Think Raising the Minimum Wage is a Good Idea? Think Again.

Full-Page Ad in the Washington Post Asks Readers to Consider the Unintended Consequences of Minimum Wage Hikes
  • Publication Date: January 2006

  • Topics: Minimum Wage

Washington, DC –Today, the Employment Policies Institute [EPI] is running a full-page ad in the Washington Post asking the public to rethink the notion that minimum wage hikes are a good idea. The timing of the ad coincides with the introduction of federal legislation to hike the minimum wage by over 40 percent.

The ad reads:
Think Raising the Minimum Wage is a Good Idea?

“The reason I object to the minimum wage is I think it destroys jobs, and I think the evidence on that, in my judgment, is overwhelming.”
—Alan Greenspan, Former Federal Reserve Chairman

“The high rate of unemployment among teenagers, and especially black teenagers,* is both a scandal and a serious source of social unrest. Yet it is largely a result of minimum wage laws.”
—Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize-winning economist

“In some cases the effective marginal tax rate [on a minimum wage increase] exceeds 100 percent and the price of earning extra income may be to leave one’s family worse off than previously.”
—David Shaviro, New York University

“Even a wizard would have a great deal of difficulty repealing the economic law that higher minimum wages reduce employment. Since politicians are not wizards, they should not try.”
—Gary Becker, Nobel Prize-winning economist

Think Again.

“It is a huge misconception that raising the minimum wage is a viable anti-poverty tool and that low-income families will see a large benefit from a hike,” said Dr. Jill Jenkins, EPI’s Chief Economist. “The public needs to understand what economists have known for over half a century: raising the minimum wage jeopardizes the jobs of those with low skills who need the help the most.”

*According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics December Jobs Report, African American teen unemployment is 26.2 percent.