The $33 Minimum Wage Push Reveals a Serious Disconnect with Economic Reality
Hey, why not make it $100 or $1000 or $10,000/hour? Better still, mandate that everyone making pizzas earn the same per hour a LeBron James. We'll all have private jets and will get to hang out at Miami Beach nightclubs. It'll be great.
Making the case for a minimum wage of $33 per hour in New York City, Ginia Bellafante thinks it sufficient to calculate the minimum pay required for a single parent with two school-age children to sustain a certain lifestyle in NYC (“The $15 Minimum Wage Is Here. Why We Need $33 an Hour.” Jan. 4).
Wages, however, do not depend on how much pay workers "need;" wages depend on how much value workers produce. Government requirements that workers be paid an amount greater than the value of what they produce throw workers who cannot produce that amount of value out of work. Astonishingly, Ms. Bellafante barely acknowledges this objection to minimum wages.
Simply put, if your work is not worth $33/hour you will not have a job. Period. That's the way prices work and that is what we have seen in many places as communities have tried to hike the minimum wage to $15 per hour or significantly above the real rate of pay for unskilled labor. Hours are cut. Jobs go away. Small (and some large) businesses die.
The unions that base their pay off of the minimum wage like the hikes however.