“One of the most hotly contested issues in the debate over raising the federal minimum wage — whether it will prove to be a job killer — may already be answered. Thirteen states kicked off 2014 by boosting their own baseline pay …. With two months of employment data now available, there’s evidence that … [m]ost of the states that raised their minimum wages actually posted gains in their employment levels, according to an analysis from the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Their findings? The 13 states with higher baseline wages saw … [an] increase in employment, compared with ‘essentially zero’ for those that kept their wages unchanged.” — CBS News
Henry Ford famously raised wages so his workers could afford to buy the cars they made. What this did for his business fortunes is history. After World War 2, the U.S. economy boomed partly because well-paying union jobs helped create a prosperous middle class. Millions of consumers with money to spend made business owners rich beyond anything previously imagined. Instead of two or three billionaires, America had dozens of them. All the empirical and historical evidence indicates a rising working class makes the whole economy, including those at the top, more prosperous.
What we have in America today is an anti-worker, anti-union, anti-minimum wage ideology fostered by the ideologues of the right. For decades now, they’ve made a determined effort to destroy unions and whittle down workers’ wages, and have largely succeeded. The result is U.S. companies now look for business opportunities abroad because there’s little or no growth at home. A majority of S&P 500 profits, and almost all of its profit growth, now comes from emerging economies.
These are the same people who deny that climate change exists, even though you can observe the shrinking glaciers and snowfields of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges with your own eyes. Why would you seek economic advice from people who deny plainly visible reality? We know their economic theories don’t work, because we’ve tried them. That’s how we got to the sorry shape we’re in today. The opposition to raising the minimum wage comes from people who worship ignorance. No one should listen to them.