hammering out the massive $2 trillion bill, a key focus of which was to keep workers connected to their jobs through a loan guarantee program — Democrats insisted on a huge increase in unemployment benefits.  The result was a $600 a week bonus.  New York Sen. Chuck Schumer was right to call this "unemployment on steroids."  Well, guess what?  "The $600 payment aligns with working full time at $15 an hour — the minimum-wage level many Democrats in Congress support," notes the Wall Street Journal.

Meet Flippy the Burger Chef, Who Never Sleeps or Goes Home — and Makes $3 an Hour.  A new Karl Marx can come along shouting "Workers of the world, unite!" but Flippy the burger chef will hear none of it.  An employee even illegal aliens can't compete with, he does his job dutifully, never goes home, doesn't get sick or take bathroom breaks and won't unionize — and can be had for $3 an hour. [...] Flippy, you see, is a robot. [...] [Miso chief executive Buck] Jordan believes that Flippy could appear widely in fast-food kitchens as early as next year, a potentiality made possible by rapidly declining hardware costs.  Robot arms, for example, have plummeted from $100,000 to just $10,000 during the last four years, and the cost is poised to drop even further.  Consequently, Miso can now lease Flippy to restaurants for $2,000 a month; this equates to approximately $3 an hour, though this will vary depending on an eatery's particular needs.  In contrast, the Times informs that a human fast-food employee can cost $4,000 to $10,000 a month or more.

Okay, that's $22.  Do I hear $25?
Tom Steyer Vows $22 Minimum Wage if Elected.  Democrat presidential hopeful and billionaire Tom Steyer has vowed to raise the federal minimum wage to $22 per hour should he defeat other Democrat hopefuls and President Donald Trump in November.  According to a report from Fox News, Steyer made the announcement during a campaign block party on Sunday while campaigning in South Carolina.  Both Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have also released plans to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Supreme Court upholds Minneapolis's $15 minimum wage ordinance.  The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in favor of a Minneapolis ordinance establishing a $15 minimum wage for the city.  The high court's opinion, written by Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea, states that by complying with the Minneapolis ordinance, employers are not in violation of the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act, and therefore the ordinance is compatible with state statutes.  Graco, Inc. filed a lawsuit against the city on Nov. 10, 2017, seeking a judgment declaring that Minnesota statutes preempt municipal ordinances.  A district court ruled that the state sets a floor, not a ceiling for wages.  An appeals court affirmed that ruling last March.

Target raised wages.  But some workers say their hours were cut, leaving them struggling.  Two years ago, Target said it would raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by the end of 2020.  The move won praise from labor advocates and put pressure on other companies to also move to $15.  But some store workers say the wage increases are not helping because their hours are falling, making it difficult to keep their health insurance and in some cases to pay their bills.  CNN Business interviewed 23 current and former Target employees in recent months, including department managers, who say hours have been scaled back even as Target has increased starting wages.

NYC Restaurant Industry Jobs Evaporate After $15/Hr Wage Sets In.  Last December, the final phase of increasing the minimum wage in New York City to $15 per hour went into effect.  (Well, at least the last stage for now.)  It was considered a huge victory for the Fight for 15 crowd and, presumably, a big win for workers, particularly in the foodservice industry.  So how has that been working out since then?  As the New York Post reported this weekend, the law of unintended consequences has come roaring into play.  They feature the story of one taco and tequila joint on the upper west side that's been doing a thriving business for a quarter of a century.  But now it's all coming to an end, and they're far from the only restaurant feeling these effects.

Is Your Minimum Wage $15 An Hour?  Behold Your Future!  If you live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, or anyplace else the minimum wage is $15 an hour, and work in kitchen prep, behold your future: ["]After three years of quietly toiling away on a robotic food system, Seattle startup Picnic has emerged from stealth mode with a system that assembles custom pizzas with little human intervention.["]

Dallas County raises minimum wage for its employees to $15 an hour.  Dallas County will be among the few local governments in Texas to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for its employees after the Commissioners Court approved its budget Tuesday [9/17/2019].  The 4-1 budget vote, which included the raises, capped a multi-year undertaking by County Judge Clay Jenkins, who has pushed for the county to raise its minimum wage.  "Elected officials cannot go out and talk about the importance of living wage jobs in the community if we don't pay a living wage here at home," Jenkins said.

California's Minimum Wage Rules Kill State's Largest Recycling Center.  One might assume that an environmentally-minded firm such as a plastic recycler would enjoy doing business in deep-blue California.  That assumption is entirely wrong.

NYC Businesses Cut Staff, Raise Prices Due to $15 Minimum Wage.  The $15 minimum wage has forced some business owners in New York City to cut staff and raise their prices.  Susannah Koteen, the owner of Lido Restaurant in Harlem, said the minimum wage has directly impacted her business, and she worries that it could get worse as time goes by.  "What it really forces you to do is make sure that nobody works more than 40 hours," Koteen told reporters.  "You can only cut back so many people before the service starts to suffer."

CBO Counts Cost of Raising Minimum Wage to $15.  Just a week before the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is due to vote on its Raise the Wage Act, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) calculated its possible impact on the economy.  The bill, if enacted into law (highly unlikely), would gradually raise the minimum wage in the country from its present level of $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour by 2024.  The CBO concluded that, "For most low-wage workers, earnings and family income would increase, which would lift some families out of poverty [for a single person, that level is $1,040 a month; for a family of four, it's $2,145 a month].  But other low-wage workers would become jobless, and their family income would fall — in some cases, below the poverty level."

A $15 Minimum Wage Would Drown Middle America.  [House] Democrats passed legislation that would raise the national minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next six years. [...] Democrats claim the bill tackles inequality, but it will actually do the exact opposite of that.  And the small town worker and the poor urbanite will be the ones who suffer.  It's only over the past few years that Democrats have really dug in their heels on a high national minimum wage.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib said the federal minimum wage should be raised to $20 an hour.  "Big fights like this one, $15.  When we started it, it should have been $15," the Michigan Democrat said in a video posted by America Rising on Monday.  "Now I think it should be $20 ... It should be $20 an hour.  $18-20 an hour."  Tlaib said the higher minimum was because the cost of "a lot of things" has gone up.

The minimum wage is known for killing jobs, but what else does it do?  Congress voted to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025 as HR 582 passed 231-199.  The "Raise the Wage Act" garnered the support of three Republicans, but it did not receive votes from six Democrats.  It will now move to the GOP-controlled Senate, making it potentially dead on arrival as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he does not plan on taking up the legislation.  It was reported that staffers on the Sanders 2020 presidential campaign are upset that they are not earning $15 an hour, something that the long-time socialist has demanded for years.  Rather than lead by example, his campaign compensates employees $13.  When Sanders was asked about this, he seemed to be more upset by personnel going to the media, [...]

Bernie Sanders Just Destroyed the Case For A $15 Minimum Wage.  Last week he tweeted:  "There's nothing 'extreme' about raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour."  Then over the weekend, Sanders had to go to an extreme.  After taking fire for paying some members of his salaried unionized campaign staff the equivalent of the market rate of $13 an hour, he had to announce "he will cut staffers' hours so that they can effectively be paid a $15-an-hour minimum."  Sanders, who has never started a business, and therefore doesn't understand how companies meet payroll responsibilities (or refuses to acknowledge the financial realities of having to do so), found out that there are consequences when wages are increased by artificial means rather than market forces.  Companies have to either cut jobs or cut hours — and sometimes both.

Pay Attention Millennials — Bernie Sanders Will Cut Campaign Worker Hours to Achieve $15 Hour Wages.  After coming under fire for not delivering on his promise to pay campaign workers $15/hr, communist Bernie has a solution:  Cut their hours.  Then workers will be forced to get another job.  Perhaps, just perhaps, democrat voters will notice this was/is the outcome of the Obama economic wage/labor scheme that led to people having to get two and three jobs.  An outcome those same democrat candidates openly rail against in talking points.

Bernie Sanders campaign responds to staffers' demand for $15 minimum wage by cutting back hours.  Congrats on finally becoming a capitalist, Bernie.  If you missed Ed's post on Friday about Team Bernie's crash course in real-world economics, read it now for background.  The campaign's field organizers realized they've been working an average of 60 hours a week at a rate of $36,000 per year, which shakes out to a bit less than $15 per hour — the magic number Bernie himself has demanded be set as the new federal minimum wage.  He can't pay us less than what he wants every American to be paid, his staffers rightly reasoned.  So they've complained to management and the complaints leaked into the press and now there's a hubbub over the country's most prominent socialist nickel-and-diming his own labor force and, quite simply, it's the feelgood story of the summer.

Citing higher minimum wages in Seattle, Portland, and SF, West Coast restaurant chain files for bankruptcy.  Progressives never learn.  Even as Democrats running for president line up behind a national $15/hour minimum wage, on the West Coast, where cities like Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco all have implemented this demand, a restaurant chain with over 2,000 employees has filed for bankruptcy, citing the high minimum wages that have increased its costs.

AOC Returns to the Scene of the Minimum Wage Crime.  The issue is simple:  Does a government-mandated minimum wage help or hurt the very workers and job seekers that Ocasio-Cortez wants to help?  Ask her former boss, who owned The Coffee Shop diner in Union Square where AOC used to work.  Late last year, The Coffee Shop closed its doors after 28 years, sidelining 150 employees.  How successful was the place, where diners often came to celebrate special occasions?

Could A $15 Minimum Wage Make Neighborhoods Less Safe?  The minimum wage debate has reignited in recent months as Congress considers the Raise the Wage Act of 2019, a bill that would more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.  Skeptics worry that a 107% increase in the minimum wage will substantially reduce low-skilled employment, hurting many of the vulnerable workers it was designed to help.  But a $15 minimum wage could mean more than lost jobs.  My new research, co-authored with Zachary Fone of the University of New Hampshire and Resul Cesur of the University of Connecticut, finds evidence that some affected younger workers turn to property crime as a consequence of a higher minimum wage.

Why Do Democrats Keep Pushing Ideas That Are Known Failures?  Over the weekend, half a dozen presidential hopefuls in the Democratic party attend a union sponsored event called "National Forum on Wages and Working People," at which they all pledged to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 if elected. [...] Have none of these Democrats heard about what happened when Seattle jacked its minimum wage up?  Or what's happening right now in New York, which now requires restaurants to pay a $15 minimum?  A study by university economists of Seattle's wage hike found that it depressed average incomes among entry-level workers.  Why?  Because employers cut back hours and hired fewer workers, more than offsetting the cost of the wage hike.

After Hiking the Minimum Wage, Massachusetts and New York Find Mass Job Loss.  After hiking their minimum wages, the states of New York and Massachusetts have found that, far from being a net positive, the wage hikes have resulted in job loss and economic chaos.  The states have discovered job loss, store closures, and reduced hours of work for low wage workers, according to Forbes.  The magazine recently noted that the "ugly side" of the Minimum Wage outweigh the good parts.

Three Questions to Ask Liberals.  [#3] You felt good, but did you do good? This question concerns the results of a policy that sounds good or feels good to implement.  Take the social justice warriors who fought to raise the minimum wage at fast food restaurants.  I am sure it felt great to punish the greedy fast food restaurant owners and get the employees at these restaurants a higher hourly wage, but what were the results?  What typically happens in these instances is that government-mandated rise in wages forces the owners of these restaurants to fire people and reduce the hours of the employees they keep.  The reduction in hours lowers employee wages.  Further, many restaurants begin automating these positions, replacing human beings with robots and machines.  This not only hurts people in the present, but also hurts potential employees in the future.  Raising the minimum wage felt good, but it did not actually do good.

3 Bernie Sanders policies now embraced by the Democratic field.  For years, Sanders has made passionate pushes to increase the minimum wage.  He recently reintroduced legislation to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour by 2024.  "While the official unemployment rate is relatively low, too many workers in America today are making wages that don't pay enough to make ends meet.  Workers and their families cannot make it on $9 an hour or $10 an hour — or even less," Sanders said in a statement in November, claiming it would give 40 million workers a raise.  "We have got to raise the minimum wage in this country to a living wage — at least $15 an hour."

Minimum wage hikes trigger 'payroll tsunami,' as small businesses cut back.  Small business owners across the country are beginning to feel the pinch as more states move toward a $15 minimum wage.  While proposals to raise pay are intended to help workers, several mom-and-pop coffee shops as well as restaurants are responding by cutting hours, eliminating jobs or closing down entirely because they can't keep up with rising wages under the law.

The new minimum wage is killing NYC's once-thriving restaurant scene.  New York City restaurants are eliminating jobs, reducing employee hours and raising prices due to the higher costs of the $15/hour minimum wage.  A once-growing industry is contracting, according to an online survey conducted by the New York City Hospitality Alliance, an association representing restaurants in the city.  Last year, "full-service restaurants recorded a 1.6 percent job loss, which is the first recorded annual loss in two decades," said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the trade group.

Study: $15 Minimum Wage Would Cause 400,000 New Crimes Per Year.  A $15 per hour minimum wage would lead to $2.4 billion in property crimes, a new paper released Monday [3/18/2019] argues.  The paper directly contradicts past arguments, most prominently from the Obama-era Council of Economic Advisers, that raising the minimum wage would reduce crime rates.  Rather, the authors find, an increase to the minimum wage drives up property crime rates among 16-to-24-year-olds, the group most likely to be working for minimum wage already.  Myriad factors determine whether or not people choose to commit crimes, including economic ones.  Access to jobs, steady income, and education, can all influence whether or not a person begins a career as a criminal.  This has a practical implication for policymakers looking to reduce crime:  In addition to expensive interventions like increasing incarceration or the number of cops, enhancing labor market access and outcomes might be an effective approach.

If $15 Minimum Wage Is Such a Good Idea, Why Did AOC's Bar Close Down?  The brilliant Thomas Sowell, when in college, considered himself a Marxist.  Asked what changed him, Sowell said, "Evidence."  After completing undergrad at Harvard and obtaining a master's in economics, Sowell landed a summer internship with the Department of Labor.  While there, he researched the impact of minimum wage law on employment.  Sowell learned two things, both of which he found startling.  First, minimum wage laws create job loss by pricing the unskilled out of the labor force.  Second, Sowell discovered that "the people in the labor department really were not interested in that, because the administration of the minimum wage was supplying one-third of the money that was keeping the labor department going. ... I realized that institutions have their own agendas and their own incentives."  In short, Sowell found that the Department of Labor did not care about the real-world effects of the minimum wage law.  He credits this experience, this search for evidence, with having the "biggest" impact on his thinking.

$15 Minimum Wage Sparks A Jobs Recession In New York.  When Amazon pulled out of New York, the loss of 25,000 future jobs made headlines.  What isn't making headlines are the thousands of jobs being destroyed right now thanks to the city's new $15 minimum wage.

Illinois House votes to raise minimum wage to $15 by 2025; Gov. J.B. Pritzker expected to sign it.  Illinois Democrats on Thursday [2/14/2019] voted to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025, a move that will give Gov. J.B. Pritzker an early political victory, grant pay raises to workers and upset businesses across the state.  Under the plan, the Illinois minimum wage would first rise from $8.25 per hour to $9.25 on Jan. 1, then gradually increase every year until it hits $15 per hour six years from now.  Calls to have a higher minimum wage near Chicago than Downstate were ignored, so the plan approved Thursday would take effect statewide.

Democrats Make Raising State's Minimum Wage a Top Priority.  The Illinois Legislature starts in earnest Tuesday and with Democratic supermajorities in both chambers and a Democrat in the executive office, they'll have to shore up a budget while moving forward with progressive agenda including raising the state's minimum wage.

Be Careful What You Wish for on the Minimum Wage.  We have a saying in France that goes something like this:  With enough "ifs," we could put Paris in a bottle.  In other words, if you assume away all the difficulties of the real world, you can achieve miracles.  This proverb was all I could think about when reading Ginia Bellafante's recent column in The New York Times about making the case for a $33 minimum wage in the Big Apple.  While in her estimation, the $15 minimum wage that went into effect in NYC on Jan. 1 is a step in the right direction, she argues that it's not enough if the goal is to enable a single parent with two school-age children there to meet his or her expenses.  With that objective in mind, $33 an hour is necessary.

Michigan Legislature Enacts Minimum-Wage Hikes.  The Michigan Legislature approved Legislative Initiated Petition 3, an indirect initiated state statute that will gradually increase the state's minimum wage over the next four years.  Starting in 2019, the government-mandated wage floor will begin increasing from its current rate of $9.50 an hour to $12.00 in 2022.  After 2023, minimum-wage hikes will be tied to changes in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index.

Unexpectedly : NYC Restaurants Cut Staff and Worker Hours Due to New $15 Minimum Wage.  A new law in New York City which took effect at the start of the year, requires businesses with eleven or more employees to pay them a minimum of $15 an hour.  It's not working out too well for restaurants.  Chalk this up to good intentions and unintended consequences.

NYC restaurants cutting hours as $15-per-hour minimum wage hits.  Leftists do not understand economics.  New York City's mayor, Bill De Blasio, spent his honeymoon in Fidel Castro's Cuba.  You know where his mind lies.

Moving the goalposts: $15 an hour minimum wage now insufficient.  For years, liberals have claimed that the minimum wage needs to increase to $15 an hour to provide a living wage for full-time workers.  The stated goal, as socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders writes on his website, is straightforward, "We must ensure that no full-time worker lives in poverty."  In one way, the campaign has been remarkably successful.  California and New York are phasing in a statewide $15 an hour minimum wage.  Numerous cities, including Seattle, Minneapolis and Washington D.C., have passed $15 an hour minimum wage laws as well.  But as sure as the sun comes up in the morning, progressives are now demanding more.

Minimum Wage Hikes In 2019 Will Hurt Minority Youth By Killing Jobs.  New York City is one of a number of locales that increased its minimum wage to $15 an hour in the New Year.  Already, early reports say, small businesses are struggling.  Expect this to become a common refrain across the country.

Fast-food industry turns to seniors as more reliable workers.  Senior citizens have a lifetime of job discipline experience in work and social settings in the real world, not online, an attention span beyond four seconds and the accompanying self-confidence that makes them ideal for customer interactions in such retail work. [...] Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the number of younger people age 16 to 24 entering the labor force is actually declining.  But the number of workers re-entering the work force at age 65 and above is growing four to six percent.

Robot janitors are moving into Walmart.  Don't mind that self-driving, Zamboni-style robot gliding through the aisles at Walmart.  It's just one of the retailer's new janitors.  Walmart will add 360 autonomous, floor-scrubbing robots to its stores nationwide by January, the company said in a joint statement with Brain Corp, which makes Brain OS, the artificially intelligent platform that runs the machines.

'Fight for $15' Dealt Massive Blow as Walmart Introduces Robot Fleet.  Our readers have no doubt heard plenty over the past few years about the leftist-driven "Fight for $15" campaign to pressure federal, state and local governments to artificially increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour.  Doing so would disrupt our nation's market economy and dramatically increase labor costs for businesses both small and large.  In localities where the the pressure campaign has already achieved victories to start increasing the minimum wage in steps toward $15, we have already seen businesses respond by laying off or hiring fewer workers, cutting hours of retained employees or passing along the cost increase via higher prices for goods and services.  One other means to cope with the artificially increased labor costs is to eschew them altogether via automation — the use of computers or robots to do simple tasks previously relegated to entry-level, minimum wage-earning employees.  It's a development that had been steadily growing over decades but has been kicked into overdrive in recent years.

2019 Brings Yet Another Minimum Wage Hike.  Just like earlier this year, because of the enactment of SB 3 (Leno) in 2016, California's minimum wage is going up again.  On January 1, 2019, the state's minimum wage will be increased for all sizes of businesses as "small employers" will see their second wage hike in recent years.

Midterms and minimum wage:  Arkansas, Missouri to vote on higher pay.  Residents of just two states will vote on ballot measures to hike minimum wages when the polls open on Election Day on Tuesday [11/6/2018].  Voters in Missouri are set to consider Proposition B, which would raise the state's minimum wage to $12 per hour in increments by the year 2023.  The state's current minimum wage is $7.85 per hour, compared to the $7.25 minimum mandated at the federal level.  A similar measure is up for consideration in Arkansas.  Voters will cast ballots on whether to hike minimum wage to $11 per hour by the year 2021, up from a current level of $8.50.

Why Some Amazon Workers Are Fuming About Their Raise.  Last week, Dave Clark, Amazon's senior vice president in charge of operations, stood on a ladder in a warehouse near Los Angeles and announced to employees that Amazon was raising pay for its vast blue-collar work force. [...] But in Amazon warehouses across the country, many longtime workers are fuming that — based on the information they have received so far — they may end up making thousands of dollars less a year.

Amazon's hourly workers lose monthly bonuses and stock awards as minimum wage increases.  Amazon's minimum-wage increase for its hourly workers comes with a trade-off:  no more monthly bonuses and stock awards.  Amazon confirmed in an email to CNBC that the company is getting rid of incentive pay and stock option awards as it increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour.  The company, however, stressed that the wage increase "more than compensates" for the loss in other benefits.

Amazon's Minimum Wage Hike:  Heartfelt Activism, Or Crass Political Opportunism?  Amazon, the massive online retailer, announced with great fanfare that it will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, and will encourage others across the nation to do the same.  Is it unselfish public-mindedness, or political and competitive pressures that's behind the move?

Some Amazon employees say they will make less after the raise.  Amazon's decision to raise workers' minimum wage to $15 per hour was welcome news, even Sen. Bernie Sanders praised the move.  But for some Amazon employees, the excitement didn't last very long as they learned that existing financial incentives and bonus programs, including stock and monthly bonuses, that usually boost paychecks will be eliminated starting November 1.  Several Amazon warehouse workers in the U.S., who spoke to Yahoo Finance on the condition of anonymity fearing reprisals, talked about how the change will negatively affect them.  After the removal of these perks, some workers said they will be making less.  Most of the workers who voiced concerns have been working for the company for more than two years, and have been earning close to $15 an hour before the raise.

Minimum-Wage Hikes [Were] Economic Poison For Venezuela.  If you believe minimum-wage hikes actually make workers better off, maybe you should consider the case of Venezuela.  There, a frantic series of minimum-wage hikes have led not to higher wages, but business closures, mass layoffs and widespread misery.

Ocasio-Cortez Mourns Restaurant Driven Out Of Business By Minimum Wage Law She Backs.  This week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez "swung by" to say goodbye to a restaurant where she used to work.  What she didn't say is that it is closing because the owners can't afford New York City's soon-to-be $15 minimum wage — the very job-killing policy Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow Democrats want to impose nationwide.

Minnesota's Wage Hikes Have Slowed Job Growth.  Minnesota's recent minimum wage increases have led to unemployment among low-wage workers, hurting the very workers the policy was meant to benefit, reports.  All else being equal, "businesses will demand less labor, which could mean fewer workers and/or shorter hours per worker," said University of Wisconsin economics professor Noah Williams, talking about the effects of the wage hike.  Wisconsin first raised its minimum wage in 2010 to maintain the federal standard of $7.25 an hour.  Four years later, Minnesota started raising its minimum wages again in a series of hikes, ending up at $9.65 an hour as of January 2018.

San Francisco Learns That There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.  This July, the city's minimum wage climbed to $15, up from $14, the result of a four-year series of hikes imposed by San Francisco voters in 2014.  The minimum wage will now be indexed to the Consumer Price Index.  Not surprisingly, the rapid increase in wages has hurt the city's businesses, particularly its restaurants.  As the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out recently, "Despite the anticipation for what has finally arrived, many (restaurateurs) continue to struggle with finding a balance, because tactics such as adjusting service models, cutting staff and raising prices can only go so far."  The paper quotes one restaurant owner saying "you can only charge so much for a burger ... before people are leaving to go find a better value.  It's the same challenge we've been facing for a while."  Which is why many restaurants have shut their doors.

Adios, Entry Level Jobs At The Golden Arches.  Who could have possibly seen this coming?  Well, pretty much everyone, really.  John wrote last month about the supposed finalization of plans to roll out automated kiosks at McDonald's stores around the country, though some were still claiming it was just a "partial addition" to their ordering functions.  But for anyone who's been paying attention, the home of Ronald McDonald has been installing kiosks and testing customer responses for well over a year now on a wide scale.  They have also released a mobile ordering app for your phone similar to the one Dunkin Donuts uses.  But now that it's becoming official, the gloves are coming off.  There's no longer any talk about the kiosks being "just another option" when you go to pick up your Royale' with Cheese.  Kiosks will be installed in all stores within two years and they will be the default, primary way of placing your order in person.  (Assuming you don't phone it in from the app.)  And that means there will be very little use for any workers at the counters taking orders.

MoveOn declares low wages 'violence'.  In their campaign for a $15 job-killing minimum wage, the leftwingers at have declared low wages "violence." [...] Because it shows how unserious they are, and it also shows that by negating the meaning of words, they can justify real violence as their result.  If the minimum wage as it is is 'violence,' well then what is to stop a bloody uprising in response?  They characterize everything except real violence as "violence" these days, as Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds has noted.  It goes to show that the left really has a hostility to the idea of words having meaning.  This fuels their extremism, as ever crazier things ever more divorced from reality are said, as words are completely drained of meaning.

