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Argument Summary: Raising the minimum wage hurts workers.

Supporting reasons:

- in the short term raising the wage makes jobs scarcer since fewer workers may be hired on a firm's labor budget.  This also encourages automation and process efficiency measures to reduce jobs, which might effect employment even if the minimum wage were lowered again.

- in the long term, raising the wage also reduces the number of jobs by forcing some businesses to close due to higher labor cost.

- in the long term, inflation proportional to the minimum wage increase causes no increase in buying power even for those workers privileged with a nominal increase in earnings.

Amplifying Rational:
Since an unemployed worker can be less expected to survive, at least appropriately, granting as many as possible a wage to live on, or as close as can be expected, requires minimum wage be abolished to maximize employment.


You are welcome to agree or disagree with portions or all of the argument, preferably with further discussion as to why.


There's also the argument that renters will just raise the rent with wage, meaning the only people who actually benefit are the renters.


Right, a specific case of the third supporting reason.


The argument is what I take to be the Republican standard.  Perhaps I've chosen something too popular (it's more productive on something like this to pick a minority stance).


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Ok, well, rebutting my own argument, I guess.  Rushing a bit because I have to get to work (for the ever-necessary OT).


>higher labor cost.
>inflation proportional to the minimum wage increase

This seems to make the assumption all wage is payed at the minimum wage.  A quick Google search gives me 1.5% of workers in 2020 made minimum wage, and their proportion of labor cost must be much lower.  Roughly speaking, it's a drop in the bucket, which explains why inflation has been increasing in excess of minimum wage for decades.

>encourages automation and process efficiency measures

Maybe, but why can't we create economic systems where that's a win?  Or in short, why is it better to exploit low wage workers than to automate?

Yes, you may have a point, J. Griffon, some businesses that rely heavily on low wage work, and can't automate, might struggle.  On the other hand, as the wage increase occurs across America, if the product or service is really necessary, people will be willing to pay more.  That's the basic idea of paying what something costs.

Minimum wage is a basic protection for workers.  The government regulates food safety, you could argue by not allowing the sale of questionable food for a lower price, some are left hungry -- but by and large people consider the trade-off worth it to prevent someone being made ill.  A job a person can't live on is the same kind of problematic half-measure.


>There's also the argument that renters will just raise the rent with wage, meaning the only people who actually benefit are the renters.
"Renter" denotes a person who pays rent.  "Landlord" denotes the person who receives the money.


Raising the minimum wage, as far as research has found, tends to either not decrease employment or have a modest reduction in terms of those with jobs, in comparison to a widely substantial improvement in conditions for a large number of individuals.

An interesting article on this is at: https://journalistsresource.org/economics/federal-minimum-wage-research/

Ultimately, though, this gets into a moral question that's outside of traditional economics. Accepting that a significant hike is well understand to mean some harm in terms of lost jobs, how much negativity is acceptable in comparison to the total of those lifted out of poverty (as well as those of better life station more generally)? The counter-factual is also important. What if wage subsidies were enacted? Or additional stimulus checks to people? Or expansions in health care coverage for the poor? Or changes to the food stamp program?

It's rather unclear what changes to U.S. government policy would precisely benefit the working poor the most. In my personal opinion, raising the minimum wage isn't necessarily a horrible idea but in comparison terms seems like a worse option than expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit or sweeting Obamacare exchanges or other measures that involve spending money on the downtrodden without, I believe, hurting jobs as much (or maybe even at all).

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