There have been demands from leftist activists for years for various municipalities, states, and even the federal government to raise the mandatory minimum hourly wage for workers to $15 per hour, and so far, that economically-misguided push has unfortunately proven successful in a number of locales.
Sadly, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is now fully on-board with the economically-ignorant push, as well. The Daily Wire reports that the House passed a bill on Thursday that would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by the year 2025.
Raising the minimum wage
The Daily Wire reported that the Democrat-controlled House voted to pass H.R. 582, known as the Raise the Wage Act, which would incrementally increase the federal minimum wage every year from the current wage of $7.25 per hour until it reaches $15 in 2025.
The bill passed 231–199 largely along party lines, with four Republicans joining the Democrats in favor of raising the wage, while six Democrats joined their Republican counterparts in opposing the mandated raise.
There were reports that the shift to $15 per hour minimum wage was initially intended to occur on a much shorter time span than the next six years, but negotiations between radical progressives who demanded an immediate raise and the more centrist and moderate Democrats who wanted a slower increase resulted in the final compromise.
Democrat dreams DOA in the Senate
Unfortunately for the Democrats, the bill is essentially dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate.
In an appearance on Fox News, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said artificially raising the minimum wage “would depress the economy at a time of economic boom. We’re not going to be doing that in the Senate,” he said.
Research shows that hiking the minimum wage to $15 would kill jobs and depress the economy at a time when it’s thriving for the American people. We are not going to be taking that up in the Senate. pic.twitter.com/SiyXGBDKkr
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) July 18, 2019
Breaking it down
McConnell went on to reference a recent report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on the impact of a minimum wage hike to $15 per hour. The study concluded that while 17 million Americans working minimum wage jobs would see a wage increase — as would 10 million other workers just slightly above the current minimum wage — roughly 3.7 million Americans would lose their jobs entirely.
Left unsaid is the incredibly likely outcome that of those roughly 27 million workers who would enjoy a wage raise, many would find their weekly hours reduced or other benefits taken away in order to compensate for the increased wage, leaving them no better off — and in some cases, worse off — than they were before.
Furthermore, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour would essentially price out of the labor market many new and unskilled workers who simply aren’t worth the higher wage for an entry-level job, making it that much more difficult for those individuals to find their first job and get their careers started.
Just about everyone wants to see higher wages for workers at all levels of the national workforce, but those wage increases must be market-driven and based on the supply and demand of jobs and workers — not arbitrary numbers plucked out of thin air by economically-ignorant activists and socialists in Congress.