The Fight for 15 is knocking NYC out.  In New York City, the clock is ticking on one of the many progressive legislative packages pushed through over the past few years by Governor Andrew Cuomo to appease his liberal base.  Oddly named the "Victory for New York Families" bill, the law mandated that minimum wage levels in the city would have to rise to $15 per hour by the end of this year, along with various benefits including paid family leave.  I suppose that certainly seems like a victory for those in low skill, low wage jobs, but that's only if they still have a job.  As the Federalist reports this week, the arrival of the deadline has already seen a number of employers, particularly in the food and beverage industry, either closing their doors or laying off workers.  And people on the unemployment line still don't get anywhere near $15 per hour.

Fight Against $15: Democrats Push To Repeal Minimum Wage Hike In Nation's Capital.  "Fight for $15" is the rallying cry for most Democrats these days.  But soon after Washington, D.C., voters approved a hike in tipped wages to $15, Democrats on the city council moved to repeal it.  That's what happens when ideology crashes into reality.

Libs demand more than $20 an hour delivering packages.  How much is unskilled labor worth?  For liberals, you might think the answer is an astronomical $15 an hour, the minimum wage many states have set, destroying jobs that cannot provide that much value.  But for libs, $15 an hour is just the starting point.  The Atlantic wrote a sob story about someone who took a part-time job delivering packages for Amazon for $18 an hour (which would eventually go up to $25).  Her anger and indignation explain what is wrong about the liberal entitlement mentality.

The NYC "Minimum Wage Bomb".  There's been yet another development in the Fight for Fifteen, this time coming to us from the Big Apple.  With great fanfare, the Democrats in New York City (and in the state government as well) have been trying to outdo each other this election cycle by jacking up the minimum wage.  Recent legislative moves brought the city to the point where they've had six minimum wage increases in two years.  As you might imagine, this has been particularly tough on the restaurant and bar business.  The city is quickly making some eateries essentially unprofitable unless they increase their menu prices to the point where they will likely just drive away customers anyway.

New York City minimum wage taking toll on restaurants.  New York City restaurants are proposing a surcharge for all diners to cover the rising cost of wages.  A group of more than 100 owners are pushing for lawmakers to let them add an extra 5% to weather next year's hike in the minimum wage to $15 as well as the rising cost of food and rent.  "We're seeing restaurants go out of business," Apple-Metro CEO Zane Tankel said Tuesday during an interview on FOX Business' "Evening Edit."  Tankel argues that the minimum-wage hike will destroy jobs and force restaurants to raise menu prices.

NYC restaurants propose surcharges for all diners.  Big Apple restaurants are at a tipping point.  With record hikes in wages over the past couple of years — on top of rising rent, food and other costs — restaurant owners pressed City Hall lawmakers to allow them to levy a surcharge on all diners to cover their bloated expenses.  Without the surcharge, which could range from 3 percent to 5 percent, or more, many owners said they will go out of business.

Walmart's: shelf-scanning robots to patrol the aisles.  Machines already play a part in the shopping experience for many, with self-checkout facilities popping up in supermarkets and department stores all over the world.  They now continue their push into retail, with Walmart expanding its trials of robots that roam the aisles for sections in need of attention.  Self-checkouts have been around for years now, but the truth is there a other repetitive tasks that could conceivably be carried out by machines.  Way back in 2015, Simbe Robotics took aim at at this with a fully autonomous robot called Tally that rolls around stores using a sensor array to make sure shelves are fully stocked and that items are correctly priced, placed and labelled.

Flippy the Burger Flipping Robot Mocks the Wage Naivete of Left and Right.  Flippy is a robot "employee" of the Caliburger chain, and he is apparently able to cook as many as 2,000 hamburgers per day.  Interesting about all this is that while Reagan's backers once defended him against the assertion that his policies were only creating fast food jobs, modern members of the right are now criticizing lefty policies that are allegedly — drumroll please — destroying those same jobs.  It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

Flippy The Burger-Flipping Robot Just Destroyed The Case For Minimum-Wage Hikes.  On Monday [3/5/2018], CaliBurger started its newest "employee," a learning robot that can cook 150 hamburgers an hour.  Flippy doesn't just flip hamburgers, he exposes why raising the minimum-wage hurts workers.

Minimum Wage Hikes Inflict Maximum Pain.  There's probably no more popular way of patting yourself on the back for doing good while actually harming people than advocating for hiked minimum wage laws that forbid people to accept work that pays below a legally mandated floor.  When you raise the price of something above what people are willing to pay, people buy less of it, or else they pass the costs down the line, when possible.  This isn't exactly a revelation; it's one of the older known economic realities.  Unfortunately, there's always been a certain portion of the population that insists that labor is different and that you really can make people more prosperous by decree.  But yet more recent evidence suggests that hiking the price of hiring people works just like raising the cost of everything else.  This means that the recent craze for minimum wage laws has not turned out, after all, to be a genius plan for filling bank accounts.

The NYC minimum wage hike is going to screw over workers.  One in two New York City workers may soon be underemployed and in economic pain.  The city is now teeming with a vast hidden underclass of underemployed workers who don't show up in official government statistics:  More than 1.6 million people, or a staggering 45 percent of the local labor force, are struggling because they don't have enough hours in their work week, according to a new report by the Robin Hood Poverty Tracker in association with Columbia University.  And the massive ranks of these underemployed seems set to surge further in the months to come, as many New York employers slash hourly payrolls while the minimum wage rises to $15 an hour, The [New York] Post has learned.

Jack in the Box CEO: Swapping cashiers for robots 'makes sense' due to minimum wage increase.  The CEO of fast-food restaurant Jack in the Box said "it just makes sense" to replace cashiers with robots due to the minimum wage increase in California.  "As we see the rising costs of labor, it just makes sense" to swap cashiers with kiosks where customers can order their food themselves, CEO Leonard Comma said Tuesday at the ICR Conference in Orlando, Fla., Business Insider reported.  However, Comma said that while his fast-food restaurant has tested products with technological advances at their establishments, he has decided to not go forward with the kiosks.

Red Robin will offset minimum wage hikes by canning busboys.  Restaurant busboys, in line to earn a little more dough this year as minimum wage hikes hit across the country, are instead losing their jobs as chains look to cut costs.  One chain axing jobs is Red Robin, which hopes to save about $8 million this year by eliminating busboys at each of its 570 restaurants, the company said Monday.  Red Robin restaurants are located mostly in Western states, where the minimum wage has risen more quickly.

18 States Raise Minimum Wage in 2018.  Through new legislation, successful ballot measures or inflation adjustments built in to previous statutes, some 4.5 million people should see increases in their paychecks in the New Year.  Ten of those states — Maine, Vermont, Washington, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, California, Colorado, Arizona, and Hawaii — are seeing increases as the result of legislative or ballot measures.  The other eight — Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota — will see so-called "automatic" increases in their minimum wage laws in 2018.  Most new minimum wage legislation is phased-in through gradual increases, declaring loudly the hypocritical claim that such increases won't affect employment.  It's like feeding nightshade to a victim in such small doses that he doesn't even notice — until he's dead.  Take Washington State for example.  Its minimum wage will rise to $11.50 this year, up 50 cents from last year and making it the highest statewide minimum wage state in the country.  Over the next three years the minimum wage in Washington will rise to $13.50 an hour, all approved by enthusiastic but largely economically ignorant voters.

Six Insane California Laws That Will Be Implemented On Monday.  [#4] Low-skilled workers will have a harder time finding work:  That's just a fancy way of saying, "The minimum wage will increase from $10.50 an hour to $11 an hour."  Under SB 3, the minimum wage will increase each year until it hits $15 an hour in 2022.  For people who already have jobs, this is no big deal.  For people making below the minimum wage who keep their jobs and get a pay increase, it's great.  But for low-skilled workers who need a job, this is bad news.  A company is not going to pay a 20-year-old $11 an hour if he's only bringing $9 an hour worth of value to the company.  It will either make do without that position, automate, or move to a state whose legislature has some grasp of basic economics.  But, really, [...] it's not the government's business how an employer and employee work out a mutually beneficial wage.  If an applicant wants to make $9 an hour, and an employer wants to pay $9 an hour, how is it not a bad thing for the government to say that's illegal?

Report:  California's $15 Minimum Wage Will Destroy 400,000 Jobs.  California's massive state-wide jump to a $15 minimum wage could conservatively cost around 400,000 potential jobs, according to a new Employment Policy Institute study.  "California Dreamin' of Higher Wages," strives to evaluate what the state's jump to a $15 minimum wage will mean when it fully kicks in in 2022 by attempting to contextualize it with the empirical effects of previous minimum wage increases in the state going back to 1990.  The results are pretty dire.  They believe that by the time the minimum wage fully kicks in the state will have lost 400,000 jobs as a consequence.  These job losses will not be evenly distributed throughout the state's workforce.  They will hit food service, retail, and agriculture jobs the hardest.  Overall, this a four percent loss of jobs out of workforce estimated at around 10 million.

New York City's Empty Storefronts And The $15 Minimum Wage.  "Why Is New York Full Of Empty Stores?"  That's the question posed by the New York Times editorial board in today's paper, as it worries about a "scourge of store closings that afflicts one section of the city after another, notably in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn."  The editorial offers few answers to its question and at least one bad solution in the form of a new "vacancy tax" for building owners with unoccupied storefronts.  But perhaps the most notable omission from the Times' editorial is the board's own role in exacerbating the city's troubles through its advocacy for a $15 minimum wage.  The concerns about retail employment aren't anecdotal:  According to Labor Department data, 2016 was the first year since 2009 where New York City's retail trade experienced a decline in year-over-year employment growth.

Top Union Executive in Fight for $15 Resigns After Complaints of Misconduct With Staff.  One of the top labor figures in the Fight for $15 minimum wage campaign on Monday resigned from his senior position at the Service Employees International Union amid complaints about his sexual conduct toward staffers.  Scott Courtney's resignation as executive vice president of the SEIU and a member of the union comes a week after SEIU President Mary Kay Henry suspended him based on preliminary information from an internal investigation.

Proof that the minimum wage is too high:
Burger-Flipping Robot Taking Over In 50 Fast Food Restaurants.  As fast food employees across the U.S. continue to protest for higher wages, a California chain restaurant has decided to hire a new staff member that works for free.  The competition for the company's low-wage workers:  a burger-flipping robot named "Flippy."  CaliBurger has announced they will be installing the high-tech replacement in 50 of their locations around the world.  "Flippy," the robotic kitchen assistant, was created by a California startup company called Miso Robotics and is expected to roll out in 2018.

The Editor says...
Flippy won't disappear without notice when he finds something better to do with his time.  Flippy won't show up late for work, smelling like marijuana.  And Flippy won't spit in your food if you complain that it's undercooked.

The Fight For $15 Fizzles.  Last year, the "Fight for $15" movement was said to have unstoppable momentum, driven by labor unions, left-wing politicians and a sympathetic press.  Then reality struck.  Too bad it didn't strike sooner.

Minimum wage hike would kill thousands of jobs in liberal DC suburb, study finds.  A new study commissioned by a Washington, D.C., suburb could send a warning shot to local governments taking up the 'Fight for $15' — predicting a proposed minimum wage hike would cost thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in lost income.  The study was conducted to assess the impact of a proposal in Montgomery County, Md., to raise the minimum wage to $15, up from $11.50.  Such a proposal cleared the county council in January but was vetoed by County Executive Isiah Leggett, who commissioned the study.

Montgomery County, Maryland Minimum Wage Increase Impact Study, July 31, 2017.  There is a significant body of research around the impacts of an increase in the minimum wage.  In general, the primary benefit from an increase in the minimum wage is heightened earnings that improve the standard of living for low-wage workers.  This greater purchasing power leads to improved mental health, morale, and decreased stress.  The broader impacts from increased earnings include a potential reduction of poverty and overall wage inequality.  Additional research has shown a connection between a higher minimum wage and a reduction in hunger and food insecurity.  Conversely, as the impact analysis conducted for the study shows, an increase in the County minimum wage would increase personnel and contract costs to the County, as well as prompt job loss and a loss of income due to these job losses.  The projected loss of jobs and income would result from the actions County business owners would be expected to take in response to an increase in the minimum wage.  These would include laying off employees, cutting hours and benefits, reducing training programs, and, in the extreme, possible business closures or relocation.

Pizza shop worker loves Seattle's new $15 minimum wage, until he finds out that it cost him his job.  Pizza shop worker Devin Jeran was excited about the raise that was coming his way thanks to Seattle's new $15 an hour minimum wage law.  Or at least he was until he found out that it would cost him his job.  Jeran will only see a bigger paycheck until August when his boss has to shut down her Z Pizza location, putting him and his 11 co-workers out of work, Q13 Fox reported.  He said that while the law was being discussed all he heard about was how the mandatory minimum wage increase would make life better for him, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

BET television network reports on disparate impact on black teens of minimum wage rise.  Ethnicity, in this case, trumps progressive solidarity.  But unless I am mistaken, I don't think BET devotes a lot of attention to the impact of illegal immigration on blacks,which uses the same supply and demand logic.  I am not a regular viewer, so I could be wrong, but in general, the black racial grievance industry embraces solidarity over the interests of its own constituents.

What the Minimum Wage Debate Gets Wrong.  In January 2016, Seattle raised its minimum wage from $11 to $13 per hour, the highest in the country.  Progressives hailed the increase, seeing it as evidence that a proposed national $15 per hour minimum wage, once pure fantasy, had finally become a realistic possibility.  Such a hike, it is generally assumed, would help combat economic inequality and impact a wide swath of the workforce — as a result of the long decline in median real hourly wages, more than 40 percent of American workers currently earn less than $15 per hour.  But a recent study of Seattle's workers has challenged the presumed benefits of a higher minimum wage.  By analyzing individual workers' wages and hours over time, the study estimated that the city's decision to increase the minimum wage cost the average low-wage employee $125 per month.  The Washington Post called the study "bad news for liberals," and the results quickly rekindled long-running debates about the wisdom of minimum wage increases.

Democrats' 'Better Deal' Proposals Would Make Americans Worse Off.  First, the initiative calls for "rais[ing] the wages and incomes of American workers and creat[ing] millions of good-paying jobs."  To this end, it calls for government "investment" in job creation projects, "fighting back" against corporations that outsource American jobs, and "ensur[ing] a living wage" for all Americans — a proposal that suggests a higher government-set minimum wage.  But all of these suggestions would harm, not help, the American workforce.  As Heritage Foundation research shows, government spending does not encourage private businesses to expand or entrepreneurs to start new firms — for instance, the 2009 fiscal stimulus did not boost employment.  Moreover, higher minimum wages merely price less-skilled entry-level workers out of the workforce, reducing the portion of Americans who work.  "Fighting back" against corporations that outsource does not create an incentive for them to expand employment.

Seattle's $15 minimum wage debate catches small businesses in the middle.  A native Vermonter who moved west about 30 years ago, Ms. Milazzo is all for the idea that employees — especially those at the bottom of the pay scale — receive a fair wage for their work.  But she is straining to reconcile her principles with what's best for her business.  Seattle's 2015 minimum wage ordinance raises hourly pay by 50 cents to a dollar per year until all companies in the city hit $15 by 2021.  Milazzo says she'd be happy to comply — if she didn't also have to contend with soaring property taxes and rental and utility rates.  Instead, she's condensed her store hours and cut entry-level jobs.  "You can't just say to the little people, 'Now pay everybody more,'" she says.  "Where does it come from?"

Burger Joint Robotics Are Coming Soon.  Fast-food restaurants are a major target for automation developers because of the high labor costs connected with preparing food and dealing directly with customers.  Kiosks for ordering food have begun appearing as a result of their simple design.  In February for example, Wendy's announced it would install kiosks in 1,000 restaurants (around 16 percent) by the end of the year.

St. Louis Drops Minimum Wage More Than $2.  St. Louis, Missouri lowered its minimum wage from $10 to $7.70, the minimum for the rest of the state.  St. Louis raise the minimum wage to $10 in 2015.  On Aug. 28, however, a Missouri law will go into effect preventing cities from inventing their own minimum wage separate from the state.  Republican Governor Eric Greitens had said the raised minimum wage will "kill jobs, and despite what you hear from liberals, it will take money out of people's pockets."

The Maine-imum Wage.  The Washington Post reports that Maine's House of Representatives voted to lower its minimum wage for restaurant workers who receive tips.  Why?  The state voted to phase-in an increase in the minimum wage over a number of years.  Unfortunately, that voter-driven law also got rid of a part of the previous law that let restaurant employers count tips for up to half the minimum wage.  Here's what happened, according to the Post:  "Servers actively campaigned to overturn the results of a November referendum raising servers' hourly wages from $3.75 in 2016 to $12 by 2024, saying it would cause customers to tip less and actually reduce their take-home income."  Even worse, workers feared that restaurant owners suddenly having to pay a lot more in wages might have to lay off workers or even shut down.

The $15 disaster:  Seattle's grim warning for NYC.  The Fight for $15 has a history in New York — in 2012, hundreds of minimum-wage workers launched the movement by walking off their jobs to protest and demand a higher minimum wage.  But if you want a glimpse of the future for the city, look at Seattle.  A new study published by University of Washington economists found that, as conservatives long argued and as basic economics would seem to have predetermined, Seattle's unprecedented minimum-wage hike actually hurt the very workers it sought to help.  Specifically, the economists found, as businesses were forced to devote more of their revenue to payroll, they scaled back workers' hours by nearly 10 percent.  So even though the minimum wage had ticked up from $11 to $13 — on its way to $15 in 2021 — Seattle's low-income workers ended up bringing home $125 less each month in 2016.

How Seattle's Minimum-Wage Disaster Hurts Those It's Meant To Help.  It's both sad and tragic, but even policies passed with the best of intentions can hurt those they're intended to help.  So it is with Seattle's minimum wage.  Last August, we asked:  "What will happen when Seattle raises its minimum to $15 an hour in 2017?  It could get ugly."  Unfortunately, we were right.

The Minimum-Wage Job-Killer Strikes Again!  Working from the absurd idea that if higher wages are good for individual workers, it must be socially beneficial to have government order all employers to pay their workers more, progressives and other leftists have had extraordinary success in forcing small businesses to pay higher minimum wages.  Big Mac's stock is up 27% this year.  Why?  Pushed by concerns over a rising minimum wage, the fast-food chain is replacing human cashiers as fast as it can.  But it really has no choice.  By the end of 2017, it plans to have digital cashiers in 2,500 restaurants; by 2018, another 3,000 restaurants will go digital.  They're also going to let you order via mobile device at 14,000 restaurants by year end.

Minimum wage fight may heat up after new study finds jobs, hours fell in Seattle.  It's one of the core questions in the debate over minimum wage:  Does pushing the pay floor to $15 lead businesses to cut hours and jobs?  A much-anticipated study released Monday [6/26/2017] by a team of researchers at the University of Washington is likely to intensify that controversy — just as Los Angeles heads toward its own minimum-wage increase for large businesses,from $10.50 an hour to $12 an hour on July 1.  The new study has found that jobs and work hours fell for Seattle's lowest paid employees after the city raised the minimum wage to $13 last year on its march to $15 for all workers by 2021.

Minimum Wage Madness Begins to Kill Off California's Restaurant Industry.  The restaurant industry is a canary in California's coalmine of moonbattery.  Minimum wage insanity is killing it: [...] It's bad enough in big cities on the coast.  Wages, like prices, are lower inland and in smaller towns.  That means that one-size-fits-all central planning is even more unsupportable regarding the minimum wage.  Unemployment is already significantly higher away from the coast in California.

Wynne's minimum wage hike slams small business.  After crippling businesses with unaffordable energy rates, this is just the latest move by [Kathleen] Wynne to cripple Ontario's entrepreneurs.

The Editor says...
Yeah, I had never heard of her, either.  Apparently she's the Premier of Ontario.

Minimum-Wage Hikes:  A Feel-Good Lie That Destroys Jobs And Minority Kids' Futures.  Once again, another city self-righteously imposes a minimum-wage hike on private employers.  And once again, it finds out it's a business- and job-killer — and only boosts pay for a handful of people.  This time it's the Big Apple, New York, that's discovering the ugly truth.  But don't feel left out:  Your town may be next.

NYC Minimum Wage Law Forcing Higher Prices and Restaurant Closures.  An increase in the New York City minimum wage is forcing some restauranteurs to either close up shop or raise their prices.  According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, New York City restaurants are suffering as a result of a two dollar increase in the minimum wage that took place at the end of 2016.  "It's going up too fast," said Jeremy Merrin, the owner of a chain of Cuban restaurants.  Merrin said minimum wage increases forced him to close two of his New York City locations and raise prices at his others.  "We can't catch our breath," he added.

Restaurants Add "Labor Surcharge" to Tabs to Cover Minimum-wage Increases.  Instead of increasing their menu prices in response to increased minimum-wage levels, restaurant owners are burying their increased labor costs at the bottom of each tab.  The increase, between three and four percent, only comes after the customer has completed his meal.  The increase also increases the tip customers leave behind as most customers leave a gratuity based on the check's total.  This is going to raise the average customer's check, which has already increased by nearly 11 percent since 2012, close to five or six percent.  Some restaurant and fast-food owners aren't burying the increase but are instead calling attention to it so that customers know that they're the ones actually bearing the brunt of the forced increase in the minimum wage.

Denver Area Restaurants Charging Surcharge to Make Up for Minimum Wage Hike.  After Amendment 70 forced Colorado businesses to pay a higher minimum wage, many Denver-area restaurants are struggling to survive.  In a bid to stay in business, some restaurants are now adding a ten percent surcharge to make up for the recent hike.  Corona's Mexican Grill in the Denver suburb of Broomfield, for instance, recently posted a notice to customers that a surcharge has been added to all bills to try and offset the wage hike.  The charge is meant to make sure no employees are laid off because of the expense, Denver's Fox 31 reported.

Wendy's Response to $15 Minimum Wage?  Rollout 1,000 Robots!  Liberals who believe that a person flipping burgers deserves $15 an hour have a very rude awakening coming their way.  Fast food giant Wendy's has a response to their $15 minimum wage idea.  Robots.

Wendy's reportedly to install self-order kiosks at 1,000 stores.  Fast-food chain Wendy's is planning to install self-order kiosks at about 1,000 locations across the country by the end of 2017 to cut labor costs, The Columbus Dispatch reported.  Wendy's has locations in at least 110 New Jersey towns.  The report did not indicate the locations getting the kiosks.  Wendy's said it already offered kiosks to its restaurants last year and that both customers and franchisees have demanded more of the service.

How might New York's wage hikes affect jobs?  New Yorkers throughout the state who make minimum wage have noticed a nice bump in their pay checks.  "New York is embarked on this amazing experiment where we are going to increase the minimum wage in the city from $9 to $15 in three years," says Greg David of Crain's New York Business

Mob Protesting Trump's Labor Secretary Reveals What Massive Idiots They Are.  Andy Puzder is CEO of CKE restaurants, which owns Hardee's and Carl's Jr.  He's also President-elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Labor.  A number of "Fight for $15" moonbats decided to protest him. [...] The reason these idiots were protesting Puzder was because they were given talking points, he owns Carl's Jr., he's white and because he's Trump's man... oh, and because he's against the minimum wage.  This isn't standing on principle, it's protesting for the sake of protesting.  This whole minimum wage thing is beyond stupid.  These people can't see that they are literally protesting themselves out of a job.  Fortunately, Puzder is the adult in the room and will hopefully bring sanity back to the Labor Department.

Leaving for Las Vegas:  California's minimum wage law leaves businesses no choice.  Los Angeles County used to have more than 5,000 apparel factories; today, my company is one of roughly 2,000 — and many (e.g.  American Apparel) are looking for a way out.  One Los Angeles Times headline, quoting a California State University economist, warned that "the exodus has begun."

You're Not Worth $15.  [Scroll down]  That young lady doesn't deserve $15 a DAY, let alone $15 an hour.  We as a society are cheating her by telling her she does.  She needs honesty.  "You are a nice human being but you're basically worthless in the workplace.  I'll pay you two dollars an hour to replace the paper towels in the bathroom and text your boyfriend in between smoke breaks.  Deal?"  Stop this minimum wage madness.  It's cheating young people out of valuable workplace experience, driving up unemployment in the black community, and raising prices on the goods and services that poor people depend on.

Thanks To 'Fight For $15' Minimum Wage, McDonald's Unveils Job-Replacing Self-Service Kiosks Nationwide.  As the labor union-backed Fight for $15 begins yet another nationwide strike on November 29, I have a simple message for the protest organizers and the reporters covering them:  I told you so.  It brings me no joy to write these words.  The push for a $15 starter wage has negatively impacted the career prospects of employees who were just getting started in the workforce while extinguishing the businesses that employed them.  I wish it were not so.  But it's important to document these consequences, lest policymakers elsewhere decide that the $15 movement is worth embracing.

25 Arrested at Zuccotti Park $15 Minimum Wage Protest.  About 25 people participating in a nationwide minimum-wage protest were arrested Tuesday [11/29/2016] after they linked arms and sat on a lower Manhattan street.  They were among about 350 people at a peaceful rally, part of the National Day of Action to Fight for $15.  The campaign seeks higher hourly wages, including for workers at fast-food restaurants and airports.  It was also the first time Uber drivers had joined the protest.

"Fight for $15" protests sweeping the country.  A national day of protests for a higher minimum wage is seeing demonstrations from O'Hare Airport in Chicago to Kansas City to Los Angeles.  The national "Fight For $15" protest is the latest in the fight for a $15-per-hour minimum wage.  Protesters called the day of action "Disruption Tuesday."  Fast food employees, child care teachers, graduate assistants, and others in low-wage jobs who plan to walk off their jobs in 340 cities.

