Friday, January 05, 2007

Speaking of wrong...

Madame SpeakerMichael Reagan has some questions about some wrong answers:
...Take the pledge to increase the minimum wage. Sounds good – after all, who wants people to be denied a living wage? It raises up images in the public’s mind of employees struggling to exist on a pittance. It also ignores some very inconvenient facts Heritage scholars exposed:

  • It is an extremely ineffective anti-poverty measure. It does not help the poor, low-income workers. Most minimum wage workers do not need government assistance. Less than one in five live below the poverty line, and the average family income of a minimum wage earner is almost $50,000 a year. The majority of minimum wage workers are between the ages of 16 and 24, and over three-fifths work part time.

  • Many will lose their jobs because as it gets more become more expensive to hire workers, companies hire fewer of them. The bulk of research on the minimum wage confirms that the minimum wage costs jobs. Some workers may get a raise while others lose everything.

  • Those most likely to lose their jobs are the especially vulnerable workers that the increase is intended to help, because a higher minimum wage makes hiring unskilled workers particularly unattractive to businesses. Employers will not hire low-skilled, inexperienced workers for $7.25 an hour when they can hire more-skilled and experienced workers at the same rate. The minimum wage puts the workers who most need to gain experience and skills at a disadvantage.

  • Research shows that higher minimum wages do not reduce poverty rates or improve the lives of low-income workers -- low wages are not a primary cause of poverty. Most poor Americans do not work for the minimum wage -- most poor Americans do not work at all, for any wage. Over three-fifths of individuals below the poverty line did not work during 2005, while only 11 percent worked full time, year-round. Families are not poor because they earn low wages but because they do not have full-time jobs. If at least one parent in every poor household worked full-time year round, the child poverty rate in the United States would plummet by over 70 percent.

    This is just one of Madame Pelosi’s proposals. The rest are just as badly thought-out and will in every case do more harm than good. To get an idea of just how foolishly demagogic and dangerous they are, take a look at Heritage’s monumental study “The 100-Hour Agenda: The New Congressional Majority’s Uneven Proposals. It’s all there.
  • Indeed.

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