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Raise the minimum wage? It's a rank political ploy

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

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Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Desperate to distract voters from ObamaCare's botched rollout, Democrats see minimum-wage hikes as their salvation issue in 2014 gubernatorial and congressional elections. But their campaign strategy promises losses for jobless Americans, job-creating small businesses and the economy as a whole.

Associated Press and New York Times reports say the White House, Big Labor and their liberal backers are coordinating support for President Obama's proposed federal wage-floor hike from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour and for putting proposals for higher state minimums on ballots alongside close congressional races. Never mind the broad economic ignorance revealed by polls showing broad support for higher minimums — even among Republicans.

Government's market-distorting wage floors raise employers' costs, forcing them to reduce hiring and hours. Young and minority entry-level job-seekers, whose unemployment rates far exceed the general population's, are disproportionately disadvantaged — yet they're the voters whose 2014 turnout Democrats cynically seek to boost with their class-warfare campaign theme.

Whether it's Katie McGinty trying to stand out among Pennsylvania gubernatorial hopefuls or congressmen nationwide facing GOP challengers emboldened by ObamaCare failures, Democrats are aiming for short-term political rewards. But raising minimum wages does long-term economic damage — especially to key Democrat voters most vulnerable to their pernicious effects.

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