McDonald's Response to $15 Minimum Wage:  Automation in Every Store.  It's official:  McDonald's says that every one of its 14,000 stores nationwide will be replacing cashiers with automated touch-screen kiosks.  They're starting with stores where minimum-wage laws mandate the highest rates, such as Florida, New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Seattle. [...] Now, McDonald's loyalists will be able to place their customized order on a touch screen, take a seat and have their meal brought right over.  Next year, they'll even have the option of mobile ordering.  That means that, eventually, more than 20 million customers every day will place their own orders at a kiosk or on a mobile device and then have them delivered by a human to their table.  And it's just a matter of time before those humans will be replaced by machines as well.

Ballot Measures will Prove an Insightful Experiment on the Minimum Wage.  While last week's shocking presidential election certainly took up most of the oxygen in the media, it wasn't the only consequential vote taking place.  Dozens of states posed questions of policy directly to the people, with citizens voting on ballot measures ranging from the legalization of marijuana to the death penalty.  One of the most prominent types of ballot measures this cycle were proposals to raise the minimum wage in several states.  Arizona, Colorado and Maine all voted to increase their minimum wage levels incrementally to $12 an hour by 2020, while voters in the state of Washington decided to increase their minimum wage to $13.50 over the same period.  This comes on the heels of California's decision to join the cities of Seattle and Washington, D.C. in raising the minimum wage to $15.  In total, 14 states will have a higher minimum wage going into 2017 than they had in 2016.

Childcare costs skyrocket after minimum wage hike passes.  Starting in January, Advent Child Center is increasing tuition about $140 a month per child, taking tuition from $705 to $845 a month, an increase some are not ready to pay.  "It just adds to the tightness of general month to month expenditures," said mother Dawn Ellis, who has two children enrolled at Advent Lutheran.  The increase is a direct result of the passing of Initiative 1433, increasing statewide minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020.

Hillary Clinton's big ideas for tanking the US economy.  Hillary says she has a cabinet full of ideas.  Unfortunately, most of them are dimwitted.  Here are five that could hurt employment, growth and stocks.  [#1] Raise the minimum wage to $12 or even $15 an hour.  Clinton might as well call this the Teenage Job Elimination Act.  Even the liberal Congressional Budget Office recently estimated a $12 minimum would reduce the number of starter jobs by as many as 1 million.  Seattle recently raised its minimum to $11 and is headed to $15.  An assessment by the University of Washington finds that so far that move had the "negative unintended consequence" of fewer hours worked and fewer jobs.

Robots Could Push 'Fight For 15' Backers Out Of Work.  The political push to raise the minimum wage nationwide to $15 an hour has motivated many restaurants and other businesses with low-skilled workers to think about replacing some human staff with automation and robots.  At the same time, such technology is improving by leaps and bounds and costs are coming down.

Left's California Dream Built on Ignorance.  Just when you cannot envision the ignorance of the Left dipping any lower, they confound you with their dismal destruction via good intentions.  The latest comes from a poll stating despite the fact registered voters believe that people will lose their jobs and businesses will relocate out of state, they still overwhelmingly support the increase in minimum wage to $15 per hour in California.  The Democrat-owned legislature — the ones that are not in jail or under indictment — passed a bill that would gradually raise the minimum wage from $10 to $15 in 2022.  The poll says 64 percent of Californians support that.  That is while 66% of them believe that people will be laid off and 65 percent say that businesses will leave the state.

NJ Gov.  Christie vetoes $15 minimum wage bill.  A bill to raise New Jersey's minimum wage to $15 an hour has been vetoed by Governor Chris Christie.  This is the second time the state's Democrats pushed for a bigger paycheck for low wage workers only to be turned down by Christie.

Find Out How Many Jobs Your State Could Lose With a $15 Minimum Wage.  Following legislation in New York and California raising their statewide minimum wages to $15 an hour, a new study has found that such statewide mandates would lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses.  According to a new study from The Heritage Foundation, proposals at the state and federal levels to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour would lead to job losses in nearly all states and the District of Columbia.  Conducted by James Sherk, a research fellow in labor economics, the study found that state minimum wage hikes would lead to the loss of 9 million jobs across the country.

American Apparel said to be considering moving manufacturing out of California.  The Los Angeles clothing maker, which emerged from bankruptcy in February, is contemplating a move to a state such as Tennessee, North Carolina or South Carolina, where the minimum wage is $7.25, said one source, who requested anonymity due to pending litigation.  That would be a significant savings once California's minimum wage climbs to $15 an hour in 2020.

American Apparel struggles to afford to keep calling LA home.  American Apparel's days as a Los Angeles-based manufacturer are numbered, sources close to the company told The [New York] Post on Monday [8/15/2016].  The 27-year-old teen retailer, which boasts on its Web site that its togs are "Designed, Cut and Sewn in Los Angeles," is making plans to pull up stakes and move east — possibly to North Carolina or Tennessee, where the minimum wage is $7.25.  In California, the minimum wage is set to rise to $15 by 2020.

The Bitter Lesson From Seattle's Minimum Wage Hike.  Raising the minimum wage is one of those wonderful-sounding ideas that, whenever tried, unfortunately never quite works the way it was promised.  To its credit, the Washington Post has noticed.  The Post recently highlighted a new study from a group of economists who were commissioned by the city of Seattle to look at that city's minimum wage hike from $9.96 an hour to $11.14 an hour.  What they found was enlightening.

The 'Fight-for-$15' Fantasy.  The most absurd plank to appear in either party's platform this year is the Democrats' call to "raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over time and index it."  It is policy written for the nation's very wealthiest enclaves, but incoherent for economically distressed regions.  Looked at from El Paso, Texas, where the median hourly wage is only $12.70, a national $15-per-hour minimum sounds no saner than a $29-per-hour minimum would in Washington, D.C.

The pain caused by minimum wage hikes.  This past week, Donald Trump stunned Republicans who nominated him just the week before, when he told Bill O'Reilly that he supported raising the minimum wage to $10.  Trump reiterated the stance in a press conference the next day.  This goes not just conservative orthodoxy, but even against views held by moderate Republicans.  Besides the economic arguments to be made against raising the minimum wage, there are real world personal consequences for countless workers trying to gain a foothold into the economy.  Raising the wage also hurts small business owners who are struggling to grow their businesses.

Boston Globe Accidentally Reports That Raising the Minimum Wage Kills Jobs.  Many Americans are campaigning for a raise in the minimum wage.  Even more Americans are struggling just to find jobs at any wage.  Yup — those two news items are related.  While trying to present a case for the Massachusetts state legislature to approve a program that provides summer jobs to teens at non-profits and government agencies, an editorial at the Boston Globe accidentally explained why artificially imposed minimum wages kill job opportunities.

Cleveland business owners: $15 minimum wage would destroy us.  The owners of Dave's Markets, who operate eight stores in the city of Cleveland, told members of City Council Thursday that a $15-an-hour minimum wage imposed only on Cleveland businesses would cripple their company and might require them to close some stores.  Steve Saltzman, vice president of Dave's, said during a Committee of the Whole hearing on the issue that some of the company's Cleveland stores meet the grocery needs of the community but are barely profitable.  A voter-driven initiative to set the city's minimum wage 85 percent higher than the state's $8.10-an-hour rate would devastate the company and leave some neighborhoods without a grocery store at all, he said.

Why a Universal Basic Income Is a Terrible Idea.  If you have not heard any proposals for a "universal basic income" (UBI), you will soon.  Under a UBI, the federal government would send each American (including children, in some plans) a monthly check of, say, $800 or $1,000 to cover basic needs.  A couple would receive $20,000 per year, regardless of other income earned; a family with children would get more.  The bloated welfare state?  Streamlined!  Poverty?  Solved!  And all of it supposedly paid for by eliminating safety-net programs that would no longer be necessary.

Minimum wage, maximum mess in Oregon.  When Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a minimum wage bill into law in March, it was the highest statewide wage floor in the U.S.  It was also the most convoluted, setting three different wages and raise schedules depending on the area's population.

DC Councilmember:  Should Minimum Wage be $50 an Hour?  Inside the measure the D.C. Council passed to raise the district's minimum wage to $15 an hour was an amendment to have a study on the possibility of having government provide a basic income to D.C. residents.  "Raising the minimum wage is a good thing, but is $15 enough?  Or should the number be $35 or $50 an hour?" Councilman David Grosso (I-At-Large) said during Tuesday night's [6/7/2016] meeting.

Cleveland Mayor, Council lead call against $15 min wage proposal.  Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Council President Kevin Kelley are calling out state and national leaders — demanding that they publicly denounce a proposal to set the city's minimum wage at $15 an hour, while the rest of the state remains at $8.10.  Nineteen letters dated June 3 were sent to members of Congress, state legislators and others, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former Ohio Gov.  Ted Strickland, who is now running for the U.S. Senate.

DC lawmakers approve citywide $15 minimum wage.  Lawmakers in the nation's capital approved a $15-an-hour minimum wage on Tuesday, joining numerous other cities and the states of California and New York in mandating pay raises for retail, restaurant and service-industry workers.

Ex-CEO of McDonald's:  Cheaper to Buy $35K Robot Than Pay $15 Per Hour.  Former CEO of McDonald's Ed Rensi said a proposed $15 minimum wage would drive restaurants to use automation more, and hire fewer workers.  During an interview on Fox Business Network's "Mornings with Maria" program, Rensi slammed the idea of raising the minimum wage, saying, "If a $15 minimum wage goes into effect across the country, you're going to see job loss like you can't believe."  Adding that "it's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who's inefficient making $15 an hour bagging french fries."

Other shoe drops as $15 minimum wage spurs Wendy's to pursue automated ordering.  Supporters of a $15 minimum wage are about to get a heaping helping of reality.  Self-service kiosks will be made available to the more than 6,000 Wendy's franchises in the United States, the company announced on Thursday [5/12/2016].  Individual restaurant managers will decide whether to install them as an alternative to having human beings take customers' orders. [...] After all, a computer kiosk doesn't need to be paid $15 an hour to take orders.

Wendy's moves to self-service ordering as minimum wage rises.  Investor's Business Daily reported Wednesday that fast food chain Wendy's will be expanding the use of self-service kiosks in response to the rising minimum wage: [...] California has already raised the minimum wage to $10 an hour and, in April, Gov.  Jerry Brown signed a law which will raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022.  On the same day, New York's Gov.  Cuomo also signed a law which will raise the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour.  The push to raise the minimum wage is backed by labor unions under the banner Fight for 15.

Clinton camp blasts Trump for saying states should control minimum wages.  Donald Trump appeared to be moving to the left on the minimum wage when he said yesterday [5/8/2016] that 'I think people have to get more.'  'I have seen what's going on,' he said.  'And I don't know how people make it on $7.25 an hour.'  But what appeared to be a step to the left will really be a 'race to the bottom,' warned a top Hillary Clinton aide, tasked with rebuffing some of the recent comments Trump has made on the economy.

The Editor says...
Read the Constitution again.  Especially the Tenth Amendment.

In Reversal, Trump Warms to Idea of Raising Minimum Wage.  The presumptive GOP nominee said in an interview on CNN that he's open to looking at increasing the federal minimum wage because people need enough money to live on.

Minimum Wage, Maximum Stupidity.  California is the latest state to dive headfirst into the shallow waters of raising the minimum wage.  Predictably they are about to suffer, not a broken neck, but instead further injury to their already lackluster economy.  Governor Jerry Brown recently announced a deal to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.  This follows the efforts of other cities to raise their minimum wage last year, specifically Seattle and San Francisco.  How did that work out?  For large businesses that could pass on the wage increase to customers, no big deal.  For smaller businesses such as bookstores or restaurants, not so well.  Small businesses in competitive markets are unable to raise prices enough to cover their higher labor expense and instead reduce workers' hours or simply reduce workers.

Hillary's State Department Stopped Haiti From Increasing Its Minimum Wage to 61 Cents.  The #FightFor15 movement is continuing to make gains.  After steamrolling through large urban centers such as Seattle, San Francisco, and New York, now it may be coming to entire states near you.  New York and California recently adopted a $15 statewide minimum wage, and both Democratic presidential candidates have advocated extending the policy nationwide.  While Bernie Sanders has made political hay out of Hillary Clinton's seeming reluctance to fully embrace his rush to $15, she has been coming around to the same talking points of late.  Of course, when the rubber meets the road, Hillary seems to have a different take on drastic wage hikes.  When she was running the show, the State Department helped block Haiti's efforts to increase its minimum wage from 27 cents to 61 cents per hour.

UC Berkeley Touts $15 Minimum Wage Law, Then Fires Hundreds Of Workers After It Passes.  Hundreds of employees at the University of California at Berkeley are getting schooled in basic economics, as the $15 minimum wage just cost them their jobs.  Too bad liberal elites "fighting for $15" don't get it.

UC Berkeley Forced to Cut 500 Jobs After $15 Minimum Wage Hike.  The $15 minimum wage hike in California has sent financially troubled UC Berkeley into decision making mode, and "the people who clean buildings, who work in food services or health clinics," says Todd Stenhouse, will be the ones without a job.  Stenhouse, a spokesman for the American Federation of StateChancellor, also said "There's a very clear need for those front-line services.  But the question is whether there really is a need to hemorrhage resources on executives."

McDonald's workers rally in Times Square for $15 minimum wage.  Hundreds of raucous protesters, including striking Verizon employees, converged on a McDonald's restaurant in Times Square Thursday [4/14/2016] demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage for fast food workers.

Why Minimum Wage Is Bad For Workers, Great For Unions.  The Los Angeles Times recently described how Bill Martinez, a 53-year-old bellhop at the Sheraton Universal in Studio City, was thrilled when he heard the city council voted to raise the minimum wage at big hotels like the one he worked at.  That would have boosted his hourly pay 71%.  Oops.  The law in fact lets unionized hotels avoid the minimum.  So even though Martinez pays $56.50 a month in dues to the union, he won't get the raise.  "That's what really makes me mad," he said.  But non-unionized hotels will have to pay the higher wage.  So unionized hotels will now have a cost advantage.  In short, the unions used minimum wage workers to generate more business for themselves.  Please remember that the next time you hear some union spokesperson blabbing about "the working man."

Those $15/hr minimum wage raises aren't really $15/hr.  Front page articles and headline posts tell the story of a $15 per hour minimum wage that is being accepted by states all across the nation — but ... that's not entirely the story.  Sure, New York and California are following other Pacific-coast lefty states in enacting a $15/hr minimum wage, but not today, or tomorrow, or next year or even the year after that!  So what is the real minimum wage in those liberal states?

New York's $15 Minimum Wage Called 'Too Much, Too Fast' for Small Business Owners.  Under New York's new law, the minimum wage gradually will increase, implemented at different increments depending on the region of the state. [...] New York City employers with more than 10 employees will see the jump to $15 by 2018, while businesses with fewer than 10 employees have until 2019.  By 2021, employers in Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk counties as well as Westchester County will have to implement the $15 minimum wage.

Casualties of a Living Wage: A California Bookstore Owner's Minimum Wage Story.  After more than a decade at the helm of her bookstore, Ann Kinner faces an uncertain future because of new measures at the city and state level to raise the minimum wage.  On June 7, San Diego residents will vote on a ballot measure to raise the city's minimum wage to $11.50 an hour in 2017.  This proposal, coupled with a bill signed by Gov.  Jerry Brown on Monday raising the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, has left Kinner in knots.

New York Gov. Cuomo signs $15 minimum wage law.  New York Gov.  Andrew Cuomo has signed a law [4/4/2016] that will gradually raise the state's minimum wage to $15.

Oregon Governor Abandons $15+ Minimum Wage.  Facing a barrage of criticism from business, and labor skepticism over threats of higher unemployment, Oregon Governor Kate Brown is scaling back her $15.52 minimum wage proposal.  Brown has been trying to be the most "Left Coast" governor by pushing a minimum wage that would surpass that of California's Jerry Brown and Washington's Jay Inslee.

Surprise! "Grassroots" Effort to Push $15 Minimum Wage Actually a Massive Astroturf Campaign Funded by SEIU.  Critics are pointing to a financial disclosure report as evidence that the self-proclaimed grassroots movement Fight for $15 was actually orchestrated by a major labor union.  The Fight for $15 movement has fought since 2012 to raise the national minimum wage to $15 an hour.  The movement has seen several successes on the local level from across the country.  It has been marketed as a grassroots rise of low-wage workers, but the movement is highly paid by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), according to a recent federal expenditure report.  "SEIU's latest financial disclosure once again exposes the remarkable degree to which the 'Fight for $15' campaign is bought and paid for by big labor bosses trying to stay relevant in the 21st century," America Rising Squared Executive Director Brian Rogers said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The risks of California's minimum-wage increase.  A hot concept in wonkdom these days is "evidence-based policymaking."  If, for example, educators try "career academies" for low-income high school students, and data show that students get higher earnings later, then career academies should get more funding.  So widespread is support for this notion that even the House and Senate agreed to set up a federal commission "to make recommendations on how best to incorporate outcomes measurement, institutionalize randomized controlled trials, and [add] rigorous impact analysis into program design."  President Obama signed the bill on Wednesday [3/30/2016].

California is first state to approve $15 minimum wage.  California has become the first state in the nation to approve a statewide $15 minimum wage.  Both the State Assembly and State Senate passed the measure on Thursday afternoon [3/31/2016].  Governor Jerry Brown said he would sign it on Monday.  "No one who is working full time in California should live in poverty due to a low wage," said Democratic State Senator Mark Leno, who cosponsored the bill.

Heaven Help California's Non-Urban Cities Under a $15 Minimum Wage.  If anybody is wondering why so many California residents outside of the big cities want to break away and make their own states, just take note of the news today that California legislators have made a deal with the all-powerful unions to jack up the minimum wage for all industries and all employers across the state to $15 by 2022 and then tie future increases to inflation.  Small business in California will have until 2023 to comply.  There are 13 counties in California that still have double-digit unemployment figures, according to the state's own data.  The data isn't seasonally adjusted, so keep in mind that unemployment naturally rises at the start of a new year.  But even taking into account an adjustment there are significant populations in the state struggling to find work.  None of these high unemployment counties are connected to the big cities.

After Huge Minimum Wage Hike, What California's Economic Future Could Look Like.  California lawmakers and labor leaders are cheering a new deal that, if passed, raises the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour, making the Golden State the first in the country to do so.  But labor experts are already warning that such a wage hike could lead to higher prices for consumers, more automation, and a drop in employment.  According to media reports, lawmakers and labor unions reached a deal this weekend raising the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, formally announced the proposal Monday [3/28/2016].

Some restaurants face pressure to trim menus and staffs under California's wage hike.  A deal that would raise California's minimum wage to $15 an hour was met with a mixture of joy and anxiety across the state Sunday [3/27/2016].  Some workers and labor officials hailed it as a breakthrough in providing higher-wage jobs in fields where it's a struggle to make ends meet.  But some business owners feared the shift would hurt their bottom lines — and perhaps even put them out of business.

Minimum Wage Hike in DC Will Stifle Job Creation.  Last summer, the District of Columbia's increased its minimum wage to $10.50 an hour, which is currently the highest for any U.S. state or territory.  This July, the District's minimum wage will rise again to $11.50 an hour.  Then, on Nov. 8, 2016 D.C. voters may consider an initiative to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, resulting in even more job losses, while business owners and consumers face higher prices.

Fight for 15 update: Seattle employment craters.  [T]he continent sized Petri dish which is the American jobs market has been the subject of much speculation since the Fight for Fifteen muscled its way into the presidential campaign debate.  It's a very populist position which the Democrats have been riding like rocket.  At the same time, people who actually study such matters have been warning that it would backfire spectacularly, particularly if it was implemented in a rush.  Job availability is subject to the same laws of supply and demand as anything else, and jacking up wages almost always has to result in fewer jobs.

Oregon's Poor Will Soon Feel the Effects of a New Minimum Wage.  Last week Oregon Governor Kate Brown gleefully signed into law a progressive statewide minimum wage increase. [...] The current Oregon minimum wage is $9.25/hour.  I say progressive because the area of the state will determine the base "living wage."  If one works in rural Oregon the wage will increase to $12.50/hr. — small cities and towns, $13.50 and large cities like Portland, the hourly minimum wage will top out at $14.75.  But as is being reported, some are still not satisfied.  And why would they be?  We should know by now that the far left can and will never be placated.  No matter how much wealth government redistributes, it will never be enough.

Even [the] state that just raised [its] minimum wage is facing pressure to raise it again.  It took less than a day after Oregon's governor signed one of the nation's largest minimum wage hikes into law for activists to complain that it's not enough — and to begin pushing for further wage mandates to be included on the state's ballot in November.  The newly signed law will raise Oregon's minimum wage from the current level of $9.25 per hour to $14.75 per hour in cities like Portland.  Smaller cities will have a minimum wage of $13.50 and "rural areas" will have the minimum wage set at $12.50.  The increases will be phased-in over the next six years, with the first increases taking effect in July.

Seattle pushes sweeping new rules for worker schedules, employers cry foul.  You've heard the battle cries over paying workers a "living wage."  Now, get ready for the next phase:  "Livable schedules."  On the heels of Seattle passing a controversial $15 minimum wage law, the City Council there is now drafting an ordinance that aims to shift power away from employers when it comes to how workers are scheduled and paid.

Oregon lawmakers pass tiered minimum wage increase.  Oregon lawmakers have approved landmark legislation that propels the state's minimum wage for all workers to the highest rank in the U.S., and does so through an unparalleled tiered system based on geography.

Rep. Gutierrez on $30 Minimum Wage: 'I Am For That Goal'.  Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) recently praised a Las Vegas restaurant for raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour but said he is "for that goal" of $30 an hour.  Gutierrez can be seen making the comments in a series of You Tube videos that show the Democrat speaking to a small group at a Hillary Clinton event during his visit to Nevada earlier this February.

Minimum wage hikes in 14 states in 2016: How high will they go?  As the United States marks more than six years without an increase in the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, 14 states and several cities are moving forward with their own increases, with most taking effect on Friday, Jan. 1.

Dunkin Brands CEO: Serving Up a Minimum Wage Hike Under Review.  Dunkin Brands CEO Nigel Travis explained the divided views on the fight for a $15 minimum wage with FOX Business Network's Stuart Varney.  "We are very focused on franchise economics and our franchisees and us have always been very clear that we fully support and encourage discussions about the minimum wage, particularly in periods of high employment as we have now," Travis said, "we've gone from high unemployment to high employment."

Fast food workers strike nationwide for $15/hr.  Hundreds of fast food workers are striking nationwide Tuesday [11/10/2015], joining other workers in pressing for a more livable wage.  Billed as the largest rally to date, there are 270 demonstrations scheduled nationwide.  Workers have gone on strike nationwide repeatedly in the last few years demanding higher pay.  According to organizers, more than 60 million Americans are paid less than $15 per hour.

Maine Liberals Reject $15 An Hour Minimum Wage.  Portland, Maine is the liberal, crunchy granola center of Maine politics.  The state's largest city, it cast 75% of its votes for Barack Obama in 2012.  Mitt Romney won 20% and the Green Party took much of the rest.  But liberalism has its limits.  City voters rejected a proposed increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour tonight [11/3/2015] by 58% to 42%.  Businesses rallied in opposition and held news conferences featuring small business owners who warned what the measure would mean for them.  The campaign paid off.

Why Wal-Mart's Shrinking Profit Should Scare Liberals.  Wal-Mart's second profit warning in two months should be a wake-up call for the political left.  If America's largest private employer is struggling with its own pay increases, how will other businesses cope with even larger minimum-wage hikes?

The Liberal Solution to Ferguson, MO? More Liberalism.  [Scroll down]  The adverse impact of a dramatic increase in the minimum wage on teenagers looking for their first jobs should be clear to anyone who stops to think about it.  If a business is forced to pay $15 an hour to a worker whose true value to the enterprise is, say, $8 an hour, that amounts to a hidden tax of $7 an hour, or 87.5 percent, on the employment of that person — a tax that does not apply to people making, say, $20 or $30 an hour.  Naturally, such a tax would encourage employers to invest in automation and concentrate their hiring on more skilled and experienced workers.  As Milton Friedman put it, "The minimum wage law is most properly described as a law saying that employers must discriminate against people who have low skills."

New York state approves $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers.  New York state will gradually raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour — the first time any state has set the minimum that high.

St. Louis leaders agree to raise minimum wage to $11 per hour.  Minimum wage workers in St. Louis could soon be joining other workers in cities across the country in getting a raise.  On Friday [8/28/2015], the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved a bill to institute a citywide $11 per hour minimum wage by 2016.  Mayor Francis Slay, who supported the bill, signed it an hour after it was approved.

Chipotle Predictably Responds To 14% Minimum Wage Hike With 14% Higher Prices.  This is what you get when you pay for what someone feels they deserve versus what they actually earn in an open market.  Of course prices have gone up at Chipotle to match the raise in the minimum wage.  You didn't think they were going to willingly lose money on the deal did you?  In fact, I'm surprised, and still expect, prices to go up even more since their sales will now go down due to increased pricing.  It's a vicious circle and these liberal moonbats have bought into it and pushed it to the point of extinction.

