Do-gooders and politicians pandering for votes believe that by increasing everyone’s wage to at least $15 an hour they’ll be helping the poor people who need the money. But, let’s look at the facts. According to census data, nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers live in households with incomes over 2 times the poverty level and over 40 percent live in households at over 3 times the poverty level. Roughly half of all minimum wage workers are teenagers or young adults 24 and under. That poor adult over 25 working full-time and trying to raise a family on minimum wage -- actually represents less than 5 percent of mininum wage workers.
Two things occur when wages go up artificially. Employers raise their prices. Raising prices cuts the buying power of everyone’s wages and the poor get hurt the most as they suffer the most from price inflation. Where employers can’t raise prices, they lower their payroll by cutting their workforce or their hours, or worse, going to automation. The lowest skilled workers are the first to go.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman once said “the true minimum wage is zero – the amount an unemployed person receives from his nonexistent employer.” Alaska pays $9.75 per hour, one of the highest minimum wage rates in America. Their unemployment percentage is also one of the highest. Nearly every state that has a minimum wage of $9 an hour or more has high unemployment.
Ohio’s minimum wage is set at $8.10 per hour; slightly above the national average. Going back to Mr. Friedman, “one of the greatest mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” Almost doubling minimum wage here by $7 an hour would open the door to higher prices and fewer jobs -- two results Ohio doesn’t need.
I’m Dominic Mancuso and that’s how we see it.
Download the Cleveland 19 News app.
Copyright 2016 WOIO. All rights reserved.