TribLIVE

| Opinion/The Review

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Higher wages? No, minimum thinking

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

Daily Photo Galleries

Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Two new reports on the plight of fast-food workers conclude that the minimum wage is costing taxpayers a bundle for society's so-called “safety net” costs, which presumably could be offset if the minimum wage is raised.

Just pay no attention to the ugly unintended consequences.

A study by economists at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign states taxpayers are spending up to $7 billion a year on public assistance, such as Medicaid, for fast-food workers, who earn an average of $8.69 an hour, the Los Angeles Times reports. And this, when these companies pay $53 million in salaries to top execs, according to a report by — surprise! — the Big-Labor-backed National Employment Law Project.

“In its quest to unionize the fast-food industry, the SEIU has demonstrated that it will leave no stone unturned,” says Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute. As for the public-assistance argument, it earns a higher grade in creative writing than it would in any high school economics class, Mr. Saltsman says.

To wit: What happens to these entry-level jobs if employers are forced to raise salaries? There'll be fewer jobs and more automation. Consider, for example, the outcome of innovations such as E-ZPass and automated checkouts at supermarkets.

The researchers didn't consider the public's cost if thousands of fast-food workers are pink-slipped. But if Big Labor can take a bite, even a small one, out of the fast-food industry, who cares, eh?

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Editorials

  1. Tuesday takes
  2. Pittsburgh Tuesday takes
  3. Greensburg Tuesday takes
  4. The Kane case: Distractions mount
  5. Alle-Kiski Tuesday takes
  6. The Thursday wrap
  7. Greensburg Laurels & Lances
  8. Pittsburgh Laurels & Lances
  9. Trumpeting ObamaCare: The Medicaid factor
  10. Sunday pops
  11. President Carbon: Hypocrisy’s trip