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Leftists love the minimum wage, even though it hurts the people they think they’re helping – Orange County Register

On April 1, California’s new minimum wage of $20 an hour for fast food workers took effect. In signing the bill, California Governor Gavin Newsom rejected the idea that such a wage increase – 25% above the state’s current minimum wage – would harm teenagers who disproportionately benefit fast food jobs and for whom this becomes their entry into the job market. Newsom said: “It’s a fictionalized version of a world that doesn’t exist. We have the opportunity to reward that contribution, reward that sacrifice, and stabilize an industry.

In 2019, the New York Times editorial board echoed the theme:

“The simplistic view that minimum wage laws cause unemployment gained such consensus in the 1980s that this editorial board came out against the federal minimum in 1987, calling it “idea whose time has passed” and citing “a virtual idea” as proof. consensus among economists. The old criticism is still regularly advanced by the restaurant industry and other large employers of low-wage workers…

“A groundbreaking study published in 1993 by economists David Card and Alan Krueger examined an increase in the minimum wage in New Jersey by comparing fast food restaurants in that region and an adjacent part of Pennsylvania. He found no impact on employment.

The 2019 New York Times editorial board did a 180-degree turn from what its board wrote in a 1987 opinion titled “The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00”:

“…there is near consensus among economists that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed. Significantly increasing the minimum wage would deprive poor workers of the labor market…

“A higher minimum would undoubtedly raise the living standards of the majority of low-wage workers who could keep their jobs. This gain, it is claimed, would justify the sacrifice of the minority who have become unemployable. The argument is not convincing. Those most at risk of a higher minimum would be young, working poor, who already face enormous barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment.

In a 1973 interview, Milton Friedman, a Nobel laureate in economics, said: “I have often said that the minimum wage rate is the most anti-Black law there is. »

Now, the “groundbreaking” Card-Krueger study mentioned in the 2019 New York Times op-ed has actually refuted the consensus among economists that government-mandated minimum wage increases cause unemployment and unemployment. rising prices and providing greater incentive to reduce labor costs through automation. . But of the study, New York Times columnist, economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman wrote:

“Indeed, highly cited studies by two noted labor economists, David Card and Alan Krueger, reveal that where there have been more or less controlled experiments, such as when New Jersey raised the minimum wage, but Not Pennsylvania, the effects of increased employment were negligible or even positive. What exactly to make of this result is a source of intense controversy. Card and Krueger have proposed complex theoretical justifications, but most of their colleagues remain unconvinced; the centrist view is probably that the minimum wage “effectively reduces” employment. …” (Krugman now supports a minimum wage.)

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