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Minimum wage follies: Triple the stupidity ...

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Sunday, April 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

By advocating tripling the federal minimum wage at a committee hearing, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., removed all doubt about her ignorance of basic economics — which a new study confirms.

She thinks productivity gains mean the $7.25-an-hour minimum wage should be about $22 an hour. A new Employment Policies Institute (EPI) report provides the needed reality check, saying her idea “makes zero economic sense and demonstrates how out of touch Sen. Warren is with business realities faced by employers who hire people and pay them the minimum wage.”

Mike Saltsman, EPI research director, tells The Washington Free Beacon she's oversimplifying. He notes that while productivity in all businesses rose about 60 percent during the last 20 years, productivity in food service — think entry-level jobs — rose just 7 percent.

Such workers' value to employers' bottom lines — wages' real basis — hasn't come anywhere close to tripling. “(T)here's only so fast you can bus a table or cook a burger,” Mr. Saltsman says.

And the entry-level job market's already tightening. Such employers, leery of ObamaCare's $2,000 fine for each full-time employee not provided health insurance, are reducing hiring and full-time staff.

So, this is no time for any minimum-wage hike that inevitably would reduce entry-level jobs, let alone for tripling the minimum wage — an idea as nonsensical as government mandating a $100,000 minimum salary for all.

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