Good news: 58% of Republicans support raising the minimum wage

posted at 4:41 pm on November 12, 2013 by Allahpundit

Worth flagging now, just because if ObamaCare heads deeper into the toilet over the next year, the minimum wage will be one of O’s go-to subject-changers. WaPo’s Greg Sargent flagged this back in March as an issue that the Democratic base wanted to see some action on at the national level, as they’ve been frustrated by what was happening in the states:

To get a sense of how this dynamic is playing out, note that national liberals and labor are closely watching how two of the likely 2016 candidates — Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York and Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland — are handling minimum wage bills in their states. In New York, Cuomo is in talks with state legislators about a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $9 — which has disappointed labor and progressive activists who have organized a group called the New York Minimum Wage Coalition to push for a bigger hike. In Maryland, a state senate panel just voted down a minimum wage hike, frustrating labor and progressive activists who privately want to see more leadership from O’Malley in pushing an increase.

National labor and progressive groups will be watching both governors on the issue. “The minimum wage bills in New York and Maryland are certainly things we’ll be watching closely,” Peter Colavito, the director of government relations for the Service Employees International Union, tells me.

Midterms are daunting enough for a president with crappy approval ratings (which are unlikely to rebound) without having an albatross like O-Care around his neck. If the insurance industry needs an injection of federal dollars next year, he’s in grave danger of a ferocious backlash where angry conservatives and indies turn out in force and dejected lefties stay home. Liberal populism is one way to goose them, and a partial defense against Republican claims that Obama screwed the little guy with his health-insurance boondoggle. Okay, then, O will say — let’s raise the little guy’s wages. Even Republicans agree! Sort of:


Support for raising the minimum wage to nine bucks runs at 76 percent nationally, a five-point increase since March. That’s right in line with public opinion generally over the past 20 years: The wording of the questions varies but since 1995 Gallup’s consistently found support for minimum-wage hikes around 80 percent, give or take a few points. Major problem for the GOP? Well, no, not really, for two reasons. First, as the gun-control debate early this year proved, it’s not just how many people support a particular policy shift, it’s the intensity with which they do it. Ask the public if they support expanding background checks and you may crack 90 percent with people who say yes. How many of them consider it a priority so high that their vote might turn on it, though? The passion lies with opponents, which is why congressional Republicans tremble at the thought of passing even modest gun-control legislation. Second, per Emily Elkins at Reason, it’s easy to squeeze high support for raising the minimum wage from a poll sample when you’re not presenting respondents with any potential negative consequences from doing so. When Elkins ran a poll on the same subject earlier this year, she found majorities swung from support to opposition when she suggested that increasing wages might mean fewer jobs. That would/will be the GOP’s countermessage when Obama starts in on this next year. It might not be enough to turn a majority against the idea, but it may soften support to the point where it’s in the same category as background checks — something people like, but not so much that anyone’s losing a general election over it.

Still, if for no other reason, the Gallup results are interesting as a probable rough gauge of how many Republicans are ideological conservatives and how many aren’t. Mention raising the minimum wage and nearly 40 percent of GOPers will tell you no way; that’s a job-killer, period. Nearly 60 percent are willing to consider the specific numbers you’re proposing, but even a chunk of them turn frosty once you start programming in periodic inflation hikes. There must be some small percentage of very centrist Republicans who are willing to consider raising the MW much higher than even nine dollars. Something for Christie’s platform in 2016!

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


Comment pages: 1 2 3 4

No, they do not benefit, because they will become NON WORKERS. If you see that as a benefit, well, you got problems.

I grant you that people who are let go will lose out. Again, my contention is that the number of layoffs will be small relative to the increase in pay taken home by those retained. That’s the impetus for the minimum wage.

But those are the low wage earners. What will happen though is that those making more than minimum wage will see their pay raises become smaller and smaller compared to the rate of inflation. So instead of having a few kids and a fewer still adults earning minimum wage it will be several tens of millions.

Generally the people seeing lower increases in real income though will come from higher income strata — from the upper middle-class to the ultra-wealthy who benefit the most from dividends and stock options. And with the economy in the state it is, I fear that those “few kids” are going to undergo a demographic shift and become an ever-enlarging number of adults, and that by doing nothing about the minimum wage we’re going to let the bottom fall out from under them.

The more people who end up at the minimum wage level due to this effect, the faster inflation will rise and the faster other employees find themselves at the minimum wage part of the ladder.
This of course drives inflation higher yet faster. Of course, this kind of inflation drives massive amounts of market distortion and turmoil which drives businesses to close. But regardless of unemployment being 25 or 30% and the economy having flat lined and begun an irreversible nose dive, guess what, there will be inflation! That will continue to drive wages up, the economy down, people out of work, but GDP will still be rising, because, INFLATION!