Higher minimum wage puts the squeeze on business.  They've dropped the bill for the $15 minimum wage on the table, and guess who's paying?  Recently, we learned the consequences of Seattle's $15 minimum wage:  A net loss of 1,300 jobs for area restaurants, which employ about half of its minimum wage workers, over the first half of the year.  That's the biggest dip since the Great Recession, despite broader regional employment gains and a booming U.S. restaurant industry.  It's clearly employees picking up the tab in the "Fight for $15."

Shocker: After Raising Minimum Wage, Walmart Cuts Hours.  In a move that shocked the nation, the worldwide superstore known as Walmart is beginning to cut back employee working hours in order to offset costs after raising its minimum wage to $9 an hour.

California's SB3, the Minimum Wage Hike.  California has embarked upon a dangerous experiment.  The Democrats who secured total control of the statehouse have been the most productive group of legislators at passing bills in the last 50 years.  Most of these bills were passed stealthily to avoid media scrutiny.  The last minimum wage hike was rammed through without much media attention.  The same with the Sick Leave Law that went into effect in July of 2015.  These two new costs, when combined with the federal ACA have increased the cost of labor roughly 35% overnight.  None of these assaults on California businesses were sensibly staggered, nor was the business community even consulted.  It's as if the feeling that exists under the Capital building is a childlike free-for-all to greedily get as much vote-buying, pro-labor legislation in before the window closes.  And now comes SB3, which is to amend the last minimum wage and take it higher, much much higher, for the entire state.

Raising the minimum wage is about leftist power, not helping Americans.  The current feel-good push for a $15 an hour minimum wage has nothing to do with helping workers and everything to do with advancing the goals of the left wing, especially the labor movement.  This is true despite the occasionally soaring rhetoric of President Obama amid the Left's incessant whining about "income inequality," itself a particularly un-American concept, an imaginary evil that dwells only in the nightmares of left-wingers.  The fact gets lost that the minimum wage itself and continuing increases in the minimum wage hurt working people.

Seattle CEO who set firm's minimum wage to $70G says he has hit hard times.  The Seattle CEO who reaped a publicity bonanza when he boosted the salaries of his employees to a minimum of $70,000 a year says he has fallen on hard times.  Dan Price, 31, tells the New York Times that things have gotten so bad he's been forced to rent out his house.  Only three months ago Price was generating headlines — and accusations of being a socialist — when he announced the new salary minimum for all 120 employees at his Gravity Payments credit card processing firm.  Price said he was doing it, and slashing his $1 million pay package to pay for it, to address the wealth gap.

Seattle sees fallout from $15 minimum wage, as other cities follow suit.  Seattle's $15 minimum wage law is supposed to lift workers out of poverty and move them off public assistance.  But there may be a hitch in the plan.  Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise — in a bid to keep overall income down so they don't lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.  Full Life Care, a home nursing nonprofit, told KIRO-TV in Seattle that several workers want to work less.

The Minimum Wage Is One of the Key Policies That Will Cause Puerto Rico to Go Bankrupt.  Puerto Rico just signaled that it will file for Chapter 9 protection.  They just hired former Detroit judge Steven Rhodes to assist them with this.  This is the same tactic that was used by the City of Detroit.  A lot of Puerto Rico's woes can be traced to entitlements and the minimum wage in that country.  Sound familiar?  Puerto Rico is a precursor of what is to come here in the US.  With Marxist cities such as Washington DC, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles all raising their minimum wages in the midst of a debt death spiral, default is in our not-so-distant future.  Right now, there are a number of cities on the verge of bankruptcy due to pensions, student loans and welfare.

More about Puerto Rico.

The Socialist Left Wants to Make Things Right.  Under socialism there is no private property, advocates and supporters say.  It could have fooled me.  The twenty years I lived under the transition from socialism to communism, all the elites had their private property, including the union bosses appointed by the Communist Party, while the proletariat had nothing. [...] These same socialists advocated quite loudly a living wage of $15-25 per hour for minimum wage unskilled workers.  It is only "fair" and "social justice" to pay someone enough money where they can live comfortably while expending no effort to educate themselves for a career that would enable them to earn a deserved living wage.

Unions Seek Exemptions from Minimum Wage Laws.  Since the first federal minimum wage went into effect in 1938, there have been people calling for an increase.  Recently, there has been a push for a $15 hourly minimum wage at the federal level, as well as within various state and municipalities.  Many of these calls for minimum wage hike have been led by, and funded by, unions.  One in particular, Raise the Wage, called for a $15.25 minimum wage in Los Angeles and was funded by unions, including AFL-CIO.  While unions have been fighting for increasing minimum wages, they have also been fighting for unions to be exempted from the increased minimum wages.

Los Angeles raises minimum wage to $15 per hour.  Mayor Eric Garcetti signed into law on Saturday [6/13/2015] an ordinance that makes Los Angeles the biggest city in the nation to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Los Angeles becomes the biggest city yet to approve a $15 minimum wage.  The Los Angeles City Council voted overwhelmingly Tuesday [5/19/2015] to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, up from the current $9 an hour, making the city the largest in the country to set a target that has gone from almost absurdly ambitious to mainstream in the span of a few years.  The bill, which will need to clear a final vote, passed by a margin of 14-1.

L.A. restaurants push for tips to count toward minimum wage.  As L.A. leaders weigh raising wages for businesses across the city, scores of local restaurateurs argue that the city should count tips toward the added amount they would have to pay workers to reach the proposed $13.25 or $15.25 minimum wage.  Doing so, they say, would ensure the wage increase helps those who need it most and reduce the financial burden on businesses.

Feeling the pain of a $12.25 minimum wage.  With cities such as Seattle phasing in higher minimum wages, one city has already had a taste of a $12.25 hour baseline rate, and the experience hasn't been all that painless.  After voter approval, Oakland, California, a neighbor to San Francisco, boosted its minimum wage by more than one-third to $12.25 an hour on March 1.  With one month of higher wages under their belts, 223 businesses provided feedback on their experiences to the Employment Policies Institute, a fiscally conservative think tank.

Perez, Jarrett to take paid-leave show on the road starting April 1.  Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez and White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett will travel to several states this spring to promote paid-leave policies, showing the extent to which the Obama administration is working outside the Beltway to achieve its policy goals.  The "Lead on Leave" road show — which starts April 1 in Seattle and will also feature assistant to the president Tina Tchen and other senior officials — reprises a strategy the administration has used to galvanize support for raising the minimum wage and expanding retirement benefits.

Ruinous 'Compassion': New Minimum Wage Laws Kick In.  It is fascinating to see brilliant people belatedly discover the obvious — and to see an even larger number of brilliant people never discover the obvious.  A recent story in a San Francisco newspaper says that some restaurants and grocery stores in Oakland's Chinatown have closed after the city's minimum wage was raised.  Other small businesses there are not sure they are going to survive, since many depend on a thin profit margin and a high volume of sales.

Seattle's New $15 Minimum Wage Law Causing Restaurants to Close All Over the City.  Since Seattle forced a raise in its minimum wage to $15 small businesses, especially restaurants, have been closing all across the city because they just can't afford the new wage and stay open.  Higher minimum wages always seem like a great idea to people as a general idea.  Unfortunately, in real life forced higher minimum wages are disastrous for all small businesses and Seattle is a perfect example of why it is a bad, bad idea.

Seattle restaurants going dark as $15 an hour minimum wage goes into effect.  Seattle is about to embark on a civic experiment that most experts predict will be an economic disaster; a $15 an hour minimum wage is set to go into effect on April 1st.  And some restuarants in the city have already shuttered their doors and are either going out of business or moving to friendlier climes.  This was entirely predictable — and was predicted when the measure passed the Seattle city council.

Mayor to NYC business leaders: Start pay at $13 an hour.  Mayor Bill de Blasio, promoting his message of income equality and empowering the less fortunate, pressed influential New York City business leaders on Thursday to raise their workers' starting pay to $13 an hour.

Minimum Wage Hike Closes San Francisco Bookstore.  An independent San Francisco bookstore says it will be closing its doors by March 31, despite having its best year ever in 2014.  And it's pointing at San Francisco's newly enacted minimum wage law as the reason.

Minimum Wage Hike Hits Home in SF.  This is a bookstore that has survived the doubling of rent in San Francisco, the impact of Amazon and other online retailers on book sales, and the recession.  But despite all of that, it is the city's new $15 an hour minimum wage that will finally put them over the edge.

The Real Minimum Wage is Still $0.  The New York Times headline hardly disguised the Old Gray Lady's glee: "States' Minimum Wages Rise, Helping Millions of Workers."  The mandates escalating the price of labor certainly will help some of the very few workers currently earning minimum wage.  The news that isn't fit to print is that by further burdening employers with costs, the policies ensure layoffs of some workers currently employed and the continued unemployment of others who might have found work if the states allowed the market, rather than bureaucrats, politicians, or a mathematical formula, to determine wages.

21 states to boost minimum wage in January.  After the new wages go into effect, 29 states and the District of Columbia will have minimum wages higher than the federal minimum of $7.25.  Washington state's new minimum wage $9.47 per hour will be the highest in the nation.

Hey GQ, can't find any crazy Democrats? Here are 16.  [For example,] Rep. Barbara Lee (CA): Called for a $26 minimum wage so that "people ... could afford to live in areas now where they cannot afford to live" and "you would increase diversify in certain communities where you don't have diversity anymore.  You would have economic parity."  Nah, $26 an hour isn't going to diversity Park Avenue.  Try $260 an hour, that'll work!

Chicago continues assault on business with steep hike in minimum wage.  A city teetering on the brink of insolvency passes a minimum wage that would reach $13 by 2019, higher than the minimum elsewhere in a state that just elected a Republican governor.  What could go wrong?

Minimum wage hike won't help striking fast-food workers.  On Thursday [12/4/2014], the Service Employees International Union is planning protests advocating a $15 hourly minimum wage.  The union claims that fast food, home care, and airport workers will go on strike in 160 cities, though it did not provide a list.  Regardless of whether a $15 minimum wage occurred at the local, state, or federal level, it is unlikely the minimum wage hike would actually help the group intended:  low-skilled workers.

California bill would require retailers, restaurants to pay their employees double on holidays.  A California lawmaker said she will introduce a bill that would double the pay of employees who work over Thanksgiving and Christmas.  "I've watched how the retailers and restaurateurs continue to expand their hours and open up on these holidays that are traditionally family holidays," Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez told the Sacramento Bee.  "What people are being called in to do now is a real slap in the face of family values, frankly."

Opposing viewpoint:
Why I Don't Mind Working Retail Thanksgiving Day.  For the last two or three years, people have been complaining about Black Friday starting earlier and earlier and claim to feel badly for poor oppressed retail workers who have to work on Thanksgiving Day rather than spend it with their families.  So here's my take, as an actual retail employee who does work on Thanksgiving.

Why Democrats need rich people, too.  The populist Democratic senator from Massachusetts was in the Dirksen Senate Office Building [11/18/2014], hosting an event to push Wal-Mart to raise wages and improve working conditions.  "No one in this country should work full time and still live in poverty," she said, wearing a green wristband to show solidarity with Wal-Mart workers.  "Today a person can work full time, and a momma and a baby on a full-time minimum job cannot keep themselves out of poverty — and that's wrong."

The Editor says...
The minimum wage was never intended to support an entire family, or to support any individual in perpetuity — especially a single mother.  If you're still living on one minimum-wage job when you're 30 years old, there's something wrong with your ambition glands, or with your education.

Forced Unionization of Fast Food Workers is the Real Plan.
Minimum Wage Hike [is] Only The Beginning.  The effort to raise the minimum wage in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois in general is not just about a higher salaries but about the ability to unionize, a labor leader said this week.  Speaking at a panel at the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference in Washington this week, Kendell Fells a national coordinator for Service Employees International Union, said an increased minimum wage is not the ultimate goal of his group.

University of Memphis weighing minimum wage.  The University of Memphis is considering paying a minimum wage of $10.10 an hour and stepping into a national debate over how much workers should make for their efforts.

Unions And Liberals Are Working Hard To Kill Jobs.  How many employees could McDonalds do away with per store by going automated?  Two to five?  More?  And will the other fast food restaurants quickly follow suit?  You can bet they will.  These are low paying jobs because that is the business model, and always has.  They are not jobs meant for adults supporting kids.

The 'Fight for $15' Suffers A Setback As McDonald's Flirts With Automation.  The "Fight for $15" movement to increase the hourly pay of fast food workers to $15 per hour has gained a lot of momentum in the past year.  Led by unions, who seek to expand into the fast food industry, and progressive activist groups, there have been protests nationwide demanding fast food chains raise the starting pay of employees to more than double the minimum wage.  That fight may be on the verge of backfiring.

Mob Rule Economics.  The latest examples are the mobs in the streets in cities across the country, demanding that employers pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour, or else that the government makes them do so by law.  Some of the more gullible observers think the issue is whether what some people are making now is "a living wage."  This misconstrues the whole point of hiring someone to do work.  Those who are being hired are paid for the value of the work they do.  If their work is really worth more than what their employer is paying them, all they have to do is quit and go work for some other employer, who will pay them what their work is really worth.  If they can't find any other employer who will pay them more, then what makes them think their work is worth more?

How Democrats Use the Minimum Wage Issue To Exploit The Poor.  The Democrat Party of the U.S. has gained and kept political power by portraying themselves to the masses of people as the only political party that cares about the working middle class and the vulnerable poor.  You need us, Democrats love to say at every election cycle, to help you achieve a better life.  And as the November election nears, they are once again bringing up the minimum wage issue.  Their position is that the Republicans are too insensitive to the needs of the poor to raise the minimum wage.  Voters must elect Democrats in order to see a minimum pay raise.  But at some point American voters, particularly the working middle class and poor, may begin to wonder whether or not Democrats are incompetent or something else is at play.

Living wage: New York mayor gives thousands of workers raise.  Mayor Bill de Blasio's executive order requires business tenants in certain city-subsidized building projects to raise their minimum wages to $13.13 for employees who don't receive benefits.

Los Angeles approves $15.37 minimum wage for hotel workers.  The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday [9/24/2014] to raise the minimum wage for hotel workers to $15.37, one of the highest wage requirements in the country.  Hotel workers in yellow shirts packed City Hall as the council voted 12 to 3 to approve the measure, which will go into effect for hotels with at least 300 rooms beginning in July.  Hotels with 150 rooms or more will have to meet the wage requirement a year later.

What a $15 Minimum Wage Would Do to Fast Food Prices.  Thousands of fast-food workers across 150 cities nationwide gathered today to call for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.  However, a report released today by James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, found that fast-food restaurants would have to boost their prices 38 percent to make up for the increased labor costs.

Protests for $15 fast food minimum wage fizzle.  On Thursday, fast food and home healthcare workers across the country walked away from their jobs and joined the "Fight for $15," an SEIU-backed movement demanding a $15 minimum wage and unabridged union rights for fast food workers.  In the past, organizers and participants have largely avoided trouble with law enforcement.  This time, however, protesters came armed with a mandate from on high to engage in civil disobedience to the point of arrest.

'Today' Hosts Object to Restaurant Charging Extra Fee After Minimum Wage Hike.  On Thursday's [8/7/2014] NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie noted a restaurant in Minnesota that found "a unique way to offset the added expense" of the state hiking its minimum wage:  "The Oasis Café is now including a 'minimum wage fee' on bills.  You see it right there on the bill.  Totals 35 cents.... the cafe's owners say this wage hike is going to cost them $10,000 a year, this is their way of protesting it..."

Union-Backed City Council Members Clear the Way for Referendum on $12.25 Minimum Wage.  Oakland City Council members who favor a minimum-wage increase have received campaign donations and research from wage-hike activists and labor unions.  Last week, the council voted, 5-3, against a moderate proposal to raise the minimum wage over time and to exempt small businesses in the early stages so they could adjust.  The council did so to clear the way for a ballot measure to put before the voters in November that would raise the wage for all businesses to $12.25 beginning in March.  The $12.25 increase is supported by Lift Up Oakland, an organization heavily backed by labor unions.

Is Thinking Obsolete?  One of the few countries without a minimum wage law is Switzerland, where the unemployment rate has been consistently less than 4 percent for years.  Back in 2003, The Economist magazine reported that "Switzerland's unemployment neared a five-year high of 3.9% in February."  The most recent issue shows the Swiss unemployment rate back to a more normal 3.2 percent.

Automation [is] the Joker in the Deck.  The recent increase in the federal minimum wage (and presumably the wage that federal contractors will be required to pay) to $10.10 per hour will, if adopted nationally, immediately result in the loss of some 500,000 jobs and possibly affect employment of up to a million workers, according to the report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  In reality, the long-term effect will be much more significant.  Because the minimum wage affects the lowest end of the employment spectrum, its impact will be felt largely on low-skilled, transient, and part-time workers, including young people, students, and others.  The effect would be especially distressing among those who find themselves underemployed as a result of the ObamaCare mandate and forced to seek second jobs.

Hypocrites: Democrats Demanding 'Livable Wages' Pay Their Interns Nothing.  Raising the minimum wage for fast-food workers is the cause du jour among liberals, so naturally, Democrats have to jump on board and pretend to care about someone else's paycheck other than their own.  They're just hoping and praying that none of us will look too closely at them, because if we do, we'll see that they are all flaming hypocrites who advocate for a "living wage" while employing unpaid interns who work a full time schedule.

Democrats' Minimum Wage Stunt Laughably Backfires.  You might better remember the group as Organizing for America.  An offshoot of President Obama's campaign apparatus, the grassroots organization is tasked with promoting his legislative agenda.  Not sure why they dropped "America" from their name.  Perhaps too many members found it offensive. [...] [President Obama] sent out a series of tweets with graphics meticulously color coordinated with the Live the Wage website.  These are all variations on the theme that while the price of goods has increased over the past five years, the minimum wage has not.

Lefty flips out over billboard explaining consequences of $15 minimum wage.  The billboard just educates people about reality.  If you raise the cost of labor, then it becomes economical to replace labor with automation, in this case touch screens, which are declining in cost as labor prices itself out of the market through high minimum wages.

Employers Try to Get Seattle to Reconsider Its $15 Minimum Wage.  Seattle's plan to dramatically increase the minimum wage is going to be unsustainable in the long term and is already costing jobs and raising prices, business owners say.  Seattle businessmen lead by Forward Seattle, a non-partisan organization representing independent businesses, collected about 19,500 signatures to put a referendum on the city's minimum wage ordinance on this November's ballot.  Several of the petitioners have said their businesses cannot withstand the ordinance's schedule for increasing the minimum hourly wage, which will boost it from $9.25 to $15 in as few as three years for the largest employers.

Obama's minimum wage hike will cost 500,000 jobs by the end of 2016, claims bombshell official report.  The White House may have to scrap its plans to aggressively promote a 40 percent national minimum wage hike now that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the move would likely cost the U.S. 500,000 jobs by the second half of 2016.  The CBO's report, released Tuesday afternoon [7/8/2014], also estimated that it would pull 900,000 low-income Americans above the federal government's poverty line.

Why I can't be both an economist and a liberal.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, as President Obama proposes, would eliminate 500,000 to 1,000,000 jobs.  Businesses will be forced to raise prices, lose customers and lay off employees.  Fast food restaurants will begin to use more machines and we'll see something similar to automated checkout devices at drug stores and supermarkets.

California: Pro-Business Latino Democrats Stopped Minimum Wage Hike.  The burgeoning power of the Latino community in California was illustrated this week by the death of a minimum wage hike proposal in the state Assembly.  Despite the fact that the pro-business Latino Caucus is comprised totally of Democrats, one of its members abstained from supporting the bill.  Business groups were astonished to see the bill die in an Assembly labor committee, which was seen as dominated by the state's unions.  The tipping point in the death of the $13-per-hour minimum wage bill was the abstention of Salinas Democrat Assemblyman Luis Alejo, who had written the 2013 bill raising the state's minimum wage to $9 next week and $10 by 2016.  He was joined by one other Democrat.

Big Labor Gave Millions to Worker Centers in 2013.  The most famous of these groups is the Fast Food Workers Committee, which has overseen protests for pay hikes at McDonalds and other well-known chain restaurants across the country.  The Fast Food Workers Committee received more than $1.8 million from the SEIU in 2013, according to the analysis.  "This is not some organic, localized uprising of restaurant workers or some altruistic campaign for higher wages.  This is a systematic campaign to organize fast food workers," said WFI's Glenn Spencer.  "You don't invest millions every year in this type of operation without getting something in return."

Businesses launch legal challenge to Seattle's $15 minimum wage.  Many Seattle workers are about to see their income go way up, after the City Council unanimously passed a $15 minimum wage earlier this month.  But faster than you can get a happy meal at McDonald's, the ordinance is facing a legal challenge.  "I guarantee not everyone will survive," warned David Jones, who owns a Subway franchise in Seattle.  "This discriminatory law will affect some franchisees and they will go out of business."

An Increased Minimum Wage Equals Greater Unemployment.  [I]n California where countless businesses are fleeing thanks to the insanity of its liberal legislature and Governor, as May ended its senate approved a measure that would lift the state pay floor to $13.00 an hour by 2017.  If it becomes law, Californians will be interacting with machines for everything from banking to filling their gas tank to having a fast-food meal.  Even more insane, Seattle has become home to the highest minimum wage in the nation, $15.00 an hour!

Sanders Compares Efforts To Raise Minimum Wage to Pre-MLK Civil Rights Movement.  At a rally of fast food workers in North Carolina, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) compared the efforts of those who want to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour to the civil rights activists who paved the way for Martin Luther King Jr.  "There are brave people who are out in front.  Martin Luther King Jr. didn't start by himself, and there were people out there 50 years before him breaking down the barriers.  Great labor leaders were doing this a hundred years ago," Sanders said at the April 26 rally for Raise Up For 15 in Charlotte.


Living wage surcharge
WA businesses add "living wage surcharge" to bills after city raises minimum wage to $15.  Wait ... you mean businesses are charging customers more because they're now forced to pay their employees more?  I'm shocked!

One photo reveals big issue with Seattle's $15 minimum wage.   It's easy enough to discuss what could happen under a controversial policy, but it's a little more difficult to provide evidence after enactment to prove a claim.  In the case of SeaTac and its newly minted $15-per-hour minimum wage, the proof comes from a single photo of a parking receipt.

Democrats' Immoral Approach to Minimum Wage.  Raising the minimum wage destroys jobs.  Democrats pushing for a higher minimum wage has nothing to do with improving peoples' lives and everything to do with playing two cards — class envy and fairness — from their hate-inspiring deck to win votes.  How much can Mr. Joe American grocery store owner afford to pay an unskilled worker just entering the work force?  When government pulls an amount out of the air that it believes is a fair hourly wage and forces it on business owners, business owners are forced to make real-world economic decisions.

0.8% of Workers Are Over 29 and Earn Minimum Wage or Less.  A majority of the Americans who worked for the minimum wage or less in 2013 were 24 years old or younger, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and only 0.8 percent of American workers were 29 or older and worked for the minimum wage or less.  A supermajority of 67.5 percent who earned the minimum wage or less in 2013, according to BLS, worked in what the government calls the "Leisure and Hospitality" industry.  This includes restaurants, bars, hotels, theatres, amusement parks and other facilities catering to people pursuing recreational activities.

On The Historically Racist Motivations Behind Minimum Wage.  The business-friendly National Center for Policy Analysis points out "the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, requiring 'prevailing' wages on federally assisted construction projects, was supported by the idea that it would keep contractors from using 'cheap colored labor' to underbid contractors using white labor." African-American economist Thomas Sowell with Stanford University's Hoover Institution gives an uncomfortable historical primer behind minimum wage laws: [...]

The minimum wage is zero in the Obama White House.  Hypocrites!
White House Ignores Calls To Pay Interns.  Even as it pushes Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, the Obama administration is resisting calls to pay interns who serve in the White House.

Venezuela's president orders 30 percent wage increase.  President Nicolas Maduro is boosting Venezuela's minimum wage to defend workers' salaries against inflation running at nearly 60 percent.

Harry Reid plans minimum wage vote this week.  After months of delay, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will hold a critical test vote on legislation that would raise the minimum wage by nearly 40 percent, to $10.10 an hour.  The bill anchors a Senate Democratic agenda that focuses on income inequality.  Democrats say the current minimum hourly wage of $7.25 deprives workers of a decent standard of living.  Like other legislation on the Democratic agenda, however, the minimum wage bill has no chance of passing the Republican-led House.

The Minimum Wage Will Slash the Economy's Throat.  It is amazing how violently the Democrats shout about how the increase in the minimum wage law is the key to economic salvation.  I'm not sure, even if we forget about increased unemployment and higher prices, how a $10.10 minimum wage is supposed to give us a vibrant economy.  Nevertheless, Democrat Representative George Miller of California insisted the Republicans are suffocating the economy by not passing this pay increase.

A National Minimum Wage Is a Bad Fit for Low-Cost Communities.  A one-size-fits-all minimum wage, without any adjustments for the significant differences in the cost of living across the country, will disproportionately affect low-skilled workers in low-cost areas.

If We Raise [the] Minimum Wage, Why Stop At $10 An Hour?  A measly 10 bucks an hour?  In a country as wealthy as the U.S.?  The minimum-wage number is decided on by politicians, not the free market.  And since our politicians can raise the minimum wage as high as they wish, why stop at 10 bucks?  Why not $100 an hour?  That would make a lot of people happy.

