McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Opinion

February 23, 2014

Benefits of hiking minimum wage are an illusion

Editor's note: CNHI newspapers that are not weekly subscribers to Taylor Armerding's column may publish this one if they notify him at t.armerding@verizon.net.

I don’t know anyone averse to making more money.

Sure, I have friends who demonstrate, through words and actions, that money is not the most important thing in their lives. But I haven’t seen one of them turn down a raise.

I wouldn’t, either. (That's just a gentle hint to any employer who wants to heed President Obama’s call to inject more money into the economy by giving some of it to me. I promise to spend it, not save it, because saving is what hurts everybody but the rich.)

Still, I have a hard time believing that if government once again invades the marketplace and declares that nobody can be paid less than $10, $12, $15 per hour – whatever – the economy will rebound, inequality will decline, employment will increase, and happy days, or at least happier ones, will be here again.

If only.

Yes, I’ve heard the pundits who say that putting more money into the pockets of the poor will juice the economy, since they’ll spend it right away, raising demand for products. Factories will ramp up inventories, more people will be hired, and the Great Recession will be a distant memory.

I’ve heard them declare with unshakeable confidence that it will increase the incentives for the unemployed to work because all of a sudden they will be able to make more by getting a job than by collecting government benefits.

I’ve been told that raising the entry cost of labor by 20 to 40 percent will have no impact – none – on hiring decisions or the number of hours that employees work.

In short, it will be like magic, having only positive effects and no unintended consequences.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.