Controversial Opinion: Does Raising the Minimum Wage to $15 Cause Job Loss?

Minimum Wage Jobs Not for Skilled Laborers

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Does raising the minimum wage cause job loss? Yes, minimum wage increases (not to mention having a minimum wage in the first place) cause job loss. Most minimum wage jobs are for entry level workers. In other words, for people without a particularly valuable skill set. Those minimum wage employees are just laborers. Not workers that add enough value to justify $15 an hour in compensation. 

That is cruel, not humanitarian. 

So, of course businesses aren’t willing to pay them much. Their skill sets don’t justify higher compensation. As a result, once the minimum wage is increased, huge job losses will ensue. Employers will need to find ways to cut costs, and firing low-skilled workers and then replacing them with machines is a great way to cut long-term costs.

The Effects of Increasing Minimum Wage

Recently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) looked at what the effects of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would be. That report on the effects of a $15 an hour minimum wage on job loss has been released to the public. It definitively answers the “does raising the minimum wage cause job loss” question. 

The answer is that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour specifically cause at least 1.3 million job losses. And it could cause up to 4 million job losses if worse comes to worse. That means the negative effects of increasing the minimum wage far outweigh any benefits. If you want to support entry level jobs in America, then just let the free market set wages!

Conservatives Should Not Support Raising Minimum Wage

We should not support an increase in the federal minimum wage. If an increase is needed in an individual state or municipality, then perhaps that is ok. That would at least be Federalism at work. But the federal government applying a random increase in the minimum wage to everyone in the nation would certainly end in disaster. Why should a business in South Georgia pay the same wages as a similar one in San Francisco? That makes no sense. 

A federal minimum wage is a bad idea because not only would it lead to millions of job losses, but also it doesn’t take local economic conditions into account. It is an attempt to create a one-size fits all approach to labor laws, and that just isn’t going to work. The government should let private employers decide how much they pay their workers, not some bureaucrats in Washington D.C.

Raising the minimum wage causes job loss.
Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Economically Unjustifiable

If you ever hear or see people bickering over the “does raising the minimum wage cause job loss” question, you know how to answer. According to the CBO and private employers around the country, a $15 an hour minimum wage is economically unjustifiable. If it were to be implemented, the result would surely be job losses and automation.

Our friends on the left frame their arguments about the minimum wage debate as being humanitarian and “the right thing to do.” But their policies are anything but humanitarian. Increasing the minimum wage would lead to job loss and thus millions of unemployed and impoverished Americans. That is cruel, not humanitarian. 

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Instead of trying to improve lives through regulation, the government should deregulate the economy. Lowering taxes and slashing red tape would lead to economic growth and thus job growth and increased wages. That is what Trump has done since the 2016 election, and it has led to an economic boom. Increasing regulation and an increased minimum wage would lead to job losses and an economic downturn. Support deregulation if you want increased wages, not raising the minimum wage!

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