Fox’s Cashin’ In show fear mongered that paying workers a $15/hour minimum wage is so much money, it will shred the economy. Even though statistics indicate otherwise.
Host Eric Bolling began the discussion by saying, “Some business owners are sleepless in Seattle for a good reason.” That reason is a new law “that will raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour,” Bolling continued. He said it as though that were some exorbitant amount. He also asked if raising minimum wages elsewhere would be “eating jobs elsewhere.”
Guest Jonathan Hoenig didn’t just agree but argued that any living wage is immoral. “It’s an economic fact of life, Eric. It destroys jobs, particularly those among the youth,” Hoenig argued. I mean, look at France, they’ve had unemployment above 10% for literally a decade. Even here in America, when we raised the minimum wage in 2007, youth unemployment started to rise, and it really hasn’t turned around since. There’s a moral argument here as well. This is a free country. You should be able to work for whatever you want, and offer whatever wage you want.”
Bolling approved. “Very good,” he said.
Guest Wayne Rogers warned that profits will “go by the wayside. You’re going to go out of business.”
The lone dissenter was guest Juan Williams. He noted that Target, Walmart and McDonald’s are all raising wages. “Why are they doing that?” Williams asked. “Because they have the capital, and they think it’s good for business, and people with more money in their pockets spend more money at their stores. There’s not, historically, evidence to back up what you’re all saying.” Williams added that statistics show that raising the minimum wage “does not destroy jobs.” But Bolling was not interested. He interrupted so that Williams had to shout to finish his thought.
Bolling moved on to Republican Lisa Boothe. She said, “The minimum wage is absolutely a job killer. …The Congressional Budget Office said that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would cost up to 500,000 to 1 million jobs.”
Bolling approved again. “Bingo, bingo,” he responded.
But former Labor Secretary Robert Reich agrees with Williams. He noted last year:
When in 1996 I recommended the minimum wage be raised, Republicans screamed it would cause job losses. In fact, in the four years after it was raised, the U.S. economy created more jobs than were ever created in any four-year period. A minimum wage hike puts more money into the pockets of people who will spend it, and that spending creates far more jobs than are lost when a relatively few employers decide they can’t afford to pay the higher wage.
This week, Republicans have been hollering about a CBO report suggesting a proposed hike in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour (from the current federal minimum of $7.25) might possibly cause a loss of 500,000 jobs. But that same report said such a hike would directly lift the wages of 16 million Americans and indirectly another 8 million—thereby adding $31 billion to the paychecks of low-wage Americans and lifting 900,000 out of poverty. In other words, the benefits of such a hike would swamp the costs. One thing the CBO didn’t say but is just as important: In a decent society, no one working full time should be in poverty.
Oh, and those “sleepless” restaurant owners? As Crooks and Liars notes (via Think Progress), the actual owners of closing restaurants say that they’re not closing because of wages, and the city seems to be enjoying robust growth in that industry.
Watch it below from the March 21 Cashin’ In. Video via Crooks and Liars.