Increasing the minimum wage is good for the economy | Arkansas Blog

Friday, October 24, 2014

Increasing the minimum wage is good for the economy

Posted By on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 at 11:00 AM

If the Arkansas Supreme Court doesn't get in the way — and, unfortunately, some sloppy early canvassing practices gave the court some room — I think Arkansas voters are prepared to increase the minimum wage and the likelihood is so great that opponents might not muster much of a campaign in opposition. Steve Stephens, of course, inherited millions from his daddy and can write the check single-handedly, should he choose to continue his fierce campaign to harm working people from the comfort of his inheritance-paid mansion.

In the meanwhile, consider this Joe Conason article about evidence debunking the notion that it is economically harmful to have a higher minimum wage. (Copy this please to J. French Hill, the millionaire banker  running for 2nd District Congress. He's still mulling what he'll do on the state proposal, though he's made clear that he thinks a government-set minimum wage is a terrible thing.)

We have accumulating evidence, from a real ongoing experiment, that raising the minimum wage is actually beneficial to the economy and not only doesn't hurt employment but helps create jobs. The experiment is taking place in 13 states that raised minimum wages above the federal level earlier this year, where results can be compared with all the other states, which continued to let wages stagnate. So far, every comparison of employment rates for teenagers and adults with high-school education or less between the two categories of states has upset the old assumptions about the effects of increases in the minimum wage.

Six months after wages went up, federal data indicated that jobs were growing more rapidly in those 13 states than in the rest. The most carefully controlled recent study — conducted by two economists at the University of Delaware, with numbers released a couple of months ago — showed that there was no drop-off in job growth in those states, which continued to have a slight, though statistically insignificant, advantage over states where the minimum wage wasn't raised.

"There is no evidence of negative employment effects," wrote the University of Delaware economists, Saul D. Hoffman and Wai-Kit (Ricky) Shum, "due to the increases in state minimum wages."

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