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Raise the minimum wage: NO! (& here's why)

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Thursday, March 7, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Self-serving cynicism that overrides economic common sense drives congressional Democrats who want to push the minimum wage above $10 an hour — and President Obama, who proposed making it $9 an hour in his State of the Union address — to misrepresent both the inevitable job-killing effects and who (and how they) would be affected.

Economists Walter Williams and Donald J. Boudreaux have lately reminded on these pages that the law of supply and demand dictates that when labor costs more, employers will use less of it. Yet that law's ignored by Democrats spouting myths that Heritage Foundation labor expert James Sherk debunks.

Just 2.9 percent of U.S. workers — mostly students working part-time, not their families' primary earners — make minimum wage, he notes. Most of the poor simply don't work, so few are “working poor.” Just 4 percent are single parents working full-time. And two-thirds of minimum-wage workers earn raises within a year.

Also, the Democrat notion of a higher minimum wage as “stimulus” is nonsense because, as National Federation for Independent Business chief economist William Dunkelberg says, every dollar that such workers get comes from the pockets of business owners or customers.

Minimum-wage jobs are and should be entry-level jobs. Raise the minimum wage, and there will be fewer such jobs and more young workers on the path to the government dependency Democrats cultivate — not to self-sufficiency and career success.

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