$10.10, and What Happens Then?

So the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan part of the government, issued a report the other day saying that if the minimum wage is lifted to $10.10 an hour, it will result in half a million people losing their jobs. Naturally, the right wing outlets went ape over this. Half a million people losing their jobs! Horrible!

Of course the document also says that about 900,000 people will be lifted out of poverty, and 16.5 million will see their wages go up, so there’s that.

I’m pretty much ok with this trade-off. Almost a million families get out of poverty, and a good-sized chunk of the nation gets a pay raise. If that means 500,000 lose their jobs, well, that sucks horribly. But at least once they find new jobs, those new jobs will pay better.

I hate to break it down to a numbers game, but that really is what it is. It’s economics, and the economy is primarily about numbers. If the vast majority of people that are affected by this are affected positively, by getting out of poverty or seeing an increase in their wages, then it is a good thing. So start pressuring your various members of Congress to do the right thing and give 16.5 million Americans a raise!


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