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Inevitable: Minimum wage costs jobs

July 04. 2017 11:18PM

Water is wet. The sun rises in the East. Increasing price reduces demand.

Such things are obvious if you’ve been paying attention. Liberals pushing for large increases in the minimum wage haven’t been paying attention.

But a recent study from Seattle might get them to take notice.

University of Washington researchers tracked low-wage employment in Seattle as a minimum wage increase up to $15 per hour was phased in. Predictably, employers increased wages to comply with the law, but cut hours and cut jobs. Some workers made more money. Others lost hours, or lost their jobs entirely.

Increasing price reduces demand just as surely for labor as for anything else. Setting a price floor at $15 per hour means that young, inexperienced employees who don’t bring $15 per hour worth of productivity to the job won’t be hired. This is basic economics, but long denied by liberals who believe that government can suspend reality through minimum wage mandates.

Crusades such as “The Fight for 15” are government by wishful thinking. Employers do not have an unlimited pool of money to hire workers. Higher wages must come from customers, other employees, or the bottom line.

Chopping off the bottom rungs of the employment ladder make it harder to break into the job market. Higher wages come from experience and dependability, not government mandates.

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