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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Democrats Also Insist They Are on the Right Side of the Evidence on the Minimum Wage

Democrats Also Insist They Are on the Right Side of the Evidence on the Minimum Wage

Friday, 07 March 2014 06:40

A Washington Post article giving the "inside story" on how President Obama decided to push for a $10.10 minimum wage might have led readers to believe that it is only Republicans who claim to have economic evidence on their side in the minimum wage debate. It told readers:

"Republicans insist they are on the right side of the economic evidence in arguing against a minimum wage hike. But Obama is on the right side of popular opinion: Polls show that roughly two-thirds of those surveyed support raising the minimum wage, even in traditionally conservative states such as Virginia."

Actually, proponents of raising the minimum wage also insist that they are on the right side of the economic evidence and they have the data to back up this claim, unlike the Republicans. (See my colleague John Schmitt's piece on topic as well as this letter signed by many of the country's top labor economists.) This Post piece is seriously misleading in implying that the argument opposing a higher minimum wage is more evidence-based than the argument favoring an increase.

Comments (8)Add Comment
Even the Wall Street Journal Is Arguing for Raising the Minimum Wage
written by Robert Salzberg, March 07, 2014 6:15
The WSJ points to a Center for American Progress study that estimates that raising the minimum wage would dramatically cut food stamps. Though the WSJ doesn't note it, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would yield even more savings than the original $40 billion over 10 years that the House proposed.

So a policy that saves tens of billions of taxpayer dollars and rewards work isn't conservative enough? (There would also be additional savings in programs like the EITC.)

Is nyt any better, calling Obama's minimum wage proposal midterm campaigning?
written by jaaaaayceeeee, March 07, 2014 6:25
Is nyt any better than WaPo, reporting Obama's minimum wage proposal as a liberal policy proposal to help retain Dem senate seats in difficult midterm campaigning? That that Republicans/CBO say it will cost jobs, which Obama disputes? Could any reporting better support false equivalent punditry while eschewing analysis?

written by DJB, March 07, 2014 7:57

yes terrible lukewarm article that just sort of implied that all the benefits from raising the minimum wage are not founded in data but are just something "liberals say" to get votes

two things:

the reporters are lazy and dont do their homework


they are gutless

written by dax, March 07, 2014 8:49

(My comment is too short? Groan...)
written by jonny bakho, March 07, 2014 8:52
They should change the name from WonkBlog to HackBlog.

The reporting is no longer about the policy (wonk). It is all about the politics (hack).

Journalists don't need to know anything about policy or spend time educating themselves to report on he said she said and whose sleeping with whom. Learning about policy might require actually reading, investigation and informed discussion. That is too much work for some reporters. The Social Interactions can be obtained by attending parties and gossiping over the phone.

Flawed Basis of CBO Report
written by Dave, March 07, 2014 8:52
The flawed basis of the CBO report, which even most economists don't want to admit is flawed, is to believe that there is a consistent and knowable elasticity of jobs vs. minimum wage hikes. But even given that flawed basis the data is a wash.

I maintain a hike in minimum wage now would likely increase jobs overall. Conservatives should be shaking in their boots over this, because if we can raise minimum wage and create jobs, even a few, it bolsters the argument that inequality is holding back the economy.
lost jobs
written by Squeezed Turnip, March 07, 2014 9:16
the only jobs lost due to an increase in the minimum wage would be some republicans losing their seats in Congress come November, but it will be an overall net gain.
written by Last Mover, March 07, 2014 9:45

The evidence is clear. The Republicans are correct. If Jamie Dimon can get a $10M raise for what he did that prevents other CEOs from getting hired, then the minimum wage is obviously a job killer.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.