I find the column quoted below fascinating. It’s not unique, many experts say similar things and it’s all balderdash.
Reduce income inequality? What nonsense, that is not only insignificant, but irrelevant. And assuredly meaningless to minimum wage workers. “Family to support?” Most minimum wage workers are not married and do not have families. The fact is only 1% of married hourly workers earn the minimum wage or less.
I have written about raising the minimum wage several times before, but the issues I have raised are consistently ignored in favor of the populist mantra.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to a higher minimum wage.
I am opposed to a false narrative regarding the results of doing so. In the end minimum wage workers will be no better off after the impact on inflation, salary compression, some job loss and possible loss of safety net benefits. In short, they will still be on the lowest income rung of the economic ladder.
So, what does the increase in the minimum wage accomplish? A reduction in income inequality and a move toward providing a living wage to the lowest-paid workers. These workers probably do not get employer provided health insurance or retirement benefits but could get government assistance such as income supplementation with the EITC and health insurance assistance with the Affordable Care Act. Life will not move to easy street but will get a bit more comfortable, especially if they have a family to support.
Murad Anti teaches finance at the Muma College of Business, University of South Florida.