Uh oh, NPR went and did it now. Compiled a bunch of nice clean facts about the relevancy (or lack thereof) of the minimum wage - a double edged sword, to be sure.
"Two years after Florida raised its minimum wage, the dire warnings from those who argued the move would force businesses to lay off workers have not come true. But it's also hard to find someone -- like the fictional "Paula" -- who says the higher minimum wage has helped a lot.
Instead, you're more likely to find business owners who pay well over the minimum wage."
Here's what the straw-man, or woman in this case, has to say about the matter. Judge the source for yourself.
"We drove down to Miami, to the home of Marie Hector, a fellow janitor from Haiti. She said the minimum-wage increase had added $34 a week to her take-home pay.
But with her expenses -- including $800 a month in rent -- the raise wasn't nearly enough, Hector says.
"It didn't make any difference in my life," she said, speaking through an interpreter. "I need more money-- 10, 12 [dollars an hour], not $6 or $7."
The woman could barely speak the language, aside from "I need more mawwwneee."
Of course, that's just Florida, right?
"Today, less than 3 percent of hourly employees in America make the minimum wage or less. And 28 states already have laws requiring a minimum wage higher than the federal standard."
I'm not a believer that jobs disappear when the minimum wage goes up. I believe that the rest of us (consumers, not the businesses) pay for it. So does this guy.
"Of course, expenses have gone up for some business owners because of the minimum-wage increase. But they haven't laid off lots of workers. Instead, many have found other ways to cut costs. Chuck Long runs a Beef O'Brady's -- a sports bar for families. The minimum-wage increase added $15,000 to his payroll. Long passed some of the added costs on to his customers.
"A lot of our stuff went up 10, 20, 30 cents -- certain items where we thought we wouldn't affect the consumer, or they wouldn't be sticker-shocked by it," he says. "Nothing on our menu ever went up more than 30 cents."
After this piece ran, they interviewed an Austin fast-food franchise owner who said when minimum wage goes up, so do the wages for people who were already making more than minimum wage. He employs people at $7.00 - $7.15 per hour now, because good help won't work for $5.15. Basically, the market takes care of itself (much as I alleged in the Wal-Mart discussion). We're not living in the great depression - we don't need organized labor or bleeding heart liberals to grandstand upon dodgy ideals in the name of the poor...it's a lot of energy for us to put into something with so few beneficiaries, who are so hard to find.
Especially the elusive family of four, with two adults working at minimum wage, because they have absolutely no other prospects for employment. THAT'S why we need a minimum wage / living wage.
Yeah, my white ass.