Politics

CNN’s New Target? Moderate Dems: ‘Shameful’ for Manchin Not To Support $15 Minimum Wage

Laws of supply and demand? Meh! The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has calculated that Biden’s $15/hr. minimum wage could kill as many as 3.7 million jobs. But on this morning’s New Day, CNN commentator Errol Louis said it was “shameful” of Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia not to support the increase.

 

 

According to Louis:

For Joe Manchin to say even that [phase-in of the minimum wage hikes] is too quick, even that’s too much, in a state that he represents, and the dire poverty in sections of that state, is really shameful. 

If they can have a hearing where they may be trying to bring some of these senators to their senses about what’s really needed by people who are struggling, who are working every day and still staying poor, perhaps they can adjust the conversation. Or perhaps the compromise could be more like, okay, we’ll take our time and we’ll phase it in a little bit slower. But my goodness, people have got to be able to make a living wage.”

What Louis doesn’t understand, or chooses to ignore, is that you can’t wave a magic legislative wand and make people’s labor more valuable. If you tell employers that they must pay someone $15/hr. even if that person’s labor isn’t worth $15/hr., employers won’t hire that person. As is increasingly feasible, they’ll substitute automation instead. And if that isn’t possible, many employers will simply go out of business.

So by mandating an unrealistic minimum wage, Congress would in fact be hurting the very people in “dire poverty” that Louis mentioned. Many of them could either lose their jobs, or never get them in the first place. If Americans want the government to help deserving people in poverty, the solution is not to force employers to carry the burden, but to spread the cost among all taxpayers and provide additional direct support in various forms.

Democrats in general, and Biden in particular, love to brag that they “follow the science.” Guess what? Economics is a science, too, albeit a “dismal” one. The laws of supply and demand are immutable, and Congress will ignore them at the peril of millions of working people. 

Note: “Shame” was clearly on Louis’ mind this morning. In addition to saying it was “shameful” of Manchin not to support a $15 minimum wage, Louis also said it would “be a shame” if Congress compromised and accepted Manchin’s suggestion of an increase to $11/hr. 

CNN’s Errol Louis saying it is “shameful” for Joe Manchin to not support a $15/hr. minimum wage was sponsored in part by Carvana, Sling TV, and Ensure.

Here’s the transcript. Click “expand” to read more. 

CNN
New Day
2/23/21

JOHN BERMAN: Anna, the Joe Manchin file, in today’s [riffing off the Days of Our Lives soap opera theme] “so go the days of our Joe Manchin here today.” Now he is proposing an alternative to an increase in the minimum wage, suggesting that he’s not in favor of a $15 minimum wage as part of the $1.9 trillion relief package, but he would support $11 or maybe a smidge more. 

. . . 

ALISYN CAMEROTA: And Errol, Joe Biden had signaled that he wasn’t, it wasn’t his way or the highway when it came to $15-an-hour minimum wage. I mean, this might just be the happy medium that people have been looking for.

ERROL LOUIS: It would be a shame if that were the case. I mean, folks, your viewers, should keep in mind, Alisyn, that when they say $15 minimum wage, they’re not talking about enacting that this year or next year or even the year after. It’s supposed to ramp up over a period of years. And it’s not going to be indexed to inflation, which by the way are major mistakes in this. This is why this question comes up over and over again. They’re talking about phasing it in by, I think, 2025 or something. 

And for Joe Manchin to say even that’s too quick, even that’s too much, in a state that he represents, and the dire poverty in sections of that state, is really shameful. 

If they can have a hearing where they may be trying to bring some of these senators to their senses about what’s really needed by people who are struggling, who are working every day and still staying poor, perhaps they can adjust the conversation. Or perhaps the compromise could be more like, okay, we’ll take our time and we’ll phase it in a little bit slower. But my goodness, people have got to be able to make a living wage. I think that’s what the election in part was about and that’s how the American people voted.


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