The Ugly Truth About the Minimum Wage


by James Corbett, The International Forecaster:
And just to add extra salt to the wounds of those who are fighting for $15, those corporate mega-chains are increasingly turning to a 21st-century option for ridding themselves of the low-wage worker problem once-and-for-all: automation.

OK, here’s an idea no one’s thought of before. You know how fast food workers are organizing in the US right now to fight for a $15/hour minimum wage? That’s stupid. They’re still going to be just scraping by on a wage like that. So why not make it something that’ll really make a difference? Why not $150/hour?

“Think about it: At $150/hour they’ll only have to work a few hours a week to make the same money they’re making working full time right now. Or if they continue to work full time then they’ll be earning a six digit annual income! Pretty soon everyone will be rich!

“Brilliant, right? Fight for $15? Pffffffffff, that’s for slaves. Fight for $150, that’s what I say!”

You might think this is a parody of the “let’s raise minimum wage” school of bad economics. You might even think this is a sophisticated meta-parody of the people who parody the Fight for $15 movement. But sadly, neither of these are the case. This is the actual, honest-to-goodness “argument” of genuine economic illiterates like “journalist” Matthew Yglesias, who dropped these gems on the Twittersphere last week:

“Maybe we should just go to a $150/hour minimum wage with no phase-in period and let the Fed figure out how to make it work. You’d have a big burst of inflation, nobody would lose their jobs, a lot of old debts would be wiped out, and we’d be better off for it.”

Excuse me? Could you repeat that?

“Let the Fed figure out how to make it work.”

“Nobody would lose their jobs.”

“You’d have a big burst of inflation and we’d be better off for it.”


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