In his weekly radio address on Saturday, President Obama reaffirmed his desire to see the federal minimum wage raised to $10.10 an hour promising that “as long as Republicans in Congress refuse to act, I’ll keep working with cities, states, and businesses to give more Americans a raise.” Meanwhile, a couple of Democratic politicians on the west coast have even loftier goals for the minimum wage.
On radio this morning, Glenn reacted to California Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s (D-CA) recently expressed support for a whopping $26 per hour minimum wage in her state and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s (D) proposal to raise his city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“The Seattle mayor has come out and said he wants $15 an hour minimum wage in Seattle. Good luck,” Glenn said. “Here’s the problem: There are some jobs that are not worth that. And so what’s going to happen is anybody who is not making minimum wage, you’re going to have more [responsibilities]. You’re going to have to… do all those jobs that you think are beneath you… because the ones that would have been done by somebody just making minimum wage… companies won’t be able to afford them. So everybody’s going to have to double up on their work.”
According to CNN Money, Murray’s proposed hike would take effect over several years. It would apply first to “large businesses” in 2017 and then to “all businesses” in 2021. It should be noted, Washington state already has the nation’s highest state-level minimum wage at $9.32 hour. Murray claims his plan, which will apply to 102,000 workers, has broad support across the local government, business, and labor communities.
“If you are one of those people who is not apparently worth $10 or $15 an hour, you will be cut,” Stu said. “As the CBO showed, 500,000 people would lose their job, if they raised [the minimum wage] to $10 an hour. So imagine what would happen to Seattle.”
While Glenn agreed that the wage hike would be a “blood bath for anybody who makes under $15 an hour,” he actually supports the way in which this proposed increase would be implemented. In this case, the city of Seattle will make a decision it believes is best for its interests.
“But this is what it’s supposed to be like. We are all supposed to be independent and be able to choose. If the people of Seattle, who have voted in socialists, want socialist policies, want $15, $20, $150 an hour, good. Do it… They will demonstrate how it doesn’t work. Or maybe it does,” Glenn said. “I believe that it won’t… but if it does, then we’ll all be proven wrong. And we could all say, ‘We should try that here.’”
If you thought $15 an hour seemed like a lot, just wait until you hear what Congresswoman Lee wants to do in California. During an appearance on CNN’s Crossfire last week, Rep. Lee expressed support for a $26 minimum wage. After being asked by Crossfire host Newt Gingrich if she agreed with Seattle Mayor Murray’s plan for a $15 minimum wage, Rep. Lee had this to say:
LEE: In California, more than likely, from what I remembered, a living wage where people could live and take care of their families and move toward achieving the American Dream was about $25, $26 an hour.
GINGRICH: Would you support that as a minimum wage for California?
LEE: Absolutely, I would support it for California. I think the regional factors —
GINGRICH: Doesn’t that effect unemployment?
LEE: Believe you me: You would have more productive work force. You would have people who could afford to live in areas now where they cannot afford to live. You would increase diversity in certain communities, where you don’t have diversity anymore.
“And the thing is, no prices would go up commensurate with the minimum wage. That’s the beauty of it,” Pat said sarcastically. “Everybody just keeps charging the exact same thing, despite the fact that salaries have gone up – what is that – triple?”
“Don’t worry about it,” Glenn added. “It’s not just that salaries go up. It’s everybody keeps their job without raising prices. If you raise prices, then the minimum wage has to go up again.”
As Glenn explained, progressives will condemn the price increases that undoubtedly must accompany such an increase in wage, which will ultimately lead to further regulation on businesses.
“This is what leads to price controls because what they will do is say, ‘$26 minimum wage, but they are gouging prices!’ No, [they] are just trying to make money, so [they] can stay in business,” Glenn explained. “This is what happens. You raise the minimum wage, prices go up, and they put price controls in. That causes the companies to go out of business, then you say, ‘Well, the government just has to take it because we have to have this business. So the government takes it. You are into communism. I mean that’s the way this works.”