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Even More Evidence Raising Minimum Wage Kills Teen, Unskilled Employment

Minimum wage killing teen - under skilled jobs
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

For many experts and economists, dealing with politicians has become like beating their head against a rock.   Here comes yet another credible study showing raising the minimum wage doesn’t do any good, and in fact, hurts the people it was designed to help.

The Washington Policy Center pointed out Friday even the Seattle Times (not exactly a champion of conservative values or fiscal economic policies) has contradicted itself.   Just shortly after running a story claiming $10 and up minimum wages don’t “destroy” the economy,   they published a study showing the negative effects on teen and underskilled employment.

The Brookings Institute released a new study (compiled from data accumulated over the last 12 years) showing as the minimum wage rises,   teen job opportunities continue to plummet.    The teen employment rate in the Seattle-Tacoma area, where the raging debate is going on about raising the wage to $15,  has dropped from 48% to less than 25% since 2000.  That means whereas nearly half of all teens 16-19 had SOME sort of job 12 years ago,  now less than 1 in 4 are working.    Why is that so? According to the WPC:

“Numerous studies have shown a high minimum wage has the greatest impact on the least skilled workers, such as teens just entering the job market.  The fewer skills and experience a worker has, the less their output is worth to employers; when their output is worth less than the minimum wage, employers opt to hire more skilled workers. Simply put, a high minimum wage encourages employers to hire older applicants with job skills and a work history over young, unskilled teens with no work experience.”   (Bold lettering added for emphasis). 

If you’re a business owner, you’re going to go where you dollar gets the most return.   The higher the minimum wage, the MORE you’re going to find ways to cut costs.   It’s simple economics.  The problem is however,  legislators like Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, President Obama, Gov. Jay Inslee and hundreds of others,  have never owned or operated any business or financial venture where their own money and livelihood is on the line.  They have lived most of their lives in the public or political sector, and never had to do what was necessary to “make the bottom line” work.

Their misguided, and even foolish belief that you can raise lower-income, younger, or lesser trained workers to a higher standard by forcibly raising their wages doesn’t work.

And yet, despite the mounting evidence against them, they continue to press for higher and higher minimum wages.

Why do they keep doing this?  You often hear the argument that all business owners are “rich”, and that “oh, they can afford it.”   It’s the age-old entitlement mentality that is rooted in greed and jealousy.   Just because somebody owns a business or company,  some assume they can absorb ANY kind of cost increases.  It’s actually one of the oldest forms of redistribution of wealth.   

This type of mentality is also used cleverly by progressive leaders such as Obama to flame up class warfare,  trying to pit the “working” or lower paid class of workers against the “evil rich”.  It’s interesting however, the reaction of workers who engage in this type of behavior (public protests, and pushing for higher minimum wages) when the company they work for goes out of business – in part because they couldn’t afford their labor costs anymore.

Guess they succeed in cutting off their nose to spite their face.

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