Companies like McDonalds and Walmart have raised their workers’ minimum wages. While it is a step forward, Laura Clawson of the Daily Kos has documented that these raises still mean that workers need to rely on government support for child care, housing, medical insurance, breakfast/lunch programs for children, and heating assistance. Clawson then shows that none of these subsidies would be needed if employees were paid $15 an hour. As I noted in my last post, a small increase in price will have great benefits for all. As President Obama said, “America needs a raise.”
Laura Clawson of Daily Kos is not an economist. She is a great writer on labor issues who knows how to do good research. She has found a study that shows job have grown in states that have raised their minimum wages since the beginning of 2014. Critics of a minimum wage increase claim that it is common sense that increasing the wage will lead businesses to close and more people to lose their jobs. Clawson notes that the study’s writer insists that we cannot link causality between an increase in the minimum wage and job growth. But it does disprove the claim that raising the wage is a “job killer.” America needs a raise, and where it has gotten one, business seems to be doing all right.