Political Triumph and Policy Fail

At the National Bureau of Economic Research David Neumark and Peter Shirley weigh in on increasing the national minimum wage to $15:

Our key conclusions are: (i) there is a clear preponderance of negative estimates in the literature; (ii) this evidence is stronger for teens and young adults as well as the less-educated; (iii) the evidence from studies of directly-affected workers points even more strongly to negative employment effects; and (iv) the evidence from studies of low-wage industries is less one-sided.

That comports with the recent findings of the Congressional Budget Office which found that while raising the minimum wage to $15/hour would raise 1 million people out of poverty it would throw another 1.5 people out of work.

I believe the reasonable conclusion is that imposing a national $15 minimum wage is a triumph of politics over policy—part of a grab bag of progressive policies which sound good but will actually have adverse consequences.

As I have contended for years the strategy for increasing American wages should be restricting immigration, reining in on globalization, and encouraging the formation of jobs that are worth paying people more for doing.

8 comments… add one
  • bob sykes Link

    Our foreign trade and immigrations policies are pushing the average US wage to the World average, which is about $5 per hour.

    A national minimum wage of $15 per hour implies either very large scale unemployment among the working class or a collapse of the international value of the dollar by about two-thirds. Or some combination of both.

    By the way, with Antifa/BLM occupying the cores of several cities with armed militias and no-go zones (an actual, in-your-face insurrection), how does that factor in to workers getting to and from jobs?

  • Grey Shambler Link

    I’m positive the minimum has several caveats, as usual restaurant workers, teenagers (not eligible for Federal employment? OSHA?) except in rare, (park service summer programs?).
    This simply won’t affect too many but looks good if you don’t look too close.
    It’s predictable, marginal, ineffective, and therefore disappointing.
    C’mon, man.

  • It also bears mentioning that none of the studies account for other adverse effects of a $15 minimum wage. For example minimum wage multiple contracts will be affected.

  • Drew Link

    Speaking of politics over policy……..or truth, or respect for the law, or the recent drivel about respect for institutions, or accountability. Well known for some time by anyone who cares about such things:

    FISA abuse declassified:


    The heart of the matter:

    The memo containing the partial transcript of the Halper-Page meeting was dated Nov. 16, 2017, but the inspector general’s report makes clear the conversation actually took place on Oct. 17, 2016, or four days before the FISA warrant was approved by the FISC authorizing surveillance of Page on unspecified charges of Foreign Agent Registration Act violations involving Russia.

    Kevin Brock, the retired FBI assistant director for intelligence who helped fashion the current rules governing the bureau’s use of confidential human sources, said he could not understand how the bureau proceeded with a FISA warrant against Page after the spontaneous admission of innocence,

    “There is certainly nothing in here that establishes probable cause for a FISA,” Brock told Just the News. “And quite frankly there’s really not even enough in here to keep the FARA case going.”

    “If I’m a supervisor on a counterintelligence squad, which I once was, I’d say close this sucker down, we are wasting time,” Brock continued. “It’s not just the absence of probable cause for a FISA, it’s also that the conversation indicates the target does not have guilty knowledge in all the paths that the confidential source was trying to lead him down.”

    Brock added that at the very least the FBI had a legal obligation to disclose to the FISA judges the statements of innocence made by Page. “One hundred percent this conversation should have been disclosed to the FISA court,” he said.

    The newly declassified transcripts add to an overwhelming body of evidence that the FBI knew that Page was not a legitimate target for a Russia collusion probe and instead had been working for the CIA as an asset helping the U.S. to spy on Moscow.

    John Solomon has had this nailed for quite some time.

  • Drew Link

    But wait! There’s more!!

    Joe and Hunter’s sleazy dealings? Surely the FBI would be interested.

    “He had the copy of the drive as well as the copy of the signed authorization,” Isaac said of his father. “So that if there was a legal question on how this was obtained, here’s a document that proves it. And the FBI agent that he spoke to refused to give his name and then said you better lawyer up and get out of my office.”

    Read the whole thing:


    Respect for the great institutions of the US. You bet. BTW – was Wray kept on as FBI head by Joe? Why yes. Yes he was.

  • John Solomon is a rather controversial figure. On the one hand he’s a real, honest to gosh journalist. On the other hand his past association with Fox and defense of the Trump Administration makes him persona non grata in Wokedom.

    I’ve been waiting for someone to hop on the materials that Trump declassified in the final moments of his term in the vain hope that someone, somewhere will actually commit journalism. Doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

    I should add my frequent refrain that if we’re going to have a partisan press as the UK does we should have libels laws like those in the UK.

  • steve Link

    Was Wray appointed by Trump? Why yes. Yes he was. Was Barr appointed by Trump? Why yes. Yes he was. Did the Trump DOJ have 4 years to investigate this and fail to find anything? Why yes. Yes they did. Did Dunham (Durham, Dumbo whatever his name was) fail to find anything after all of your claims? Why yes. Yes he did. Should you give up? Why yes. Yes you should!


  • Grey Shambler Link

    If people want to know how and why the Obama FBI decided to kneecap the incoming President instead of transferring power peacefully for the “sake of our
    They should ask Obama. He sits for interviews. Should be an easy question and answer.
    “I know nothing about it.”
    “Why not?”
    “That’s above my pay grade.”
    Smiles and laughter all around.

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