All candidates in the Republican race this election cycle have shared a firm opposition to raising the minimum wage. On the other side of the aisle, they can’t seem to make their minds up on what that wage should be – just that it should be higher.
The consensus of economists on the issue is irrelevant to the Left, who knows that playing into the emotion of voters is drastically more effective than presenting them with facts.
The image of the typical minimum wage worker as one struggling to get by couldn’t be more wrong. Poverty is hardly a widespread crisis in America. Fewer than 3 percent of full-time workers live below the poverty line – while 36 percent of the poor earn over $12 an hour. As the counter-intuitive statistics show, poverty is more likely to rise out of lifestyle choices and a lack of hours available to work than what your wage is at a certain job.
Additionally, the Left speaks about the minimum wage as if it’s a wage floor where everyone is stuck, when it should really be viewed as a starting point to advance from.
Donald Trump recently took part in a Town Hall event with Greta Van Susteren, where he was asked his opinion on the minimum wage as the “Fight For Fifteen” movement. The relevant question and answer begins at 15:10.
Trump: The minimum wage is a very, very complex situation because we are a non-competitive country.
If you look at what’s going on throughout the world one of the big problems we have is wages. I’m gonna make our country so competitive that people at minimum wage are going to escape the minimum wage – they are going to go up and they’re gonna make a lot of money and they’re gonna have companies and be involved with companies that are really successful where they can be paid more and more money.If you start raising the minimum wage you can make a lot of our companies even more non-competitive and it would be a big, big problem for what I want to do which is I want to bring jobs back. We’re gonna bring jobs back from China, were gonna bring jobs back from Mexico and Japan and all of these countries that are ripping us off, taking your money, taking our jobs.
Trump’s point is wages will naturally increase as companies must compete for skilled workers in the United States. It’s the simple law of supply and demand.
Why raise the minimum wage through legislation when you can raise it by improving the economy? The vast majority of workers in this country already earn more than the minimum wage – and it’s because they have good productive jobs, not because the government mandated it be so.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]