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Hurting the most vulnerable with minimum-wage hikes

| Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Supporters of a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers rally in front of a McDonald's in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo).

A new study confirming that government minimum-wage diktats hurt the low-income workers they're supposed to help is especially noteworthy because it comes from a local-level government that's nevertheless forging ahead with a higher minimum wage.

Passed last year, the District of Columbia's Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act dictates annual, incremental increases that will hike Washington's minimum wage from $11.50 to $15 an hour by 2020, according to The Daily Caller. The city government's Office of Revenue Analysis just published a report that makes clear the unintended — but obvious and predictable — consequences: Those minimum-wage hikes will cause up to 1,200 job losses by 2020 — and as many as 2,000 by 2026. The Daily Caller also says the study projects that “D.C. residents will absorb 80 percent of the job losses” — but “nearly two-thirds of the pay increases will benefit non-D.C. residents who work in the District, but live elsewhere.”

“This study proves what we've known all along,” says Jeremy Adler, communications director for conservative policy group America Rising Squared — that minimum-wage hikes “will hurt the most vulnerable in the District, costing them jobs and important economic opportunities.”

Yet D.C.'s government still went ahead. With the same government acknowledging basic economics' inescapable conclusions about minimum-wage diktats, their backers' politically motivated rhetoric rings more hollow and disingenuous than ever.

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