Yeah, what you’re talking about is stagflation, although that’s why it’s crucial to have a solid monetary policy, and to hope that there aren’t supply-side shocks on the commodity side of the economy.

But other than making every single persons life more miserable, what you will accomplish is to ensure the few people still working will have a wage that is exactly equal to the wage they have today in every single respect to its ability to buy stuff. Congratulations! Of course, those few workers still employed will be highly productive skilled workers that would have been considered upper middle class in the current economy.

What a great person you are! Helping the 3 or so million minimum wage earners become the 50 to 60 million or so minimum wage earners. That is sure fire going to make many people happy.

astonerii on November 12, 2013 at 10:59 PM

Again, I think you’re overstating the deleterious effects of a minimum wage increase. Printing money may lead to inflation, and possibly stagflation, but the regulation of wages paid by private companies to private individuals isn’t going to have the same effect since that regulation responds to, rather than induces, the result of inflation.

Stoic Patriot on November 12, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Yes, those let go will lose out. But they go on welfare. That requires higher taxes. And you are right about the numbers being low. In the first year. But then they get another raise the next year… and the year after that and the year after that…

No, it will not come from the upper income earners. THOSE PEOPLE DO NOT HAVE TO SACRIFICE and they WILL NOT. They never HAVE and they never WILL. The reason is simple, they are the ones that make the decisions and the decision will not be to cut their own income. They will terminate the deal if that is the case and invest elsewhere.

Instead, the wealth loss will come from the middle. Which then becomes the poor. The poor become the welfare. You are worried about the children becoming unproductive adults and then propose the solution that makes it a certainty that they will never be given the opportunity for jobs.

Yeah, I am talking about stagflation, and we do not even remotely currently have a sane let alone solid monetary policy, but that does not stop you from pushing your retarded and insane minimum wage idea, does it? We are currently in a period of stagflation right now. The only difference is that the inflation is lower right now due to interest rates driven by the insane monetary policy we have. It is still inflation, it is rising faster than growth of the economy. The only thing that has lifted our economic GDP has been government spending and the moment it goes, so too does the artificial ephemeral GDP boost it grants.

And, no, I am not overstating the deleterious effects of an automatic inflation adjusted minimum wage. It cooks the effects right into the cake.

Year one, inflation drives wages up 2.3%. Not so bad, you are right so far. Year two, those increased wages end up giving the low wage earners more spending money, they help drive inflation up to 3%, year over year, that is a pretty good increase in wages and starts to drive businesses to cut employees or hold off on hiring. Not terrible, but bad. But those wage increases have made those few million minimum wage earners now contain perhaps an extra 2 or 3 million people. Now we are not producing more products, but we have more people with higher supposed buying power and that drives inflation up to 3.5%. The year after add a few more million to the roles of minimum wage earners as the minimum wage encompasses more and more people, the minimum wage drives inflation at a higher and higher rate with automatic pressure upwards. Now we are 5% per year and 20 or so million minimum wage earners but an ever decreasing workforce. Then 5.5%, 6%, 7% with 50 million out of 120 million workers are now minimum wage workers. It is a perpetual staircase year after year where more people find themselves at the bottom of the stairs earning more, but being able to buy less. The people who own the companies are going to get their profits or simply close the doors, period. It is everyone between minimum wage and the owners that are going to suffer. How many years before the vast majority of workers are working at minimum wage living a much poorer life?

astonerii on November 12, 2013 at 11:30 PM

When minimum wage is raised all pay levels go up more or less in unison – except for people on fixed incomes. We gets screwed again.


herself on November 13, 2013 at 5:58 AM


Bmore on November 13, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Raising the minimum wage is one of those feel good proposals that have really very bad economic effects. Republicans should be the adults in the room and oppose it for the sake of everyone. Those who argue that the deleterious effects of raising the minimum wage are overstated have not dealt with the issue in terms of running small businesses and are engaged in wishful thinking about some people being helped and others not so badly hurt.

Phil Byler on November 13, 2013 at 10:42 AM

When minimum wage is raised all pay levels go up more or less in unison – except for people on fixed incomes. We gets screwed again.


herself on November 13, 2013 at 5:58 AM

Just a minor disagreement with the bolded part of what you said.
Other people that are already above minimum wage don’t necessarily get the same raise as those AT minimum wage when the wage changes.
My wife was hourly rate at the local library for 15 years, and although she got regular pay raises over the years, every time the minimum was raised it got closer to the rate she was at – that she had earned over time. So the other wage scales don’t necessarily rise in unison withthe minimum. As the minimum gets raised, the scales above get squeezed closer to the minimum.

dentarthurdent on November 13, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4