• Minimum wage debates distract from what would actually help the working poor

    An absolutely extraordinary amount of political and media attention is given to minimum wage debates. Every day, dozens of new stories and blog posts appear about minimum wage proposals in states, cities and in Congress.

    Of course, the issue never goes away because once a minimum wage is hiked, advocates begin seeking the next increase. It also stays in the forefront because it polls so well – the public consistently supports minimum wage hikes – so can you really blame politicians and Big Labor from talking about it all the time?

    There is, however, one exception: when people learn that the minimum wage kills jobs, the support plummets to a more even partisan split. The media deals with this by almost never conducting a poll that addresses job loss. Media problem solved!

    But all this attention on a measure that kills jobs while only helping a couple percent of workers, has significant negative effects. Foremost among them, it crowds out most discussion of measures that would actually help the working poor and the unemployed.

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