Dems major min. wage hike ready to sink

Tuesday, May 30, 2017
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

minimum wage illustrationDemocrats are not taking the summer off from their efforts to push for a higher federal minimum wage, but one critic believes that the continued effort is more symbolic than anything else.

A bill from congressional Democrats would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2024. This is twice the amount of the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, and it is also higher than the $9- and $10-an-hour plans pushed by Democrats in recent years.

A former chief economist at the United States Department of Labor, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, who is currently serving with the Manhattan Institute, maintains that the Democrats’ effort to spike America’s minimum wage is futile.

"The Republicans won't allow it to go through, so you have to think of what message they're trying to send," Furchtgott-Roth pondered. "They're trying to send a message that they're trying to help low-income individuals. But in fact, a $15-an-hour minimum wage makes it much harder to employ recent high school graduates, teens – people without any skills – so it really would disadvantage many people who currently need help in the workplace."

Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) maintain that they are trying to help low-income individuals, describing a $15-an-hour minimum wage as a "living wage," arguing that it would help lift people out of poverty.

"If Senator Sanders would stand up for school-choice bills that would enable people to get their children out of underperforming schools and into better schools, then he would be making a big contribution towards alleviating – or even ending – poverty, but he is firmly against any school choice," Furchtgott-Roth contended.

She argues that Sanders is going about the wrong way help lower income families.

"If he's concerned about ending poverty, he needs to work on measures that would get kids and young people better schools – in order to be able to earn higher wages – because we have an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent right now, and many employers say that they cannot find people to work," Furchtgott-Roth continued.

Meanwhile, many states and municipalities already have minimum wages that are higher than the federal level. Others plan to increase their minimum wages in the coming years.

Some states tie their minimum wage to inflation, resulting in the annual – or occasional – news headlines that read something like, “These States and Cities Are Raising Their Minimum Wage.”

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