Discussions of minimum wages are rarely based on at least some minimum facts. The most recent example comes from Meg Hansen, head of the group Vermonters for Health Care Freedom and a zealous proponent of unfettered free markets.
This month, she penned an article (A critique of Vermont's political economy) that included this unqualified assertion: “In Seattle, the average low-wage worker lost $125 a month following the minimum wage increase to $15/hour, and yet the state of Vermont will follow suit.”
No uncertainty, no proof, just assertion. No mention of the fact that Barry Ritholtz recently wrote in Bloomberg Business Week (What Minimum-Wage Foes Got Wrong About Seattle), “The dire warnings about minimum-wage increases keep proving to be wrong ... the authors behind an earlier study predicting a negative impact have all but recanted their initial conclusions.”
Nor does Hansen mention an in-depth examination of Social Security earnings data following minimum wage increases (The Distributional Effects of Minimum Wages), concluding that “raising the minimum wage increases incomes at the bottom … this increase persists for several years.” These benefits were not diluted or eliminated by loss of jobs or hours. In a personal communication, one study author said the ”effect of minimum wages on hours or the number of jobs … if [any], are not large enough to overcome the increase in wages.”
Stating that an increase in the minimum wage will decrease workers’ wages and kill jobs without checking the facts is nothing but fear mongering. Minimum wage opponents need to do their homework.