Obama's Weekly Address: Minimum Wage Hike About 'Rewarding' Women.  "Congress needs to join the rest of the country and pass a bill that would lift the federal minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents an hour," President Obama insisted.  Studies on raising the minimum wage have shown that such a plan would not necessarily help Americans in poverty.  In fact, one such study from Express Employment Professionals found that 38% of employers paying minimum wage would have to fire workers to comply with a higher minimum wage, while 54% would reduce the number of workers hired.  According to Forbes, the last time Congress raised the minimum wage, more than 600,000 jobs disappeared.

Fast-food protests to spotlight 'wage theft'.  It's part of an ongoing campaign by labor groups to build support for pay of $15 an hour and bring attention to the rights of low-wage workers.

Will Royal Warrants Be the Next Big Thing From Obama's Campaign?  President Obama's recent shopping trip to Manhattan "was a reward for Gap, which is raising its minimum pay for employees to $10.10 an hour in keeping with Mr. Obama's stalled proposal to increase it across the board," the New York Times reported.  It's hardly the first time in his presidency that Mr. Obama has made a personal endorsement of a private business.  In fact, it's a habit of his.

The Minimum Wage Is No Friend of the Poor.  The debate over raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from the current $7.25 heated up last week with the publication of a Congressional Budget Office study, which estimated that total employment would likely be reduced by "500,000 workers" if the hike were implemented.  While the CBO's scenario made sense, a truly substantive debate about the minimum wage would start with the merits of abolishing it altogether, while seeking to help poor people through more direct means.

Sperling: Higher Minimum Wage Will Allow Some Americans to 'Work Less'.  Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 will help "people who just want to work hard," but it also will help those who want to "work less," White House economic adviser Gene Sperling told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday [2/19/2014].  He argued that Americans support raising the minimum wage because it will lift "struggling" families out of poverty: [...] Sperling called an increase to $10.10 a "moderate increase," and he said it means people "will rely less on the government."

The Editor says...
Obviously, if you can't make ends meet at the current minimum wage, you're already dependent upon the government, so a minimum wage increase won't make you less dependent.

Congressional budget office: Minimum wage hike raises income for over 16.5M but cost 500K jobs.  Boosting the federal minimum wage as President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are proposing would increase earnings for more than 16.5 million people by 2016 but also cut employment by roughly 500,000 jobs, Congress' nonpartisan budget analyst said Tuesday [2/18/2014].

Minimum wage hike would kill a half-million jobs: CBO.  Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour will cost the U.S. economy a half-million jobs by 2016 but will substantially boost wages for most low-income workers, according to a Congressional Budget Office report released Tuesday that adds a significant hurdle to Democrats' push for an increase.  Stung by the findings, the White House, which is still facing a sluggish job picture five years after the recession, scrambled for a response.  It praised the nonpartisan agency's finding that low-wage workers' income would rise but said the CBO job numbers "do not reflect the overall consensus view of economists."

Minimum-wage hike would help alleviate poverty, but could kill jobs, CBO reports.  President Obama's proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would increase earnings for 16.5 million low-wage Americans but cost the nation about 500,000 jobs, congressional budget analysts said Tuesday [2/18/2014]. [...] The higher wages would lift about 900,000 people out of poverty, the report said.  But the CBO warned that raising the minimum wage could also cause employers to lay off low-wage workers or hire fewer of them, reducing overall employment by about 500,000 jobs, or about 0.3 percent of the labor force.

Obama's 'Give America a Raise' battle cry is misleading and disturbing.  To start, increasing the minimum wage would only affect a subset of Americans.  In 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 1.6 million Americans were paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.  That's far less than the millions of people who had their health insurance plans cancelled as a result of Obama's health care law, which Obama dismissed as representing only a small portion of the public.  It's true that Obama supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10, so if passed, the hike would affect more than the 1.6 million.  But the number who would see their earnings go up is certainly not all of America.

The minimum wage is rarely a household's sole sustenance.  Earlier this month, I wrote about how North Carolina cut off its extended unemployment benefits in July, only to see its job market take off in the months afterward.  As the new Labor Department state employment data from last week reaffirm, the cuts don't seem to have hurt the state's economy at all, and might have even helped encourage job-seekers to take what was available.  This reality did not prevent President Obama from calling on Congress in Tuesday's State of the Union to extend benefits, prolonging the six-year "emergency" measure.

How many workers will be affected by Obama's minimum wage executive order?  Ahead of tonight's State of the Union Address, the White House has announced that President Obama will sign an executive order raising the minimum wage for workers employed through federal contracts.  The policy is a part of a "year of action" being touted by the Obama administration, in which the president will attempt to impose changes through executive order that he cannot pass through Congress.  But the White House document explaining the planned action does not indicate how many Americans will actually be affected by the executive order.

The Minimum Wage Hike: Who Pays?  The jobs held by minimum wage earners are predominantly in service jobs, such as fast food franchises, and small business establishments.  These businesses are supported by consumers.  And if consumers are expected to pay more to support a hike in the minimum wage, it follows that consumers would need more money in their pockets in order to afford to pay minimum wage earners higher wages.  If consumers don't have more money, then a hike in the minimum wage without a hike in consumer incomes would force them to purchase less.  Either way the minimum wage is not controlled by government fiat but by simple economic reality:  the disposable income of those who purchase the goods and services produced by minimum-wage workers.

96 Percent of Dems Who Support Minimum Wage Hike Don't Pay Their Interns.  Liberals are really pushing raising the minimum wage for 2014.  Thirty states have put forward bills to increase it, and Democrats have made this issue part of their political strategy for this year.  Yet, a new study from the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) has exposed the proponents of raising the minimum wage of their "hypocrisy."  It seems that 96% of Democrats who support such measures don't pay their interns.

Study: Obama's proposed minimum wage hike could destroy 1 million jobs.  The Obama administration's proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could result in as many 1,084,000 jobs eliminated from the work force, according to a new study conducted by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI)[.]  "No amount of denial by the president and his political allies — and no number of 'studies' published by biased researchers — can change the fact that minimum wage hikes eliminate jobs for low-skill and entry-level employees.  Non-partisan economists have agreed on this consensus for decades, and the laws of economics haven't changed," Michael Saltsman, research director at EPI, said in a statement.

New study shows that Obama's proposed minimum wage hike will kill jobs.  The Employment Policies Institute recently released a study on the impact that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 will have on the economy.  The news is grim, as an estimated 360,000 to 1,084,000 jobs would be eliminated across the country according to the report.

Debate Over Minimum Wage Hike Is Obscured By Myths.  Most people who earn the minimum wage or slightly more are the only earners in their households and therefore are poor, right?  And so, if the federal government or state governments raise the minimum wage, that will be a nicely targeted way of helping poor people, right?  Well, no.  Wrong on both counts.  Most workers earning at or close to the minimum wage are not the sole earners in a household, and most of them are not in poor households.

Seven Minimum Wage Facts That Have Democrats Worried.  [#3]  Labor workers already make well above the minimum wage.  Democrats and unions hoping labor workers will be energized by a minimum wage bump will be sad to know that laborers in every single sector of what the government calls "production and nonsupervisory employees" — like manufacturing, construction, mining, retail, transportation, etc. — already earn well above the minimum wage.  In fact, in November 2013, the government reported that the average hourly labor wage across all industries was $20.31 — a figure nearly three times the federal minimum wage.  And as the unions themselves boast, a union member's annual salary is already $10,400 higher than a non-union worker.

Democrats Continue Class Warfare Rhetoric.  Income inequity will be 2014's attack line for Obama and Democrats, this election cycle's class-warfare rhetoric.  The first example is their pledge to rebuild the middle class with a minimum-wage increase.  According to Keystone College political science professor Jeff Brauer, the major difficulty of relying on such a strategy is one word:  demographics.

Candy Crowley: 'Why Would I Become a Republican' If I'm Unemployed or on Minimum Wage?  On CNN's State of the Union Sunday [1/5/2014], host Candy Crowley asked a question of Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.) that should offend people on both sides of the aisle.  "If I am an unemployed American ... or if I am a minimum wage worker ... why would I become a Republican?"

The Editor says...
Of course you remember Candy Crowley, the "jourrnalist" who served as "moderator" of the 2012 presidential debate and turned it into a two-against-one tag team match.  This amounts to an admission (or a boast) on Ms. Crowley's part that the elevated minimum wage and nearly-perpetual unemployment checks are two methods used to buy votes for the Democrats.

Obama on the minimum wage — then and now.  In coming weeks President Obama and Hill Democrats will launch a new campaign to raise the minimum wage.  Working with labor unions and activist groups, Democrats hope to increase the federal minimum wage from its current $7.25 to $10.10.  "It's well past the time to raise a minimum wage that in real terms right now is below where it was when Harry Truman was in office," the president declared in his Dec. 4 speech on inequality.  Republicans will argue that raising the minimum wage will hurt the economy, as employers, especially small businesses, hire fewer low-wage workers.  It's an argument Obama expects to hear a lot.

Focusing on inflation-adjusted minimum wage is misguided.  To put things in perspective, when Obama wanted to downplay the number of individuals who had received cancellation letters due to his health care law, he portrayed the 5 percent who obtained their health insurance through the individual market as representing a small segment of the population.  In comparison, 1.6 million Americans earned exactly the federal minimum wage in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and another 2 million had wages below that due to certain exemptions.  Combined, the 3.6 million earning at or below the minimum wage represented less than 3 percent of working Americans.

The Minimum Wage Issue — Again.  Minimum wage-earners actually pay a "negative" tax.  A person making the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25/hour will make $15,080/year (assuming he/she works 2,080 hours — 40 hours/week times 52 weeks).  He/She is in the first income quintile according to a recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report.  According to the same report, he/she pays an income tax rate of -9.2% (Table 2), or $1,387.  He/she pays no income tax on the $15,080, and receives $1,387.  So the effective minimum wage is $7.91/hour ([$15,080 + $1,387]/2,080).  But wait!  There's more!

Big Labor's Big Mac Attack?  Doubling the minimum wage for fast-food workers is delusional and counterproductive.

Why racists love the minimum wage laws.  A survey of American economists found that 90 percent of them regarded minimum-wage laws as increasing the rate of unemployment among low-skilled workers.  Inexperience is often the problem:  Only about 2 percent of Americans over the age of 24 earned the minimum wage. [...] In an earlier era, when racial discrimination was both legally and socially accepted, minimum-wage laws were often used openly to price minorities out of the job market.  In 1925, a minimum-wage law was passed in the Canadian province of British Columbia, with the intent and effect of pricing Japanese immigrants out of jobs in the lumbering industry.

Destroying Household Jobs.  Despite evidence from around the world that minimum wage laws can price low-skilled workers out of jobs, the U.S. Department of Labor is planning to extend minimum wage coverage to domestic workers, such as maids or those who drop in from time to time to do a few household chores for the sick and the elderly.

Minimum Wage Laws are a Masterful Delusion.  Market wage levels are not determined by emotions, greed or pity; the wage offered by an employer to a prospective employee is the result of certain constraints:
      a. The skill-set of the employee and how it fits with the job requirements
      b. The experience and record of reliability of the prospective employee
      c. The actual value that the employee can potentially produce in the job
      d. The quality and quantity of prospects competing for the same job
      e. The wage level the prospective employee is willing to accept
      f. The wage level competitors are likely to offer prospective hires
      g. The relative scarcity of skills and knowledge required to perform the job

Minimum Wage History.  Many states have departed from the federal minimum wage.  Washington's minimum wage is highest, advancing to $9.04, January 1, 2012.

The History of Minimum Wage.  The Clinton administration gave the rights to each state to implement their own minimum wage law based on the cost of living in their state.

The History of Minimum Wages in the USA.  In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first minimum wage law, setting the federal minimum wage for industrial workers at 25 cents an hour.  Agricultural workers and others who did not work in industry were exempt from this law, however.

Minimum Wage:  The federal minimum wage for covered nonexempt employees is $7.25 per hour effective July 24, 2009.  The federal minimum wage provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

How to Help Fast-Food Workers.  What's wrong with simply doubling the minimum wage?  The answer is that wages are not arbitrarily set.  Even in a corporatist economy, they result from supply and demand.  This can be seen in an extreme hypothetical example, in which the minimum wage in the fast-food industry is raised to $100 an hour.  What would happen to employment?  It's easy to see that it would plummet as the industry itself faded away.  Why?  Because, given the price of fast food, workers can't possibly produce $100 worth of value for their employers in an hour.

Rung Out to Dry.  [Scroll down]  The only way to enjoy the higher rungs of the ladder is to have climbed those lower ones first, as a teen, a college kid, or new "resident" to this country.  Not only do you feel the pride of achievement through the upward climb, but at the top you can look down at everyone else and say, in an annoyed voice "You know, when I was your age..."  I wonder if we've created a generation of kids who are now incapable of saying that — not because they never got paid minimum wage, but because they never applied for the job.

Minimum Wage Madness: Part II.  A survey of American economists found that 90 percent of them regarded minimum wage laws as increasing the rate of unemployment among low-skilled workers.  Inexperience is often the problem.  Only about 2 percent of Americans over the age of 24 earned the minimum wage.  Advocates of minimum wage laws usually base their support of such laws on their estimate of how much a worker "needs" in order to have "a living wage" — or on some other criterion that pays little or no attention to the worker's skill level, experience or general productivity.  So it is hardly surprising that minimum wage laws set wages that price many a young worker out of a job.

Minimum Wage Laws: Immoral, Crippling, and... Popular.  The phrase in vogue today with advocates of minimum wage laws — laws forcing employers to pay employees more than they otherwise would — is "living wage."  But, apart from laws mandating a minimum wage, this phrase has no referent in reality.  And laws dictating minimum wages are immoral.

Fast food CEO: Minimum wage hikes closing locations.  CKE Restaurants' roots began in California roughly seven decades ago, but you won't see the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's expanding there much anymore.  What's causing what company CEO Andy Puzder describes as "very little growth" in the state?  In part it's because "the minimum wage is so high so it's harder to come up with profitable business models," Puzder said in an interview.  The state's minimum wage is set to rise to $9 in July, making it among the nation's highest, and $10 by January 2016.

Seattle City Council Passes Landmark $15-An-Hour Minimum-Wage Bill.  As expected, the Seattle City Council this afternoon passed the historic $15-an-hour minimum-wage bill that Mayor Murray and the City has spent months hammering out.  With all nine Council members in attendance (Councilmember Tom Rasmussen was late), the minimum wage bill was approved unanimously, even earning the endorsement of socialist Kshama Sawant by the time the dust settled.

Seattle approves $15 minimum wage.  Seattle's city council on Monday unanimously approved an increase in the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour, making it the nation's highest by far.  The increase was formally proposed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and his spokesman said he intends to sign the ordinance on Tuesday [6/3/2014].

Chicago aldermen propose hiking minimum wage to $15 an hour.  A group of Chicago aldermen on Wednesday introduced a proposal to boost the minimum wage in the nation's third-largest city to $15 an hour, joining officials in other major U.S. cities who also are considering a hike.

Panera CEO Supports Raising Minimum Wage, Replacing Cashiers with Computers.  Panera Bread CEO Rob Shaich, a Democratic donor and minimum wage supporter, recently announced that he will be replacing cashiers with computers.  Shaich, who donated $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund, said he wanted the minimum wage raised as long as it applied equally to all, according to Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner.

RINO Alert: Mitt Romney Endorses Minimum Wage Hike.  In typical RINO fashion, Mitt Romney has made a new statement that basically defies everything he stood for as the Republican presidential candidate in 2012.  In an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning [5/9/2014], Mitt Romney said that Republicans should drop their opposition to a minimum wage hike.  "I think we oughta raise it," Romney said.  "Because frankly, our party is all about more jobs and better pay and I think communicating that is important to us."

Fed Chair Yellen: Minimum wage hike to have negative impact on jobs.  In testimony before a Senate committee on Thursday [5/8/2014], Fed Chair Yellen said a minimum wage increase would likely have some negative effects on jobs, though it's not clear how large.  Still, boosting the federal minimum wage, which has remained at $7.25 per hour since mid-2009, would benefit some people, she added.  In recent months, the federal minimum wage has been a hot-button issue.  In February, President Barack Obama boosted the minimum pay for federal contractors hired in the future to $10.10 per hour.

Obama's Minimum Wage Hike Is Caracas-Style Economics.  The only reason raising the minimum wage has any traction at all in the political sphere is that the cost of living has risen sharply in the Obama years.  Obama likes to blame employers for not paying workers enough.  But it's Obama's pattern of big-spending policies that have hurt the lowest-wage earners the most.  Purchasing power has fallen 8% in the past decade, a result of inflation for everyday goods.  And such erosion hits the working poor the hardest.  The consumer price index suggests a 2% to 3% average annual rise in prices over the past decade.  But the real picture is far worse.

Why not a hundred?
CA Congresswoman: Raise State Minimum Wage to $26 an Hour.  One of the most liberal Representatives in Congress wants California to raise its minimum wage to $26 an hour.  Appearing on Crossfire on Friday [5/2/2014], co-host Newt Gingrich asked Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) whether it was a good idea for the mayor of Seattle to propose a minimum wage of $15 an hour.  Lee said, "good for him."

GOP blocks minimum-wage hike.  Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked legislation from Democrats that would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.  The Senate voted 54-42 to end debate on a motion to proceed to the Minimum Wage Fairness Act, short of the 60 votes that were needed.  Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was the only Republican to vote "yes."  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) voted against the measure in order to have the chance to bring it up again.

Republicans, citing stagnant economy, block minimum wage hike.  Senate Republicans on Wednesday [4/30/2014] blocked a bill to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, arguing that the central legislation in the Democrats' "fair shot" agenda would kill jobs and hurt the economy.  The vote was 54-42, falling short of the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster.  The debate started just hours after the Commerce Department reported the U.S. economy barely grew at all in the first quarter, expanding only 0.1 percent. 

Budget office says minimum wage boost would cost firms $15B.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates that a Senate Democratic bill gradually increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 hourly would require private businesses to spend $15 billion more in salaries when it takes full effect in 2017.  The proposal by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, would increase the federal minimum from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, over two years.  The federal minimum increase is one of the main issues currently being pushed by President Obama.  The nonpartisan budget office's estimate could be used as ammunition by Republicans, who largely oppose the measure because they say it would drive up business costs.

Oklahoma bans local wage hikes.  Cities and counties won't be allowed to raise the minimum wage under a law signed Monday by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R).  Under the new law, which passed the state legislature on party-line votes earlier this year, cities would be prohibited from raising the minimum wage above the $7.25 federal mark, and they would be prevented from requiring employers to provide sick days to their employees.

Obama's Minimum Wage Beliefs Are As False As Can Be.  President Obama would like everyone to believe that raising the minimum wage will help those in poverty, will cause no drop in employment, and will probably even boost the economy.  Unfortunately, these beliefs are as false as can be and come from a fundamental misunderstanding of the very Keynesian economics he professes to follow.  In reality, it is likely to slow growth and will do less than he claims to help the poor.

Biden economics: Minimum wage hike worth billions, 'really good for the economy'.  President Obama is waging an election-year push with congressional Democrats to boost the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour.  Many Republican lawmakers oppose the action, pointing to a study that the move would eliminate about 500,000 jobs nationwide.  Mr. Biden, who filled in this week while the president was traveling overseas, said there's proof that raising the minimum wage is good for the economy.

California city approves highest-in-state $12.30 minimum wage.  The Richmond City Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday [3/18/2014] in favor of an ordinance that would raise minimum hourly pay in the city to $12.30 an hour by 2017.

Job Destroyer.  Does the president have a clue about what creates jobs and what kills jobs?  Based on the evidence from his five years as president, the answer is no, he doesn't. [...] From all appearances, Obama is unfazed by the plethora of studies that have concluded a boost in the minimum wage kills jobs.  In fact, he has declared there's "no solid evidence that a higher minimum wage costs jobs."  The CBO respectfully disagrees.  It reported in February that hiking the wage to $10.10 an hour would cause a net loss of 500,000 jobs and possibly as many as one million.

Blow to Obama as Harry Reid suddenly withdraws Senate Democratic support for minimum wage hike.  Raising the minimum wage was expected to be the centerpiece of the Obama administration's 2014 agenda, and White House surrogates planned just a week ago to spend the last days of February arguing in favor of the initiative.  But [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid and [President] Obama hit a roadblock on Feb. 18 when the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report predicting a loss of 500,000 jobs by 2016 as a consequence of a $10.10 minimum wage.

Obama's Minimum Wage Ruse.  President Obama's newfound enthusiasm for the minimum wage is the political equivalent of a ruse of war. [...] As his approval rating slides, Obama has heartily embraced the red herring as the cornerstone of his public relations strategy.  Bearing his by now familiar deer-in-the-headlights look, he officially knows next to nothing about what his administration is doing and is constantly on the lookout for scapegoats and other distractions.

Minimum Wage Hike Support Falls On CBO Job Loss News.  Less than half the public support a sharp boost in the minimum wage when told that it could cost the economy half a million jobs, according to the latest IBD/TIPP Poll out Thursday [2/27/2014].  That comes amid reports that some Senate Democrats are backing away from President Obama's push to boost the minimum wage by 39% over the next two years, to $10.10 an hour, after the Congressional Budget Office found that it would kill 500,000 jobs.

Jindal: 'Obama Economy Is Now the Minimum Wage Economy'.  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) says President Obama could use his pen and his phone to create jobs if he really wanted to.  "What worries me is it appears to me that after more than five years of being in office, the president is waving the white flag of surrender.  It seems to me the Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy.  And the reality is, America can do better.

The Obama Legacy: Majoring on Minor Issues.  Here's the truth.  Raising the minimum wage isn't about boosting the economy at all.  Its mathematical impact is negligible to the positive... at best.  You see, there are only about 3.6 million American workers who earn the minimum wage.  That is a mere 2.5% of all workers.  Then reduce that amount, as three in ten of those workers are teenagers flipping burgers or stocking shelves, and you're down to 1.7% of American adult workers.  Add the fact that nearly two thirds of these workers are not the primary breadwinners in their respective families — a fact in sharp contrast to Obama's words at the signing.

Obama Signs an Executive Order to Raise the Federal Minimum Wage.  Obama originally wanted to raise federal employees to $9 per hour.  However, having failed so embarrassingly on the Affordable Health Act he had to do something dramatic, hence $10.10 per hour.  Still, it's a joke.  For income equality with the upper tier, Obama would have to raise federal employees to ten thousand dollars an hour.  And that still wouldn't equal the income of the financial titans or the hedge fund managers.

White House, Big Labor: The CBO has no idea what it's talking about on minimum wage.  What else can they say, really?  The Democrats have built their entire midterm strategy on an economic populism focused around the minimum wage as a way to both cudgel Republicans and distract from ObamaCare's woes — it's much too late to turn back now, not even for a super official, nonpartisan report confirming many of the plan's negative effects on the job market and those in poverty to which Republicans have been pointing.

Wal-Mart Says [it is] 'Looking' at Support of Minimum Wage Raise.  Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the largest private employer in the U.S., said it's looking at supporting an increase in the federal minimum wage, breaking with business and industry groups that oppose such a measure.

Obama's minimum wage hike will cost 500,000 jobs by the end of 2016 - report.  The White House may have to scrap its plans to aggressively promote a 40 percent national minimum wage hike now that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the move would likely cost the U.S. 500,000 jobs by the second half of 2016.  The CBO's report, released Tuesday afternoon, also estimated that it would pull 900,000 low-income Americans above the federal government's poverty line.

Union Activists Sign on to Pro-Minimum-Wage-Hike Bill.  A letter supporting a minimum wage hike being circulated by the George Soros-funded Economic Policy Institute that purports to represent the views of leading academics has been signed by a number of economists who work for labor unions and leftwing special interest groups.  In-house economists for the AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, and liberal, labor-aligned groups such as Center for American Progress, Institute for Women's Policy Research, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and the Center for Economic and Policy Research all signed onto the letter, which was touted as proof that the proposed $10.10 minimum wage would serve as a panacea for slumping wages.

Barack Obama's Presidency Is A Complete Failure By His Own, Self-Imposed Standards.  In November, black unemployment was still 12.5%, after 5 years under President Obama.  The Hispanic, or Latino, unemployment rate was still 8.7%.  The teenage unemployment rate, reflecting Obama Democrat experiments with the minimum wage, was 20.8%.  The black teenage unemployment rate was 35.8%.

Democrats Turn to Minimum Wage as 2014 Strategy.  Democratic Party leaders, bruised by months of attacks on the new health care program, have found an issue they believe can lift their fortunes both locally and nationally in 2014:  an increase in the minimum wage.  The effort to take advantage of growing populism among voters in both parties is being coordinated by officials from the White House, labor unions and liberal advocacy groups.

Chicago sandwich shop fires all its staff.  Director of operations Doug Besant said in the email the restaurant will likely close for a month as they remodel and reconcept the business into a burger joint.  But the move comes less than a month after Snarf's workers rallied for higher wages.

Obama's Quest To Increase Income Inequality — Starting With The Minimum Wage And Obamacare.  If a teen unemployment rate of 25% is not high enough to suit, raise the minimum wage and it will go up. [...] Why? Because no business can pay a worker more than the value they bring to the firm e.g. you have to "earn your pay".

