JEFFREY FULMER: Minimum wage should be living wage
March 13, 2013 10:20 AM

World-renowned economist Dale Lee from Seward says, “This is no time to raise minimum wage.” He cites Paul Krugman, a truly renowned Nobel Prize-winning economist, as being incorrect in supporting the raise to $9/hour with indexing for inflation from year to year.

Today’s federal minimum wage works out to be $4.97/hour in 1996 dollars (infoplease.com). I wonder what $9 would be in 1996 dollars?

Mr. Krugman speaks to the effects on employment: that due to lots and lots of proof, most of it shows that there is little to no effect of minimum wage increases on employment. Human beings aren’t real estate or bushels of wheat, and hiring and firing them is more complex than commodities markets. A byproduct of this complexity is that small increases in wages for those who make the least do not necessarily reduce the number of jobs (m.postbulletin. com).

As to the effects on prices, the Center for American Progress says “prices would have to rise 0.21 percent each month — instead of 0.20 percent per month as they had for the two-and-a-half years from June 2010 to December 2012 — to pay for the entire minimum-wage increase.”

The proposed federal minimum-wage increase is small in absolute terms, and the total earnings of those earning minimum wage are small when compared to the size of the U.S. economy (americanprogress.org).

If people have enough money to live on, they don’t need food stamps, they don’t need “the free stuff” Republicans complain about.

If they have enough to live on, they buy what they need and stimulate the economy! Money-to-buy equals demand, equals supply, equals jobs.

Seward’s foremost economist might want to check further to get a real feel for what actual economists have to say.

No matter where you are in your career aspirations, people who work for minimum wage should at least be able to survive on it, without government assistance.

Jeffrey Fulmer

Hastings

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