On May Day I was a guest on a new “progressive” Portland radio station arguing against not only raising the minimum wage, but the policy itself. I was outnumbered four to one on the show, so it was a fair fight.
The show host, former state legislator Jefferson Smith, supported raising the minimum wage. So did his other three guests, including a candidate for Portland City Council who’s spearheading a campaign to raise Portland’s minimum wage from the state’s official $9.10 up to $15 per hour.
My arguments were both moral and practical, focusing on the reality that cutting off the lower rungs of the economic ladder make it more difficult for the young, the less educated, and minorities to even reach the first rung on the ladder if it’s placed higher than the value they might bring to a potential employer.
I took pains to recognize that those supporting the higher minimum wage don’t have bad motives; but good motives in support of bad policy still result in hurting the very people they say they want to help.
You can listen to the entire hour program here:
My segment begins at the 30:14 mark and runs about 13 minutes.
Four days after my appearance, a Wall Street Journal opinion piece made the case for the real minimum wage being…zero. Many business owners and entrepreneurs make little or no money as they build their businesses. The author correctly pointed out that, “…the minimum wage, like so many government programs, is really a scam that never gets busted.”