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Left-leaning 538 admits: $15 minimum wage hurts low-wage workers

 (Associated Press)

The Democrats are in a heap of trouble. They can’t win elections. They don’t have a central message. And one of their party stances, raising the minimum wage (i.e. the #Fightfor15), is going down the statistical toilet.

Even Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight is admitting it.

When facing the economist’s quandary over the minimum wage with the simple question “how high is too high?” FiveThirtyEight took a peak at Seattle, which has the highest minimum wage in the country at $13 an hour. They raised it from $11 an hour in January 2016.

Citing a study from the University of Washington (which is up for peer review), FiveThirtyEight came to the realization what conservatives have known for years: a higher minimum wage kills jobs.

Rather than sugar coating it, the authors, Ben Casselman and Kathryn Casteel, put it bluntly, “The increase led to steep declines in employment for low-wage workers, and a drop in hours for those who kept their jobs. Crucially, the negative impact of lost jobs and hours more than offset the benefits of higher wages — on average, low-wage workers earned $125 per month less because of the higher wage, a small but significant decline.”

So, while Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been pushing for the minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour, cities like Seattle begin to hit the ceiling around $13 an hour.

Some employers in Seattle were already trying to implement the $15 minimum wage, and ended up having to lay off many of their employees because they’re just too expensive. Not only is a higher wage killing jobs, it’s closing restaurants and making child care more costly.

While Seattle hasn’t fully implemented the $15 minimum wage across the board, employers have until 2021 to fully phase it in. Economists cite the city as a great “test case,” but they’re already proving to be a disaster for the economy that gives way to cheaper automation and hurts low-skilled laborers and millennials the most.


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