Teamsters allege right-to-work laws are 'slavery'.  Michigan labor unions are understandably upset over the Wolverine State's adoption of a right-to-work law and are fighting it in every way they can.  Detroit-based Teamsters Local 214 has gone so far as to argue that it violates anti-slavery laws.

Rep. Ellison: 'We Demand' Obama Raise Minimum Wage by Executive Order.  At the "Fast Food Forward" protest on Thursday [12/5/2013], Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) demanded that Pres. Obama sign an executive order bypassing Congress and unilaterally raising the federal minimum wage.

N.J. minimum wage rises by $1.  Effective Wednesday [1/1/2014], New Jersey's minimum wage will rise by $1 to $8.25 an hour, boosting the paychecks of more than 250,000 New Jerseyans and bumping up costs for businesses with low-wage workers.  While the wage increase is immediate, the reaction by businesses may take longer to assess — especially in light of the automatic annual increases voters approved in November, guaranteeing minimum-wage workers future raises.

The End of Poverty in America.  President Obama, on Wednesday [12/4/2013], made a big speech about "economic inequality" and vowed to spend his last three years in office working to increase the federal minimum wage, as well as a lot of other things. [...] The one thing I've never had anyone do is explain to me why if a $15 an hour minimum wage is a good idea, a $100 an hour minimum wage is a bad idea.  I suspect it's because they realize that if they do, the jig is up:  if they raise the minimum wage that high, companies won't be able to pay the wage, and either there will be massive unemployment or massive inflation, as companies try to make up the difference.

Can a Minimum-Wage Hike Really Motivate Voters?  President Obama's message for the coming year is going to be a renewed focus on "income inequality." [...] One of the president's agenda items on this is raising the minimum wage.  President Obama backs a proposal from Democratic members of Congress to raise it to $10.10 per hour.  On that front, fast-food workers around the country are walking out on the job and holding protests today [12/5/2013], with one Detroit fast-food employee arguing his $7.40 per hour constituted "slave wages."

The War of the Wages.  Mr. Obama returned to his favorite theme of rising income inequality on Wednesday, which he called "the defining challenge of our time." [...] Earlier this year he proposed an increase to $9 an hour from the current $7.25.  That has gone nowhere on Capitol Hill and Mr. Obama is less popular than he was, so the White House response is to raise the bidding to $10.10.  If his popularity keeps falling, Mr. Obama will be demanding $15 by next November.  One liberal highlight from last month's elections was when 60% of New Jersey voters approved a state minimum wage hike to $9.25 an hour.  Unions now plan to put wage increases of $9 to $10 an hour on the 2014 ballot in at least five states — Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts, Missouri and South Dakota.

Study: Union-Backed Fast Food Proposal Could Cost Half a Million Jobs.  Hourly wage increases advocated by labor groups could kill more than 450,000 jobs, according to a new report.  Union-backed labor groups, including Fast Food Forward and Fight for 15, are staging nationwide walk-outs and demonstrations at fast food chains across the country calling for starting wages of $15 per hour.  Their success could spell economic disaster for nearly 20 percent of the nation's 2.5 million fast food workers, according to an analysis from the Employment Policies Institute.

Heritage Foundation's Index of Dependence exposes the 'living wage' lie.  As with so many arguments made by the Left, the living wage appeal sounds reasonable.  After all, why shouldn't an employer pay employees at least enough for them to have decent housing, clothes, food, transportation and educational opportunities?  But there is a big lie behind this seemingly reasonable argument, namely that the employer is responsible for providing a person's basic needs, not the individual himself.  The falsehood is further illuminated by this question:  Who is responsible for providing for the employer's basic needs?  If the answer is the employer, then society has two classes and equality is just a politically convenient myth.

Push for minimum wage hike led by localities, Democrats.  States and municipalities across the country are leading a localized push to raise the minimum wage, driven largely by Democrats, who see an opening to appeal to working-class Americans at a time of growing inequity.  Efforts in Congress to raise the national minimum wage above $7.25 an hour have stalled.  But numerous local governments — including those of Montgomery and Prince George's counties, and the District — are forging ahead, in some cases voting to dramatically increase the pay of low-wage workers.

$15 An Hour Minimum Wage at Seattle-Tacoma Squeaks to Victory.  Washington State has the nation's highest minimum wage of $9.19 an hour.  With Proposition 1's victory, SeaTac's travel and hospitality industry employees will have a minimum wage more than twice the national average of $7.25 an hour.

Democrats considering bill to lift minimum wage by 40 percent.  Senate Democrats, hoping to move beyond the disastrous rollout of the new health care law, plan to pivot to legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage by nearly $3, to over $10 an hour.  Democratic lawmakers met privately Thursday [11/7/2013] to discuss proposals, including one by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, a nearly 40 percent increase.  It would also would tie wage levels to inflation.

We Bet You Haven't Heard This About Obamacare.  Another push is underway to raise the minimum wage.  But what you probably haven't heard is that Obamacare has already done that.  The plan on the table in Congress would raise the federal minimum wage above $10 an hour (which is higher than all existing state rates).  Obamacare's mandate on employers, however, is already scheduled to raise the hourly cost of hiring a full-time worker past $10 an hour.

California passes 'job killer' increase in minimum wage to $10.  While the Economic Policy Institute estimates that the wage increase will affect more than 2.3 million California workers, groups like the California Chamber of Commerce opposed the bill, calling it a "job killer" that will drive up business costs "worse than any predicted rate of inflation increase."

California Raises Minimum Wage to $10 an Hour.  The California legislature has passed a bill that will raise the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour within three years, giving California one of the highest state minimum wage rates in America.

California Legislature OKs minimum wage boost.  A bill that would boost California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016 won approval by the state Legislature on Thursday [9/12/2013] and was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, who said he would sign it.  The measure would raise the current $8 minimum wage to $9 an hour next July 1 and to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016.

Doubling Fast-Food Workers' Wages Will Kill Jobs.  It isn't hard to see what a doubling of the minimum wage would do in an industry that pays out an estimated 70% of revenue to workers:  Hundreds of thousands would lose their jobs overnight.  The average fast-food employee makes $8.94 an hour, according to the National Employment Law Project.  Unions and workers want to boost that to $15 an hour.  Fine, except most who now earn $9 an hour are young with little education and few skills.  To be blunt, they're not worth the extra money.  They'll be fired.

Fast-Food Strike: Dumb Strike, or the Dumbest Strike Ever?  Fast-food customer service is hard work, but it's entry level. [...] It's a skill-developing stepping stone from which an ambitious person should seek a better gig.  It's not an end, it's a means.  If you're in a job like that, you're very replaceable and you always will be.  Knowing that should motivate a good worker to seek a better job where they will earn more and be harder to replace, not try to squeeze too much out of an-entry level job.

Union Front Groups Agitate for Higher Restaurant Wages.  Union front groups turned out hundreds of fast food workers from dozens of cities demanding union representation and $15 minimum wages.  Service Employees International Union, one of the largest Democratic special interest groups, and activists with Restaurant Opportunity Center, a nonprofit union front group, inspired the mass demonstrations that closed down fast food joints from New York City to San Francisco.

Sen. Boxer: Yeah, I'd say a $10/hour minimum wage sounds about right.  This was all during a segment, by the way, about how California's economy is doing relatively fine because, hey, that's exactly what happens when "the wealthy are paying their fair share" and the state legislature has a Democratic supermajority to run the place.  You'd think the segment was a self-parody of Democratic talking points, except that, astonishingly, it isn't.

Boxer pushes for $10 minimum wage.  Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Monday night she wants the minimum wage increased to $10, a nearly $3 boost from its current level of $7.25.  "I think about $10.  I think that would be right," Boxer said in an appearance on MSNBC's "The Ed Show."

SEIU: The 21st Century's Jack Cade.  Suppose the restaurant workers get what they want:  wages of $15 an hour.  The same thing will happen that would have happened had Jack Cade become King, and decreed that bakers must sell seven half-penny loaves for a penny.  The restaurants would have to raise their prices substantially, which would reduce sales.  This would, in turn, result in restaurant closures, layoffs, or both.  The jobs might pay $15 an hour on paper, but there would be no job openings.

D.C. 'living wage' bill still in limbo.  Legislation that would raise the minimum hourly wage at certain large retailers in the District — and could jeopardize Wal-Mart's development plans in the city — is in limbo more than a month after it passed.  Mayor Vincent C. Gray, who has yet to decide whether he will veto the bill or sign it into law, said Wednesday [8/21/2013] that he has not yet received the legislation from D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.

Washington City Moves Toward Nation's Highest Minimum Wage, Other Perks.  The city of SeaTac, Wash., might boast the nation's highest minimum wage if voters pass an initiative this November.  The SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs contends it has collected the necessary number of petition signatures — more than 2,000 signatures, or more than 15 percent of the city's voting population — to put on the ballot a measure asking establishment of a $15 an hour minimum wage.  It would apply only to hospitality and transportation employees of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and nearby hotels and car-rental firms.

Fries with that free lunch? The problem with a $15 fast food wage.  Fast food wages have never been expected to support households on their own — nor is it reasonable to think that every job in the economy should.  According to the Census Bureau, the average family income of a minimum wage-earner is over $53,000, so this appears to be something minimum wage workers already understand.

400 [Chicago] area retail, fast-food workers demand $15-an-hour minimum wage.  About 400 area retail and fast-food workers, together with colleagues nationally, participated in a strike Thursday [8/1/2013] to demand raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Ronald McDonald, Slave Driver.  The striking workers want $15 an hour.  The median hourly wage for fast-food workers is $9.05.  Some make less than half of the wage the strikers seek.  But when worker commitment to a strike lasts a lunch break, corporate commitment to meeting their demands will likely prove as half-hearted.  Workers who don't have the time to strike must suffer with bosses who won't find the money to end the passable impasse.

Liberals will believe anything if you call it a 'study'.  [L]iberals in the left wing media, led by the HuffPo, are citing a "study" claiming that doubling the wages of McDonald's workers would only result in a 17% price rise:  "Doubling McDonald's Salaries Would Cause Your Big Mac To Cost Just 68 ¢ More: Study" headlined the story by Christine Fairchild, citing a study by someone described as a "researcher at the University of Kansas."  Ms. Fairchild later had to acknowledge that author Arnobio Morelix "is registered as a undergraduate student at the university, according to University of Kansas School of Business Communications Director Austin Falley."  A not particularly bright undergraduate, it turns out.  As in laughably ignorant about the nature of the business McDonald's is in.

Obama refuses to pay his interns (while campaigning to raise the minimum wage).  As President Obama campaigns to increase the minimum wage, his own interns aren't getting paid a cent to work a minimum of 45 hours a week.  White House interns are expected to show up to work 'at least' Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to the administration's website.  Housing and commuting assistance aren't provided either, so the White House encourages applicants to petition nonprofits for help funding their living expenses.

Workers in Washington apparently must be paid a living wage, unless they are paid nothing.
Justice Department looking to employ experienced attorneys — for free.  The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice is looking to hire experienced, full-time, bar-certified lawyers.  The catch:  These attorneys will not be paid.

DC Politicos Block Walmart, Help Special Interests, Hurt The Poor.  Why, when there is no question that nothing has created more wealth and eradicated more poverty than capitalism, do left wing politicians hate it so much?  After all, it's supposed to be the left that cares about the poor.  The latest chapter in this ongoing saga of economic perversity is action being taken in Washington, DC, to prevent Walmart from opening stores there.

The Left, Wal-Mart, and the D.C. City Council Fiasco.  Yesterday, the liberal majority of the D.C. City Council voted that if Wal-Mart opens three stores in the underserviced poor areas of the nation's capital — inhabited largely by African-Americans — it cannot do so unless the chain raises the minimum wage of its employees to $12.50 per hour.  That action reflects how far removed from reality the council members are.

Wal-Mart says it will pull out of D.C. plans should city mandate 'living wage'.  The world's largest retailer delivered an ultimatum to District lawmakers Tuesday, telling them less than 24 hours before a decisive vote that at least three planned Wal-Marts will not open in the city if a super-minimum-wage proposal becomes law. [...] The D.C. Council bill would require retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger to pay their employees no less than $12.50 an hour.  The city's minimum wage is $8.25.

D.C. Council poised to chase off 900 jobs because they don't like Wal-Mart.  Businesses are not obligated to open in your city or your neighborhood, particularly when you incentivize them to locate elsewhere. Washington, D.C. is particularly susceptible to losing potential jobs (particularly in entry-level and working class retail positions, as opposed to lobbyist slots) to nearby jurisdictions because it doesn't take much to simply cross the bridge to friendlier climes in, say, Virginia.

Thies: D.C. Government Doesn't Pay a "Living Wage".  Last week, the Council approved a measure that would require Walmart and other large retailers doing business in the District to pay a "living wage" of $12.50 per hour. [...] District government pays less than $12.50 per hour.  According to the D.C. Department of Human Resources, some full-time school maintenance workers and custodians make $11.75 per hour.  The rate for a clerk at the University of the District of Columbia is $10.40.

The Minimum Wage Hurts Unskilled Black Workers.  Historically, [...] minimum wage laws and unions have actually hurt the black community.  Did you know that there was a time in our country, after the Civil War, when white unemployment was higher than black unemployment?  It seems almost unfathomable now, but that was the case in the early decades of the 20th Century.  This was intentionally changed after Congress enacted the first federal minimum wage law:  the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931.

New York approves $9 minimum wage.  The New York Legislature approved a $135 billion budget that included a $9 minimum wage and a middle-class tax rebate paid for by the "millionaires tax."

Taxpayers to subsidize NY's higher minimum wage.  A hike in New York's minimum wage is a big win for Democrats, but a provision buried inside the tentative state budget shows taxpayers will be paying much of the bill.

Elizabeth Warren's Fuzzy Math.  Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D., Mass.) argument that the minimum wage would be triple what it is today if it were linked with productivity relies on oversimplified and faulty data, a new study says.  Warren's rhetoric "makes zero economic sense, and demonstrates how out of touch Sen. Warren is with business realities faced by employers who hire people and pay them the minimum wage," said the report by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI), a free market think tank specializing in wage issues.

Minimum Wage Hike Means Fewer Jobs Can Be Available.  Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts says the minimum wage should be $22 an hour.  As is always the case, the urge to help will create more problems than it alleviates.

A&M study says raising minimum wage would not stimulate economy.  In President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, he proposed raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9, along with an annual boost for inflation, sparking a national debate.  The recent Texas A&M study, "Effects of the Minimum Wage on Employment Dynamics," analyzed the factors related to the minimum wage and changes in employment and found that job creation was reduced substantially, but jobs lost did not increase.

Take it to the bank: Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to raise minimum wage to $22 per hour.  Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, suggested raising the minimum wage to $22 per hour is only logical if you look at the numbers.  "If we started in 1960, and we said [that] as productivity goes up ... then the minimum wage was going to go up the same ... if that were the case, the minimum wage today would be about $22 an hour," the senator said, at a recent Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on "Keeping up with a Changing Economy: Indexing the Minimum Wage."

The Editor says...
Productivity went up in spite of the steadily increasing minimum wage, not because of it.

Elizabeth Warren wants to know why the minimum wage isn't $22 an hour.  Why stop at $22?  Why not $100, $200 or $1,000 an hour?

Minimum wage responsible for black unemployment, Sowell says.  In an appearance on Fox News Channel's "Hannity" with fill-in host and Daily Caller editor in chief Tucker Carlson, author Thomas Sowell argued that the federal minimum wage law has been used to undermine companies that employ blacks.  In the fourth quarter of 2012, the black unemployment rate was more than double the rate for whites.  But prior to the 1930s, Sowell said, black unemployment was actually lower than white unemployment.

House defeats minimum wage increase.  The House on Friday [3/15/2013] rejected a Democratic push to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10, shooting down one of President Obama's priorities from his State of the Union speech.  The 233-184 defeat also exposed divisions within the Democratic Party.  Where Mr. Obama called for a hike from the current $7.25 to $9 an hour, congressional Democrats pushed for a $10.10 rate.  But they couldn't muster unity even within their own ranks.  Six Democrats from conservative-leaning districts voted against the wage increase, as did every single Republican who was present.

The Editor says...
I predict there will be an executive order to increase the minimum wage anyway.

Minimum Wage Laws [are] Economically Harmful Because [they are] Immoral.  Employers are not willing to pay people more than what they are worth to the company.  If someone is worth only $5 per hour to a business, the employer will not pay him $7.25 or $10 per hour.  The real minimum wage is zero, and that is precisely what many unskilled workers end up getting due to the intrusive wage-control laws.

Nancy Pelosi demands $10.10 per hour minimum wage.  Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that recent Wall Street gains mean one sure thing:  The minimum wage should be hike to $10.10 per hour.  "This week, we saw something quite remarkable — the stock marking soaring to record heights," she said, Raw Story reported. [...] So, she suggests, why not raise the current minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour — even more than the $9 per hour proposed by the president?

The Crushing Impact Of A 24% Minimum Wage Hike.  Barack Obama, during his State of the Union speech, declared that he wanted to raise the minimum wage to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 per hour.  It was obviously written into his speech to garner applause from the Democrats in attendance and, no doubt, resonated with many low-income workers who might have been watching.  It is also a good bet that those Democrats and many others who think raising the minimum wage is a good idea have never run a business, as they do not understand (or care?) about the compensation problems of wage compression.

Former Obama Economic Adviser Destroys His Push for Minimum Wage Hike.  President Obama's call for a minimum-wage hike is hardly surprising — it's a staple of liberal politics.  What is surprising is that Obama's former top economic adviser would trash it in the New York Times.

Why not $20 an hour?  Why not $50 an hour?  Think about it.
Liberals call for $10.10 minimum wage — more than Obama requested.  The White House is coming under pressure from liberal Democrats in the House and Senate to press for a minimum wage hike as high as $10.10.  Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) argues President Obama "missed the mark" in calling to raise the minimum wage to $9 in his State of the Union address, and his staff met with White House staff last week to argue for a higher number.

Top Fed member says minimum wage hike kills jobs.  Plans to raise the minimum wage, like President Obama's goal of adding $1.75 to the current $7.25 an hour rate, are a job killer, according to a new analysis from a top member of the Federal Reserve Board and two scholars.  What's more, wrote the Fed's William Wascher and University of California economists David Neumark and J.M. Ian Salas, new-styled studies that suggests the minimum wage doesn't cut jobs have "serious problems" and are just plain wrong.

Iowa Senator Thinks $9 Minimum Wage is not Enough.  In an op-ed for USA Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) says that a $9 per hour minimum wage is not enough.  He says, "While I was heartened to hear President Obama make the minimum wage a centerpiece of his State of the Union Address, I believe that his proposal of $9 per hour does not go far enough to ensure that working families can make ends meet."

The Editor says...
Show me a "working family" in which no one makes more than the minimum wage (if such a family exists), and I'll show you a group of people with a long history of bad decisions.

The $9/hr unemployment act.  The President proposes a 25% increase in minimum salary to $9/hr.  The result?  The least educated, experienced and skilled will be priced out of the market.

Minimum Question for Mr. Obama.  [Scroll down]  If a government policy that artificially raises the price of Chinese-made tires reduces the quantities of such tires that are bought, why does a government policy that artificially raises the price of low-skilled labor not reduce the quantities of such labor that are hired?

Obama's minimum wage proposal a stealth pay raise for unions.  "An analysis of union collective bargaining agreements available from the Department of Labor's Office of Labor-Management Standards indicates that many service, retail and hospitality industry labor unions — such as UNITE-HERE or the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) — peg baseline wages to the federal minimum wage," the Center for Union Facts (CUF) observes.  "Thus, in many cases, raising the federal minimum wage will either trigger wage renegotiations or automatic wage hikes for certain unionized employees."

The data doesn't support Obama's proposal, but his party won't waver in its commitment to the mythology of left-wing class struggle.
Obama's Minimum Wage Welfare State.  Real median household income in the United States has fallen more than 8 percent since Barack Obama was first sworn in as president, and has even fallen during the course of the Obama "recovery."  That, of course, is the fault of George W. Bush, John Boehner, rich people, and ATM machines.  Fortunately, President Obama and his economic advisors have come up with a solution to this problem:  force businesses to pay their employees more.

Minimum wage and teen unemployment
The Minority Youth Unemployment Act.  One paradox of the Obama Presidency is how it has retained the support of young people and minorities despite the damage its policies have done to their economic prospects.  In his latest attempt to increase the minority youth jobless rate, President Obama is proposing to raise the minimum wage.  In his State of the Union address, Mr. Obama proposed an increase to $9 an hour by 2015 from $7.25, and then indexing the minimum to inflation.

Report: Minimum wage increases trigger raises in union contracts.
Unions Back Wage Hike.  President Barack Obama's proposal to increase the minimum wage will give a boost to union members who already earn more than the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.  Many unions in the retail and service industries have negotiated provisions into contracts that would boost union salaries in the event of minimum wage increases, according to a study from labor watchdog Center for Union Facts (CUF).

The Minority Youth Unemployment Act.  In his latest attempt to increase the minority youth jobless rate, President Obama is proposing to raise the minimum wage.  In his State of the Union address, Mr. Obama proposed an increase to $9 an hour by 2015 from $7.25, and then indexing the minimum to inflation.  "Employers may get a more stable workforce due to reduced turnover and increased productivity," the White House says.  No doubt employers are slamming their foreheads wondering why they didn't think of that.

Note To Everybody: Obama Isn't Stupid.  The truth is that Obama has figured out something FDR stumbled upon 80 years ago but never really understood — namely, that a poor economy is the friend of socialism.  And because it is, a socialist in office can consolidate support by creating a stagnant economy with an ever-growing public sector and an ever-growing dependent class.  When you understand this, you understand all the inexplicable economic policies emanating from this White House.  Take this crazy nine dollar minimum wage, for example.  Real wages are down in this country.  They've fallen by some $4,000 per year since Obama took office.  But that's less of a problem than the fact eight million less people are working than were working when he was first inaugurated.

Nothing New in the State of the Union.  Perhaps the oldest liberal canard was his proposal to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour by 2015, and index future increases to inflation.  Nothing will destroy jobs faster, especially among teenagers, young adults, minorities and the middle class.

Raising the Minimum Wage: A Tired, Bad Proposal.  We heard many bad and tired ideas during last night's State of the Union address, and one of them was the promise to raise the minimum wage, to $9 dollar an hour.  While on the surface it may seem like a way to increase the standard of living for lower-income Americans, in reality the policy is likely to backfire.

Why Not a $100 Per Hour Minimum Wage?  President Obama announced that he's supporting a federal, inflation-adjusted minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $9.00 per hour.  Even if he settles for $8 per hour, this seems irresponsible in light of our stubbornly slow economic recovery.  But if the government is going to raise the minimum wage, why stop at such a low wage rate?  If higher minimum wages are so wonderful, why don't we just raise the minimum wage to $50 or $100 per hour?

Obama's Minimum Wage Increase Fallacy.  [In his State of the Union speech,] Obama called for raising the minimum wage to $9.00 per hour, and to index the minimum wage to inflation.  Sounds great!  In ObamaWorld, in a static economy where the economy will not react to a minimum wage increase, what Obama proposes would be fine.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), we don't live in a static economy;  rather, we live in a dynamic economy that will react to a minimum wage increase.

Obama's 'bipartisan' State of the Union paints Republicans as anti-science, job-hating Neanderthals.  The State of the Union repeated a lot of the same themes of the past few years.  That's because a lot of Obama's promises remain unfulfilled and are still reliant on slipping them through a hostile Congress.  Take his signature pledge to raise the minimum wage to $9, which he insisted will stimulate the economy and create jobs.  Back in 2008, Obama said he's raise the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2011.

D.C.'s minimum wage folly.  The nation's post-election leftward lurch is gaining momentum.  Six states, including New York and California, are agitating for a boost in the minimum wage.  Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, wants the federal government to set a nationwide wage floor that will automatically rise each year.  Not to be left out, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson on Tuesday circulated his proposal for a 55 percent increase in the minimum wage over the federal level, which he would only apply to employees of the "big box" retailers that liberals love to hate.

Long Beach hotel to lay off all workers.  A week before a new minimum wage for Long Beach hotels goes into effect, a large, marina-area hotel has told all of its employees — 75 people — that they will be laid off, according to union representatives.

Bill O'Reilly Asks PBS Star Tavis Smiley About His Hope to More Than Double the Minimum Wage.  Never let liberals tell you that left-wingers never get any air time on Fox News.  On Thursday night [9/13/2012], Bill O'Reilly was honoring PBS host Tavis Smiley and his Marxist friend Cornel West by having them on to discuss their "poverty tour."  He began by saying "I applaud you both."  But when he asked Smiley and West for specifics, it included more than doubling the federal minimum wage level (currently at $7.25 an hour).

A Guaranteed Minimum Income In The US?  We know from the records that the welfare rolls have increased exponentially under Obama.  Recently, changes were made by Presidential Executive Order to redefine "work" allowing even more applicants for welfare to be added to the welfare rolls.  Why?  Could it be the Obama Administration is deliberately attempting to "crash" the US welfare system?  If so, why?  I contend that is exactly what is happening.  If I an [sic] correct, then we are actually seeing the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" at work.  We are observing the foundation, the groundwork, if you will, for establishing a guaranteed annual (minimum) income for American citizens.

