Job Slayers

Monday, August 29th, 2005

Job Slayers looks (askance) at the minimum wage:

We’ve sometimes lampooned minimum wages by asking why politicians should merely stop at $7.25. If they’re such a great idea, why not $20 an hour, or for that matter why not pay everyone in America a Senate salary? But now we find that a group called Wider Opportunities for Women, which is funded by unions, has actually advocated a ‘living wage’ requirement of $24 an hour in San Francisco and $35 an hour in Manhattan, which of course would mean that hundreds of thousands of employed workers would suddenly have to make ends meet with a ‘living wage’ of zero.

The minimum wage is about the most ineffective poverty abatement program ever conceived. A new study by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) estimates that Mr. Kennedy’s $7.25 wage law would add $18.3 billion of costs on mostly small and local businesses with typically thin profit margins — restaurants, hotels and retail shops. Only 13% of that money would go to families that can accurately be described as poor. The EPI study finds that only one out of every 11 minimum wage workers is the head of a poor household.

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