About 200 union protesters attack Mitt Romney, call for increasing federal minimum wage.  About 200 union protesters descended on the parking lot of the Dunkin' Donuts on High Street in Carlisle [Pennsylvania] just before 12:30 p.m. today [7/20/2012] to call for increasing the federal minimum wage and to attack GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  The members of Service Employees International Union picked Dunkin' Donuts because the chain is partially owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm that Romney used to head.  Some of the protesters wearing Romney masks engaged in a pseudo counter-protest, based on what the union said is Romney's opposition to increasing the federal minimum wage.

Tyrants and Human Nature.  Though a few liberals and progressives acknowledge the minimum wage law's negative effects on low-skilled workers, none acknowledges the law's racially discriminatory effects.  If an employer must pay a minimum of $7.35 an hour to everyone he hires, the costs to discriminate in the employment of people whom he doesn't like are less.  The minimum wage is so effective at promoting racial discrimination in employment that it was a major tool in the arsenal of South Africa's racists during its apartheid era.  Racist unions were the country's major supporters of minimum wages for blacks.

The Negative Effects of Minimum Wage Laws.  There is no "free lunch" when the government mandates a minimum wage.  If the government requires that certain workers be paid higher wages, then businesses make adjustments to pay for the added costs, such as reducing hiring, cutting employee work hours, reducing benefits, and charging higher prices.  Some policymakers may believe that companies simply absorb the costs of minimum wage increases through reduced profits, but that's rarely the case.

Impacting Poverty.  Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill) wants to again raise the minimum wage — from $7.25 to $10.00 — despite an abundance of experience that doing so accomplishes exactly the opposite of what minimum wage advocates claim is their objective:  Make low income earners better off.  Why doesn't McDonalds increase the price of Big Macs if they want to sell more?  It's pretty obvious that consumers will buy less of a product when its price goes up.  So why is it not equally obvious that consumers of labor — employers — will buy less of a class of labor if the price of that labor increases?

Left pushes for $10 minimum wage, but House Democratic leadership balks.  The House Democrats pushing for a steep hike in the minimum wage could face an unlikely foe: their own leadership.  Behind Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (Ill.), almost two dozen liberal Democrats endorsed legislation this week to raise the federal minimum wage immediately from $7.25 to $10 per hour, the first such increase in three years.

Rep. Jackson Jr: Raising Minimum Wage to $20 Would 'By Far Surpass' What It Was Designed For.  Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) proposed raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour today but when asked why it should not be raised to $20 an hour Jackson did not answer directly, saying only that "even making the argument for $20 an hour would by far surpass" the goal the minimum wage was designed to reach.

Business Groups Balk at Higher Minimum Wage Talk in New York.  New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) is leading a move to raise the state's minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 and then index it to annual inflation. [...] Business groups in New York oppose the move, which would amount to a 17 percent increase in the minimum.

The demonstrators want the state to raise the minimum pay from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour.
6 arrested during minimum wage protest in Albany.  Six Occupy Albany demonstrators were charged with misdemeanor trespassing in the Capitol on Thursday [5/31/2012] in a demonstration aimed at raising the minimum wage.

No $5 Footlongs Due to $10 Minimum Wage.  Subway's signature $5 foot-long sandwich is no more in San Francisco due to the high cost of doing business and the city's rising minimum wage.

Good Intentions, Bad Results.  A group of economists estimate that Sen. Tom Harkin's proposal to raise the minimum wage could add nearly 500,000 to the unemployment rolls.  Tucked into the Iowa Democrat's Rebuild America Act is a provision to raise the minimum wage to $9.80 for all wage earners, a 35 percent increase from the current $7.25 level.

Why not a $100-an-hour minimum wage?  From coast to coast, politicians want to hike the minimum wage.  New York State legislators aim to lift it from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour.  California lawmakers are weighing a boost from $8.00 to $8.50.  Ralph Nader recently urged the Occupy movement to demand that the federal floor increase from $7.25 to $10.00. ... Why not a $100-an-hour minimum wage?

San Francisco's High Minimum Wage More Harm than Good.  In the long run, even those who seemingly benefit from the new higher minimum wage won't see the improved lifestyle that might be expected.  As described [elsewhere in this article], increasing the minimum wage will drive up the cost of living and working in San Francisco.  The purchasing power of low-wage workers will be reduced — $10.24 per hour won't buy what it used to.  Eventually, people at the low end of the wage scale, now defined as $10.24 per hour, will have no more purchasing power than they did to start with.  Cries will again go out to increase the minimum wage for those at the bottom end of the scale and the job-destroying cycle will begin anew.

RINO alert!
Romney supports automatic hikes in minimum wage.  Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney renewed his support Wednesday [2/1/2012] for automatic increases in the federal minimum wage to keep pace with inflation, a position sharply at odds with traditional GOP business allies, conservatives and the party's senior lawmakers.

Minimum wage in S.F. up to $10.24, highest in U.S..  San Francisco is known for its love-it-or-hate-it, cutting-edge firsts, and this one's no exception.  Today [1/1/2012] it will be the first city in the nation where the minimum hourly wage will top $10.  The lowest-wage workers will earn $10.24 an hour, up from the current rate of $9.92.

The Democratic Party's War on the Poor.  For a century or more, one of the greatest goals of the left has been to ensure that every wage is a living wage.  The left advocates a minimum wage that would first allow a worker to support himself, then himself and a spouse, then himself and a family.  If the employer balks at the idea that every employee at every level should be paid well enough to support a family, the employer is branded as heartless, and the unions rise up and picket him or shut him down.

SF Becomes First US City to Top $10 Minimum Wage.  The city's hourly wage for its lowest-paid workers will hit $10.24 [on 1/1/2012], more than $2 above the California minimum wage and nearly $3 more than the working wage set by the federal government.

Winners, Losers, and the Minimum Wage.  Many support the idea of a minimum wage, and usually that support is driven by a desire to help those with less.  That inner desire is noble, but minimum wage laws have been around a long time, and people have had plenty of time to study their impact.  Even with the best of intentions, if these laws harm those at the bottom, we should discard them.

Families Don't Depend on the Minimum Wage.  A growing economy generates good jobs; higher wages don't grow the economy.  And the overwhelming evidence is that higher minimum wages reduce the availability of jobs at the lowest end of the job market. ... Very few families depend on the earnings from a single minimum-wage job for their economic support.

The extremist nut jobs of Occupy Wall Street.  The selfish, greedy and jealous, mostly white, mostly comfortably middle class, mostly hollowly educated adult children involved with Illegally and Possibly Criminally Trespassing Wall Street, otherwise known as Occupy Wall Street (OWS) have begun to realize how selfish, greedy and jealous — not to mention what "extremist nut jobs" — they are.

The Editor says...
Their list of demands includes a $20 per hour minimum wage for everyone, whether employed or not.  I guess that means everyone should be paid $20 per hour, around the clock, for doing nothing.  (The audacity of such a demand is almost incomprehensible.)  They also demand free college education.  But with a guaranteed income, why bother with college?

More from the culture of narcissism.  I wouldn't think it would be worthwhile to draw attention to the Occupy Wall Street "movement," or its list of demands that wouldn't pass muster in an average kindergarten class.  But if America's president and vice president choose to talk about it, and give it credibility, then it's news.  According to VP Joe Biden, demands such as free college, pay independent of work, a $20 minimum wage (why not $100 or $1,000?), and a nation with open borders have legitimacy and "a lot in common with the tea-party movement."

Obama's kind of economist.  It's hard to find an economist who questions the relationship between the minimum wage and employment, specifically, that a higher minimum wage reduces employment opportunities for young, low-skilled and inexperienced workers.  After all, this is Economics 101.  The impact of price changes and volumes of economic studies over nearly seven decades affirm this negative relationship.  President Obama, however, has found just such an economist, and has chosen him to head up the Council of Economic Advisers.

The Tea Party, Right About Everything.  One of the first things Democrats did after taking back Congress in 2007 was raise the federal minimum wage 41% from 2007 to 2009.  Result?  The unemployment rate went from 4.4% in May 2007 to 10.1% in 2009.  It is 9.2% even today — four years later.  As for teens, the unemployment rate went from 14.9% to 27.1%, the highest ever recorded, meaning since 1948.  Today it is still a high 24.5%.  And for blacks:  from a low of 7.9% in 2007 to 16.5% in 2010.  It is still a high 16.2%.

Ottawa Taxpayers Should Rejoice Over ACORN's "Living Wage" Defeat.  The infamous American radical group ACORN suffered a rare defeat in the Canadian capital city last week.  Ottawa City Council committee gave a thumbs-down to the ACORN-backed plan that would have forced contractors with the city to fork over at least $13.25 per hour, a full three dollars more than the general minimum wage in the province of Ontario.

Minimum wage madness exposed.  A real life experiment has revealed the madness of raising the minimum wage. ... The GAO has just released a report on the effect of raising the minimum wage in American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands to mainland US levels.  What cause could appeal more to liberals?  Eliminating discrimination!  Treating all American citizens the same!  Rescuing exploited workers from evil companies exploiting them!  Well, in the real world, if employees cannot produce value in excess of what they are paid, they don't have jobs anymore.

MU prof: Wage increases hurt minority teens.  Increases in the minimum wage — which rose 10 cents to $7.40 an hour in Ohio this year — have priced young black men out of the entry-level job market more than twice as fast as their white counterparts, according to the study, based on figures reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 1994 to 2010.  The study found that for each 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, employment for young black males without a diploma fell by 6.5 percent.  By comparison, the drop in employment was 2.5 percent for white males ages 16-24 with no diploma, and 1.2 percent for Hispanics.

Punished By Minimum Wage.  During the peak of what has been dubbed the Great Recession, the unemployment rate for young adults (16 to 24 years of age) as a whole rose to above 27%.  The unemployment rate for black young adults was almost 50%, but for young black males, it was 55%.  Even and Macpherson say that it would be easy to say this tragedy is an unfortunate byproduct of the recession, but if you said so, you'd be wrong.  Their study demonstrates that increases in the minimum wage at both the state and federal level are partially to blame for the crisis in employment for minority young adults.

How bigger government harms blacks.  Minimum wages were required more broadly under the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, with negative consequences for black employment across a much wider range of industries.  In recent times, we have gotten so used to young blacks having sky-high unemployment rates that it will be a shock to many readers of Walter Williams' "Race and Economics" to discover that the unemployment rate of young blacks was once only a fraction of what it has been in recent decades.  And, in earlier times, it was not very different from the unemployment rate of young whites.
This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2018 by Andrew K. Dart

Bill would repeal Nevada's minimum wage law.  Critics of Nevada's minimum wage law claim the voter-approved mandate has had unintended consequences in the down economy and should be repealed.

The Real Cost Of Minimum Wage Hikes.  On July 24, 2009, the federal minimum wage increased to $7.25, the final step in a series of three hikes passed in 2007.  Today, a year later, the unemployment rate for our nation's teens remains stalled near 25%, with one out of every five unemployed teens searching for work for six months or more.  This isn't a coincidence.

Minimum Wage Cruelty.  Which allows an American Samoan worker to have a higher standard of living:  being employed at $3.26 per hour or unemployed at a wage scheduled to annually increase by 50 cents until it reaches federally mandated wages at $7.25? ... Who would support people being unemployed at $7.25 an hour over being employed at $3.26 an hour?"  That's precisely the outcome of Congress' 2007 increases in the minimum wage.

A Minimum Wage Equals Minimum Jobs.  Several years ago, the city council of Santa Monica, Calif., decided to make the town a workers' paradise by passing a unionbacked law requiring everyone to be paid at least $12.25 an hour.  At the time, restaurant owner Jeff King complained to me that that law would "dry up the entry-level jobs for just the people they're trying to help."  He was right. ... The good news is that the people of Santa Monica woke up and overturned the "living wage."

Brilliant!  How about $20 next year?
Michigan Democrats may seek $10 minimum wage in 2010.  The Michigan Democratic Party is considering asking voters to raise the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour.  The minimum wage currently is $7.40 an hour.  The potential 2010 ballot initiative was among a few discussed Wednesday [7/22/2009] by party chairman Mark Brewer.

Ballot proposals would drive final nails into Michigan's coffin.  Mark Brewer seems determined to prove that Michigan Democrats are incapable of providing responsible leadership during the state's moment of crisis.  The state Democratic Party chairman is proposing a package of ballot initiatives that would raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour, increase and extend unemployment insurance benefits, slash utility rates and place a moratorium on home foreclosures. ... It's hard to say whether his ideas are more ridiculous or more despicable.

State Dems propose $10 minimum wage.  A $10 minimum wage in Michigan is the centerpiece of a number of populist proposals unveiled Wednesday by the Democratic Party, which hopes to get some of the initiatives on next year's ballot.  Besides the 35 percent hike in the minimum wage, party officials want to mandate employer health coverage for all workers, boost unemployment benefits, slash utility rates and freeze home foreclosures."

The Dangerous Minimum Wage Mirage.  The federal government is trying to strengthen the U.S. auto industry.  So here's a great idea for what it can do:  Tell the Big Three to raise their prices across the board.  That would help in some obvious ways.  Higher prices would mean bigger profit margins on every sale.  Bigger profits would mean more jobs.  More jobs would mean more workers buying new American cars.

Minimum-wage folly:  Beginning July 24, the federal government will be making it more difficult for employers to hire low-skilled and unskilled American workers.  Thanks to an ill-advised law enacted with bipartisan support in 2007, the cost of providing an entry-level job to individuals with few skills or minimal experience will be going up by more than 10 percent.  Those who cannot find a job paying at least $7.25 an hour will not be permitted to work.  Welcome to the latest chapter of America's minimum-wage folly.

Mandating Unemployment.  Here's some economic logic to ponder.  The unemployment rate in June for American teenagers was 24%, for black teens it was 38%, and even White House economists are predicting more job losses.  So how about raising the cost of that teenage labor?  Sorry to say, but that's precisely what will happen on July 24, when the minimum wage will increase to $7.25 an hour from $6.55.  The national wage floor will have increased 41% since the three-step hike was approved by the Democratic Congress in May 2007.

Minimum wage hike spreads Blue State unemployment misery.  On July 24, the federal minimum wage will rise to $7.25, the third in a series of increases that included a hike to $6.55 in July 2008 and $5.85 in July 2007.  These represent a significant increase from the $5.15 rate that prevailed for a decade.  With the increase in unemployment to 9.5 percent in June from 9.4 percent in May, Congress should rethink the hike.  Increasing the federal minimum wage is the latest in the Blue State vs. Red State battles, with congressional leadership spreading the pain to reduce the advantages of states with low minimum wage laws.

Higher minimum wage coming soon.  The federal minimum wage is set to increase later this month as the job market shows signs of further decay.  The federal minimum wage will go to $7.25 an hour on July 24 from its current level of $6.55, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Thousands lose jobs due to higher federal minimum wage.  Chicken of the Sea, the tuna company, announced this month that it will close its canning plant in American Samoa in September.  The culprit is 2007 legislation in Washington that gradually increased the islands' minimum wage until it reaches $7.25 an hour in July 2009, almost double the 2007 levels. ... Chicken of the Sea will lay off 2,041 employees — 12 percent of total employment, almost half of all cannery workers.

Ask American Samoa how minimum wage killed jobs.  In 2007, Congress bypassed the usual method of having the Labor Department adjust American Samoan wage minimums and dictated that the current $3.76 for canning fish would increase to $7.25 in stages by 2014.  It wasn't all that long before Chicken of the Sea said goodbye, we're gone, have fun.  That meant a loss of 2,041 jobs right there, and the next thing you knew, Star Kist was also reducing jobs...

CNMI to ask for suspension of minimum wage hikes.  The CNMI will be asking the chairman of the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee, George Miller, to suspend the automatic minimum wage hike in the Northern Marianas and American Samoa in view of "significant economic difficulties" in the two U.S. territories.

New Year's Day increase arrives for Oregon minimum wage.  The minimum wage in Oregon increased by 45 cents an hour as of today [1/1/09], from $7.95 an hour to $8.40 an hour.  The increase means an extra $936 a year for a minimum-wage worker who puts in 40 hours per week.  State officials say minimum-wage earners make up 7.5 percent of Oregon's work force.

The Editor says...
How many minimum wage earners work 40 hours a week?  I suspect there are very few.

Bad Law, Worse Timing.  The federal minimum wage rose by 70 cents yesterday [7/24/2008] to $6.55 per hour, and left-wing advocates are celebrating the increase as a boon for the so-called working poor.  Not to be party poopers, but the reality is that most poor people in the U.S. already earn more than the minimum wage, and most workers who do earn the minimum wage aren't poor.

How's That Minimum Wage Hike Working, Speaker Pelosi?  Since the second leg of the minimum wage hike is about to go into effect, and since we are in the middle of presidential and congressional election season that has to a great extent focused on the state of the economy, one cannot help wondering what Speaker Pelosi and the rest of her Democratic cronies have to say about the success of their "progressive economic agenda."

Two Cheers for Obama.  Despite his enormous appeal, Obama is an over-the-cliff-and-tumbling-into-the-canyon-Left, big-government, tax-hiking spendthrift. ... Obama endorses a 45 percent minimum-wage increase, from $6.55 to $9.50.  Why not simply triple it, to $19.65?  Employers would love that.

Jobless rate at 5-year high.  An unexpectedly steep 84,000 U.S. jobs were lost in August and the unemployment rate hit a five-year high of 6.1 percent, fanning worry ahead of November's presidential vote that the economy was near recession.

The Editor says...
This "5-year high" statistic comes right after the latest increase in the minimum wage.  Indeed, the minimum wage is at a record high.

What the Media Didn't Tell You About Friday's Unemployment Spike:  Hundreds of thousands of students are looking for work right now, and they're not finding it.  Congress is to blame.  Last year Congressional Democrats (along with some Stockholm-Syndromed Republicans) passed the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which started a phased hike of the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25.  Free market economists warned them that this would increase unemployment — that rapid increases in unemployment compensation hit teens and minorities the hardest.

Mean To Teens:  When Democrats in Congress finagled a jump in the minimum wage last year, they crowed about their victory.  Now Americans are finding out what it cost as the unemployment rate shoots up. … [In May] hundreds of thousands of youths poured onto the job market at the same time, thanks to the end of the school year.  But many, if not most, won't find jobs.  They've been priced out of the market.

Look for the Union Label.  What do the farm bill, the cap-and-trade global warming bill, the clean water bill, the housing bailout bill, and the school construction bill all have in common?  Not much, except that in each one and countless others the Democratic majority in Congress has inserted "prevailing-wage" requirements that amount to a super-minimum wage.  We're speaking of Davis-Bacon, the 1931 law that originally applied to road building and other federal construction projects and set a floor on wages in part to price black and Mexican workers out of the work.  Today, its main impact is to require de facto union wages.

July 24, 2007...
Minimum wage goes up today.  The first of three year-over-year increases, a 70-cent bump, will bring the minimum wage to $5.85 an hour.  It's the first increase in 10 years, when the minimum wage was set at $5.15 an hour.  The minimum wage will increase 70 cents each summer, reaching $7.25 per hour in 2009.

L.A. living wage law is upheld.  The 3-0 ruling by a panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles means that the city can now implement a law that would provide salary and benefits equal to $10.64 an hour to workers at a dozen LAX-area hotels.

Deal reached on minimum wage increase.  Democratic efforts to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour got a big boost Friday evening [4/20/2007] as House-Senate negotiators reached a deal on a package of business tax incentives accompanying the wage increase. … The wage would increase from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour over the next two years under companion House and Senate bills, but the two chambers struggled over how much tax help to award businesses employing minimum wage workers.

Minimum Wage Increase to Become Reality.  This would be the first change since the minimum wage went from $4.75 to $5.15 on Sept. 1, 1997, under former President Clinton and the Republican-controlled Congress.  The minimum wage provisions were one part of the Iraq war spending bill that did not change:  the minimum wage goes up to $5.85 two months after Bush signs the bill, then to $6.55 one year later and to $7.25 the next year.

[Why is this part of the Iraq war spending bill?]

Bush Supports Democrats' Minimum Wage Hike Plan.  President Bush for the first time endorsed a specific plan for raising the federal minimum wage yesterday [12/20/2006], as he embraced Democratic calls to boost it by $2.10, to $7.25 an hour, over two years. … The president's endorsement of a minimum wage increase breaks with the position long held by conservative Republicans that the increase would hurt business and ultimately the economy.

House passes minimum wage increase, will rise to $7.25 an hour in next 26 months.  The Democratic-controlled House voted Wednesday [1/10/2007] to increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, bringing America's lowest-paid workers a crucial step closer to their first raise in a decade.  The vote was 315-116.  "You should not be relegated to poverty if you work hard and play by the rules," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

[No, the people who are relegated to poverty are those who are lazy, illiterate, and belligerent.]

House passes minimum wage bill with tax breaks.  The House overwhelmingly approved business tax breaks worth $1.8 billion over 10 years yesterday [2/16/2007], a key step toward forging a congressional compromise on increasing the minimum wage.  The vote on the tax cuts was 360-45.

Raising Maine's Minimum Wage Will Result in Job Loss for Low-Skilled Workers.  Substantial economic research clearly shows that large increases in the minimum wage decreases employment, particularly for the least skilled employees in the economy.

Minimum wage fight teaches Dems about limited power.  While final passage is highly probable, Democrats and their allies in organized labor long ago capitulated to GOP demands, agreeing to accept business-friendly tax cuts as the price for the first minimum wage increase in a decade.

Sticking it to Low-Skilled Workers.  The law of supply and demand, which operates whether we like it or not, says that when the price of something goes up, people buy less of it. … The law of supply and demand works in the labor market, too.  If government mandates a higher minimum wage, some workers will get a raise.  Some.  But something else will happen.  Employers will hire fewer low-skilled workers.  Others will let some current workers go.  Some will choose not to expand their businesses.  A few will close altogether.  If an employer believes a worker creates only about $5.15 worth of value on the job, he won't pay $7, even if the government demands it.

Minimum Wage Bill Flawed.  Contrary to what its supporters claim, the minimum wage bill Congress recently passed is unfair to workers and, in most cases, will harm the very workers it supposedly is designed to help.  In fact, most workers will experience a minimum-wage penalty rather than a minimum-wage benefit because of this bill.  This bill has far more to do with increasing the political capital of politicians in Washington, D.C., rather than increasing real wages of low-income families.

The Temperamental Minimum Wage:  The first fundamental law of demand postulates that the lower the price of something, the more will be demanded, and the higher the price, the less will be demanded.  To my knowledge, there are no known exceptions to the law of demand.  That was until last fall when 650 economists, including several Nobel Laureates, signed a letter calling for an increase in the minimum wage.

Familiar Problem Stalls Minimum Wage Bill.  When Democrats campaigned last fall to recapture control of Congress, few domestic issues seemed to have as much winning potential as raising the minimum wage.  Democrats ostentatiously signed pledges to block any pay increase for Congress until it raised the minimum wage.  They organized ballot initiatives to raise the state minimum wage.  And when they did recapture the House and the Senate, Democrats made it a top priority.  Yet after six weeks in power, the Democratic-led House and Senate have yet to agree on a final bill.

Welcome Back to Democratland. Rep. Bill Pascrell proclaimed that "The little guy is not going to be forgotten any longer."  Sounds great.  The Democrats are back in power, and now the deserving working poor are finally going to be paid a living wage.  Except that it isn't true.  Fewer than one in five minimum wage workers lives in a family with income below the poverty line.  Despite the picture painted by the Democrats in Washington, more than 82 percent of minimum wage workers have no dependents, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2007 EPI Minimum Wage Survey of Labor Economists:  Almost three-fourths of labor economists (73%) believe that a mandated minimum wage increase set at 150% of the current wage would result in employment losses.  Similarly, more than two-thirds of labor economists (68%) believe a mandated minimum wage would result in employers hiring more applicants with greater skills, and nearly one-third (31%) believe there would be no change in hiring practices.

Democratic Agenda Running on Empty.  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) examined the effects of increasing the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour.  It confirmed that the overwhelming majority of minimum-wage workers live in households with incomes too high to qualify for welfare programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Food Stamps or Medicaid.  In fact, CBO estimated that only 18% of these workers had total cash incomes below the federal poverty threshold.

Minimum Wage Socialism:  The idea that legislators can help low-income workers simply by mandating a pay raise is the height of hubris.  While the minimum-wage rhetoric may sound good, the reality is quite different.  Forcing employers to pay low-skilled workers a higher than market wage — in the absence of any changes in productivity — will decrease the number of workers hired (the law of demand).

Increases in Minimum Wage Hurt Small Business and Employees.  Government manipulation of the starting wage has failed as tool of social and/or economic justice.  It has not been proven to reduce poverty or narrow the income gap and puts a stranglehold on America's top job creators:  small businesses.  The overwhelming majority of economists continue to affirm the job-killing nature of mandatory wage increases.

Restaurant owners stew over new rules.  The first big hit to the San Francisco restaurant industry came three years ago this month — a $1.75-an-hour increase in the minimum wage.  The second came last Monday when the city became the first in the country to require all businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees.  The third is due in July when the city's plan to require health coverage for uninsured residents kicks in — assuming the employer mandate portion of the ordinance survives a legal challenge by restaurant owners.  A word to diners:  Budget accordingly.

Pelosi:  God Bless the Child that's not at Home.  The current rush to increase the Federal Minimum Wage with no regard for its ultimate impact upon jobs, small businesses and the broader economy only serves to further sharpen the focus of that beam.  It seems that most minimum wage earners are teen and college aged kids of working families.  Subsequently, this red herring regressive wealth transfer accomplishes little but the subsidizing of middle class children on the backs of small businesses.  This is, of course, typical welfare state thinking and the perfect opening salvo for a new House majority which apparently mistook America's distaste for war and scandal as a mandate for loony lefty legislation.

Democrats Prepare to Raise Minimum Wage.  It looks like full steam ahead for a significant boost to the federal minimum wage when Democrats assume control of Congress in January.  Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts said Thursday [11/16/2006] that increasing the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 would be his top priority as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Democrats to raise wages for poor workers.  The incoming Democratic-led U.S. Congress intends to give a hand to dishwashers, fast-food cooks and America's other poorest-paid workers by raising the federal minimum wage for the first time in a decade. … With the new 110th Congress set to convene on January 4, Democrats vow a vote soon on a bill to raise the minimum wage over two years to $7.25 per hour.

[The writer of the headline above makes the unwise assumption that all minimum wage earners are on their own, when in reality, many of them live in (and are supported by) middle class households.]

The Right Minimum Wage.  A federal minimum wage is an idea whose time came in 1938, when public confidence in markets was at a nadir and the federal government's confidence in itself was at an apogee.  This, in spite of the fact that with 19 percent unemployment and the economy contracting by 6.2 percent in 1938, the New Deal's frenetic attempts had failed to end, and perhaps had prolonged, the Depression.  Today, raising the federal minimum wage is a bad idea whose time has come, for two reasons, the first of which is that some Democrats have an evidently incurable disease — New Deal Nostalgia.

Who Earns the Minimum Wage?  Suburban Teenagers, Not Single Parents.  The House of Representatives recently voted to increase the minimum wage in an attempt to improve the lives of the working poor.  Most minimum-wage workers, however, are not poor.  Congress should examine which workers — assuming that their jobs are not casualties of the higher minimum wage — the change would benefit.

New wage boost puts squeeze on teenage workers across Arizona.  Oh, for the days when Arizona's high school students could roll pizza dough, sweep up sticky floors in theaters or scoop ice cream without worrying about ballot initiatives affecting their earning power.  That's certainly not the case under the state's new minimum-wage law that went into effect last month.  Some Valley employers, especially those in the food industry, say payroll budgets have risen so much that they're cutting hours, instituting hiring freezes and laying off employees.

Raising the Minimum Wage Will Not Reduce Poverty for Three Main Reasons:  First, the only workers who benefit from a higher minimum wage are those who actually earn that higher wage.  Raising the minimum wage reduces many workers' job opportunities and working hours.  Second, few minimum-wage earners actually come from poor households.  Third, the majority of poor Americans do not work at all, for any wage, so raising the minimum wage does not help them.

Good Intentions Are Not Enough.  Few of those who would benefit from a higher minimum wage are disadvantaged workers.  Nor do minimum-wage workers need the government to step in for them to earn a raise.  A higher minimum wage does not reduce poverty rates, and because of the perverse way that many government aid programs are structured, it will also do little to help the neediest minimum-wage families.

Minimum Wage Hikes Hurt Unskilled and Disadvantaged Workers' Job Prospects.  Though the majority of minimum wage workers are teenagers or young adults under the age of 25, the case for raising the minimum wage focuses on how it will help low-income adults who are struggling to get by.  But businesses change their mix of workers when the minimum wage rises.  If they must pay higher wages, companies hire more highly-skilled and productive workers.  Poor, low-skill workers thus lose out.

Do Minimum Wage Increases Benefit Workers and the Economy?  The job-killing effect of higher mandatory minimum wages is well documented.  As Alex Adrianson of The Heritage Foundation points out:  "Raising the minimum wage increases the prices of goods produced by minimum wage workers.  Consumers respond by buying less, and employers respond by making less, which means fewer jobs.  Employers also respond to relatively more expensive labor by investing in labor-saving technology, which again means fewer jobs."

Minimizing the Harm of the Minimum Wage:  The minimum wage is an extremely ineffective anti-poverty measure.  It does not help the poor, low-income workers its supporters often invoke.  Contrary to the stereotype, most minimum wage workers do not need government assistance.  Less than one in five live below the poverty line, and the average family income of a minimum wage earner is almost $50,000 a year.  Very few minimum wage workers support a family with their earnings — fewer, in fact, than in the population as a whole.  Minimum wage workers are far more likely to be teenagers or college students than single parents working full time.  The majority of minimum wage workers are between the ages of 16 and 24, and over three fifths work part time.

The Negative Effects of the Minimum Wage:  Various state legislators and interest groups around the United States are pushing for increases in the minimum wage.  In California, for example, even Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger now advocates raising the state minimum wage from its current $6.75 an hour to $7.75 by July 2007.  But when the minimum wage law confronts the law of demand, the law of demand wins every time.  And the real losers are the most marginal workers — the ones who will be out of a job.

How To Cook The Numbers 101.  David Hogberg examines a study the left often cites as proof that increasing the federal minimum wage won't harm employment.  House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, in a speech supporting an increase in the minimum wage, claimed, "According to one recent study small business employment grew more between 1997 and 2003 in states with a higher minimum wage than in those adhering to the federal minimum wage." ... That "study" was conducted by the liberal Fiscal Policy Institute.  It is a textbook case in cooking the data.

Why a Higher Minimum Wage Is Bad Economic Policy:  If you want to know why the Democrats keep treading water in spite of an unpopular president and the feckless pork-barrel leadership of congressional Republicans, look no further than the minimum wage.  In a recent move that was about as surprising as a low-scoring soccer game, Democrats made it clear they will make the minimum wage a central part of their election strategy next fall.

Minimum wage = minimum employment.  According to the Labor Department, as of 2004, less than 3 percent of hourly wage workers were paid at or below the federal minimum wage.  About half are under age 25, and about a quarter are teenagers.  Less than 2 percent of workers 25 or older get the minimum wage or less.  About 60 percent of these low-wage workers were in the leisure and hospitality industry, primarily food services and drinking places, where wages are supplemented by tips.

Minimum wage increase challenged.  While most minimum wage earners quickly advance into better-paid positions, a small group in [any state's] workforce may remain at the minimum wage for extended periods.  These employees are very often high school dropouts or have poor reading skills.  They earn the minimum wage because they offer meager skills, not because their employers are unreasonable.  A wage hike might not be so problematic if lawmakers could also confer new skills along with the increased wages.  Voting for higher wage floors, however, doesn't teach anyone to read, make change or show up to work on time.

Senator Kennedy Ignores the Economic Reality of Minimum Wage Increases.  Senator Kennedy claims that his minimum wage increase is meant to help hurricane Katrina victims, many of whom are poor minorities.  He does not mention that only 8 percent of the beneficiaries from his wage increase will be single mothers, and only 4 percent will be single mothers in poverty.

Senate defeats Democrats' minimum wage increase.  Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, unsuccessfully tried to attach the proposal to a defense authorization bill that is expected to be passed by the Senate in coming days.

Senate rejects bid to raise minimum wage.  "Americans believe that no one who works hard for a living should have to live in poverty.  A job should lift you out of poverty, not keep you in it," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.  He said a worker paid $5.15 an hour would earn $10,700 a year, "almost $6,000 below the poverty line for a family of three."

[Senator Kennedy gives us the example of a family of three, where there is only one wage earner, and that person makes the minimum wage.  How many such families exist, Senator?  Do any of them live in your neighborhood?]

Minimum Rage:  When The New York Times calls your argument "straightforward" and a CNN host calls your opponents' arguments "a lot of bull," you can probably count the media on your side.  That's exactly what Democrats are seeing in the media's approach to minimum wage increases — an issue designed to turn out liberal voters in at least six states this fall.

With Minimum Wage on State Ballots, PBS Pushes Increases.  Minimum wage increases will be on the ballot in six states on November 7.  PBS's "Now" took the opportunity to push for broad increases on its October 27 edition, showcasing worker Melone Peyton, who doesn't even earn minimum wage.  Conveniently, David Brancaccio's show left out conservative voices that might have contextualized Peyton's situation — and added facts about the effects of a minimum wage increase.

House Approves Minimum Wage Increase.  Republicans muscled the first minimum wage increase in a decade through the House early Saturday [7/29/2006] after pairing it with a cut in inheritance taxes on multimillion-dollar estates.

Senate Rejects Estate Tax / Minimum Wage Bill.  The Senate late Thursday [8/3/2006] rejected, 56-42, a bill fusing the cut in estate taxes with a $2.10 increase over three years in the $5.15 minimum wage.  The bill also would have revived a host of expired tax cuts, including a business research and development credit and deductions for state sales taxes, college tuition and teachers' classroom supplies.

LAX-area hotels urged to end fight against 'living wage'.  The city's leading politicians called on hotel owners Tuesday [12/12/2006] to abandon their effort to block a new ordinance that requires hotels near Los Angeles International Airport to pay a "living wage" valued at $10.64 an hour to their nonunion workers.

Paying the Price:  Why the living wage is an inefficient welfare system.  When the first living wage was implemented in Baltimore in 1994, many people believed it to be a necessary and drastic increase of the minimum wage. … Supporters of the policy undoubtedly think the living wage helps out their fellow citizens, but unfortunately fail to realize the unintended economic destruction that would ensue if the living wage were to take effect.

Chicago Council Passes 'Living Wage' Act.  [An] ordinance, which passed 35-14 Wednesday [7/26/2006] after three hours of impassioned debate, requires mega-retailers to pay wages of at least $10 an hour plus $3 in fringe benefits by mid-2010. … The minimum wage in Illinois is $6.50 an hour and the federal minimum is $5.15.  Mayor Richard M. Daley and others warned the living wage proposal would drive jobs and desperately needed development from some of the city's poorest neighborhoods and lead giants like Wal-Mart to abandon the city.

Who's Really Behind the Anti-Wal-Mart Campaign?  ACORN, a national organization of low- and moderate-income persons, has been around since the early 1970s.  The organization claims about 175,000 member families in 80 cities and advocates left-wing populist approaches to a variety of issues including public housing, jobs, wages, taxes, and voter registration. … While advocating living wages, ACORN has opposed paying even minimum wages to its own workers.  This was made apparent back in 1995, when ACORN sued the state of California to be exempted from paying its own workers the minimum wage.

Minimum Wage Hits $9.50 in Santa Fe.  This month, in the liberal bastion of Santa Fe, New Mexico, they are raising the minimum wage in the city to $9.50 per hour.  The measure applies to all businesses with 25 or more employees.  The driving force behind this decision was Acorn, the 'national community organization,' as Jon Gertner describes it in The New York Times Magazine for January 15, 2006.  Acorn has discovered that the way to win on the minimum wage issue is to cast it not as an economic issue but as a moral issue.

An Increase in the Minimum Wage?  On June 13, the House Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would increase the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour over the next three years.  This bill, with the support of seven Republicans on the committee, would implement one of the highest priorities of the congressional Democratic leadership.

Edwards Urges Ohio to Hike Minimum Wage.  Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards, a potential 2008 Democratic presidential candidate, told supporters of a ballot issue to increase the state's minimum wage that a hike in Ohio would be the first step toward increasing wages across the nation.

Texas inmates not entitled to minimum wage.  Texas inmates working in the laundry of a state prison aren't entitled to earn at least the federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour, an appeals court has ruled.  Convicted sex offender Douglas R. Loving contended his job as a drying machine operator qualified him for protection under the Fair Labor Standards Act — meaning he should get minimum wage — because the act didn't specifically exempt prisoners.

Three measures to raise California's minimum wage.  Three bills to raise the minimum wage — one backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and two by Democrats — face tests this week in the Legislature.  The bills would boost the hourly minimum wage by $1 to $7.75, making it one of the highest — if not the highest — in the nation.

California boosts minimum wage to the highest in US.  The California Assembly on Thursday [8/31/2006] approved a bill to boost the minimum wage to $8 an hour, the highest level in the nation, and sent it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk for signing.

Minimum wage, war top Democrats' plans.  Democrats say they will burst out of a 12-year exile with a bang if they win control of Congress in two weeks.  They promise to quickly pass a minimum wage increase at home and to reduce the U.S. war role in Iraq.

The imps of the impoverished.  The living wage is the new-and-improved "poverty line," the theoretical wage that would allow a worker to live in middle-class comfort, paying the bills and accepting no special subsidies.  The minimum wage, on the other hand, is a legal barrier to trade in labor.  It's not theoretical at all.  It's the law.

Minimum Wage, Maximum Folly.  About a fortnight ago, Mrs. Williams alerted me to an episode of Oprah Winfrey's show titled "Inside the Lives of People Living on Minimum Wage."  After a few minutes of watching, I turned it off, not because of the heartrending tales but because most of what was being said was dead wrong.

Below the minimum wage:  The Internet leaves no excuse for guessing about what is "probably" true.  Just type "Statistical Abstract" into Google, and then click on Section 12, Table 636:  "Workers Paid Hourly Rates."  Table 636 reveals that only 520,000 were paid the $5.15 federal minimum wage in 2004. … Nearly three times as many U.S. workers (1,483,000) were paid less than the minimum wage.

A Worst-Case Scenario for Federalism:
Massachusetts and the Minimum Wage.  Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis' conception of individual states as "laboratories of democracy" would aptly describe Massachusetts should its legislature pass a bill raising the state minimum wage from $6.75 to $8.25.  Sadly, this is one experiment destined to go up in smoke. … Unfortunately, there are no winners with the minimum wage.  The resulting increase in unemployment, taxes, consumer costs and crime touch all rungs of the social ladder.

The Effects of the Proposed Ohio Minimum Wage Increase.  In recent years, the movement to enact "living wages" or increases in the minimum wage has been active in states and cities across the country.  Advocates of these wage hikes argue that the increases will help low-income families escape poverty.  Although emotionally compelling, this argument ignores the unintended consequences the proposed increase would create.  Worse, the mandated increase confers its benefits overwhelmingly on employees who aren't poor whereas those who are bear a disproportionate share of the costs.

Schwarzenegger Seeks $1 Minimum-Wage Boost, Aide Says.  California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will propose a $1 increase in the minimum wage for the most populous U.S. state, reversing a position he took in two vetoes, a member of the governor's administration said.

Senator Kennedy Ignores Economic Reality of Minimum Wage Increases.  Senator Kennedy claims that his [proposed] minimum wage increase is a family issue because many of the beneficiaries are women with children.  He does not mention that only 8 percent of the benefits from his wage increase will be single mothers, and only 4 percent will be single mothers in poverty.

Minimum wage, maximum folly.  Senators Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Rick Santorum, R-Pa., both introduced proposals to increase the minimum wage from its current $5.15 an hour.  Sen. Kennedy's proposal would have raised the minimum wage to $7.25 in three steps over 26 months, while Sen. Santorum's would have raised it to $6.25 in two steps over 18 months.  Two weeks ago, both measures failed passage in the Senate.

Something for nothing:  Part III.  Minimum wages in South Africa have been set higher than the productivity of many workers, so employers have no incentive to hire those workers, even though such workers are perfectly capable of producing much-needed goods and services.

The Minimum Wage Trap:  The latest research has shown that increases in the minimum wage encourage high school students to drop out – enticed by the lure of higher pay for unskilled work.  This reduces their lifetime earnings and displaces lower-skilled workers at the same time.  Given these kinds of effects, it is not surprising that the minimum wage has almost no impact on poverty or on increasing the incomes of the poor.

Minimum Wage Increase:  Help or Hype?  Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, like other liberal politicians, is once again calling for an increase in the minimum wage.  The Kerry plan calls for a 36 percent increase to seven dollars an hour.  He says it will help those living in poverty.  Like all liberal ideas, it sounds good at first.  [But] increasing employee costs means staffing cutbacks and reduced hours.

 Editor's Note:   Just for future reference, Ralph Nader supports a $10-an-hour minimum wage.*  Why stop there?  Why not make it $20 an hour?

Abolish the Minimum Wage.  A minimum wage helps no one.  Except for the politicians who propose it in an effort to look "sensitive to the need of the poor."  After all, we need to help these poor people, and get them all the money we can.  What does the minimum wage actually do?  It causes unemployment.  Economists don't agree on much, but this is one thing they do agree on.  When you require employers to pay a minimum wage, any worker whose labor is not worth that wage is fired, or never hired to begin with.

Raising the Minimum Wage:  Another Empty Promise to the Working Poor.  Since its inception in 1938, increases in the federal minimum wage have become an increasingly weak mechanism for addressing the problem of poverty in America.  This continuing deterioration stems from the fact that fewer low-wage employees are supporting a family on a minimum wage income.  As poverty becomes more a problem of hours worked and not an individual's wage level, anti-poverty policies that focus on wages will be less efficient than polices that focus on income, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The Minimum Wage Is Bad Policy.  The concept of a minimum wage seems straightforward:  If we believe the wages of some workers are too low, we should pass a law requiring those wages to be higher.  What could be simpler?  The problem is that increasing the minimum wage may make some people better off, but others will be harmed.  Experience proves that the minimum wage hurts more people than it helps.  A bill to raise minimum hourly pay is introduced in every Congress.  The current proposal would immediately raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $5.85, then to $6.45 one year later and to $7.00 after two years.

When more is less.  Contrary to a universal confusion between words and reality, those paid the official "minimum" wage are not the nation's lowest-paid workers.  The federal minimum wage does not apply to those working on small farms or at seasonal amusement or recreational establishments.  It does not apply to newspaper delivery people, companions for the elderly, outside salesmen, U.S. seamen on foreign-flag ships, switchboard operators or part-time babysitters.

The illusions of the minimum wage:  Although you can force employers to pay their workers more, you can't force them to employ people.  If you raise the tax on cigarettes by $2.10 a pack, people will smoke fewer cigarettes.  The minimum wage functions as a tax on hiring low-wage workers, which means companies will look for ways to do without them.  Economists have always taken this effect as an unfortunate reality.

Why the Minimum Wage Law Causes Unemployment:  Supporters of a higher minimum wage also frequently imply that a large portion of minimum wage workers are single mothers for whom welfare is an alternative to work.  However, this belief is also disproven by the facts.  Single parents, male and female, make up only 6.5 percent of the minimum wage workforce.  Only about half of them work full time.  The number of poor people earning the minimum wage is small in part because most poor people of working age are not working.  Only 9.2 percent of poor people of working age have full-time jobs.  About 60 percent do not work at all.

Minimum wage realities:  I've always thought that the minimum wage was perfect liberal economics, in the sense that it perfectly encapsulates the liberal philosophy.  Liberals see a problem:  workers with low wages.  Their solution:  pass a law requiring those wages to be increased.  What could be simpler?  The problem, of course, is that someone has to pay those higher wages, and the money doesn't come from the tooth fairy.

Wage growth among minimum wage workers:  Contrary to popular belief, minimum wage employees are not dependent on government policies to increase their wages.  Higher education and job training along with a strong labor market are significant contributing factors.

Hurting the poor in the name of helping them:  History shows least-skilled workers suffer when the minimum wage goes up.

Does the Minimum Wage Reduce Poverty?  This study by economists Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway shows convincingly that minimum wages, because of inefficient targeting of the poor and unintended adverse consequences on employment and earnings, are ineffective as an antipoverty device.  The report relies on an impressive array of empirical evidence showing that, however one views the data, in the United States, state and federal minimum wages have not reduced poverty.

The Minimum Wage Employee Profile:  There are more than 550,000 teens working at the minimum wage who live in households where family income exceeds $30,000.  Only 44% of minimum wage employees work full time.  The majority of minimum wage employees could increase their income simply by working more hours.  Single parents with three or more children account for only 1% of the minimum wage work force, and only 57% of these single parents work full time.

Minimum Wage Laws and the Distribution of Employment:  Kevin Lang's paper focuses on employment in eating and drinking establishments, a Bureau of Labor Statistics classification including fast food and table service restaurants, as well as cafeterias. The report shows that the effect of higher minimum wages in the late 1980s was to displace adults employed in food service in favor of younger workers.

The New York Times and the minimum wage:  For decades, the New York Times had carefully and consistently editorialized against the minimum wage.  But five years ago, for no apparent reason, it reversed a policy dating back to 1937 and suddenly endorsed a higher minimum wage.

High Minimum Wage = High Unemployment.  Washington state is not alone in experiencing perpetual high state unemployment.  Oregon, Washington and Alaska are among the five states with the highest unemployment rates.  It is perhaps no coincidence that these three states have the highest state minimum wages in the nation.

Repeal the Minimum Wage.  To put it bluntly, given all the evidence we have about the destructive effects of the minimum wage law, anyone who still calls for an increase in it is either sadly lacking in economic education or is a demagogue.

Bifurcated bias lens:  In the U.S., the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 (still on the books), a super minimum wage law, was enacted to protect unionized white construction workers from competition with black workers. … Minimum wage laws lower the cost of, and hence subsidize, racial preference indulgence.  After all, if an employer must pay the same wage no matter whom he hires, the cost of discriminating in favor of the people he prefers is cheaper.

Discrimination:  The Law vs. Morality.  A discussion racial discrimination associated with the minimum wage and the Davis-Bacon Act, which was enacted in 1931 and is still in effect today.

The fallacy of the prevailing wage.  In its contempt for the market, the federal government is setting high wages that keep people poor. … Construction had long been the kind of work where young people could break in by helping, watching and working cheap until they acquired skills.  The Davis Bacon Act eliminates that.

"Living wage" kills jobs.  Give credit where credit is due.  The political left is great with words.  Conservatives have never been able to come up with such seductive phrases as the left mass produces.

Senator Ted Kennedy's Minimum Wage Foolishness:  During a period of job losses and poor business investment, Senator Ted Kennedy wants to make it more expensive to create jobs.  The Massachusetts Democrat has proposed hiking the minimum wage by a whopping 29%, from $5.15 per hour to $6.65.

The Complex Dynamics Of Raising The Minimum Wage.  The problem of elevating the welfare of the country's lowest-paid workers is far more complex than minimum-wage proponents would have us believe.  A minimum-wage hike does not, and cannot, translate into a long-term improvement in welfare.  The small number of job losses resulting from past minimum-wage increases is not an argument for another round of wage mandates.  Rather, it is testimony to the fact that politicians do not have the market clout they think they have.

Effects of Minimum Wages on Teenage Employment, Enrollment and Idleness:  Changes in the minimum wage, often thought to affect only aggregate employment levels, are now known to have impacts both in and outside the labor market. Inside the labor market, higher minimum wages affect the composition of the minimum wage work force, reducing the employability of less skilled workers. At the same time, higher minimum wages may accelerate the rate at which youths terminate their formal schooling.

Minimum Wage Woes:  It doesn't take a Nobel economist to figure out that an employer isn't going to hire someone he can't afford.  Labor Department statistics show that a high percentage of those receiving the lowest pay are part-time workers who aren't supporting a family.  Three-fifths are between ages 16 and 24.

Minimum wage FAQ:  Who earns the minimum wage?  Young people living with their parents account for 37.6% of those who benefited from the 1996 minimum wage hike.

Winners and Losers of Federal and State Minimum Wages:  During recent minimum wage and living wage debates, it is often heard that there is no job loss attached to a mandated wage increase.  A majority of economists question the "no displacement" theory, but many policymakers and their constituents believe this theory to be true.  Contrary to popular opinion, mandating a higher minimum wage comes at a cost.  But what if, despite a credible body of economic research to the contrary, there is no job loss following a mandated wage hike?  In this study, economists Thomas MaCurdy and Frank McIntyre of Stanford University answer that question.  They find that the cost does not disappear.  In fact, by some measures, it hurts the poor the most.  Moreover, a vast majority of poor families pay this cost despite receiving no benefits from the wage hikes.

Is it Better to Have a Raise or a Job?:  Why a minimum wage hike would increase unemployment and harm undertrained workers.

Making the Underclass Permanent:  I will never forget the words of the man who ultimately became my stepfather, "Walter, any job, at any wage is better than begging and stealing." Government handouts and a flourishing drug trade weren't around to corrupt that lesson.

The Living Wage Folly:  Living-wage ordinance campaigns undertaken at private firms are modeled after the old union "corporate campaigns" of the 1970s and 1980s.  They involve concerted efforts to ruin the reputations of those who do not surrender, as well as picketing, demonstrating, boycotting, and other forms of harassment.  All, of course, in the name of "social justice."  In all settings other than labor such actions are called extortion.

Unreal wages:  Many of the most persistently gloomy reports about the U.S. economy have long been based on the single most misleading statistic the government produces.

Senator Kennedy Gears for Minimum Wage Battle As soon as they can secure passage of a "Patients Bill of Rights" and bring about a version of education reform, congressional Democrats are gearing to start a battle on a minimum wage increase.

"Living Wage" Law Is Public Policy at its Worst:  On November 3, 1998, Detroit voters overwhelmingly approved a so-called "living wage" ordinance.  Effective January 1, 1999, it requires employers with at least $50,000 in city contracts or financial assistance to offer workers a minimum hourly wage of $8.23 if health benefits are included, or $10.28 if they are not.  Furthermore, the law requires that employers hire only city residents.  Violators are subject to a $50-per-day penalty and may have their city contract or grant revoked as well.  The city's already-bloated bureaucracy will get larger now because contracts will have to be monitored for compliance, which also means that businesses will be forced to reveal confidential payroll information.  This is public policy at its worst.

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Updated July 11, 2024.

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