New minimum wage study gives proponents a chance to think better of those who disagree

This study is vexing to fight-for-$15 activists both for its credibility and its alignment with conservative arguments against aggressive minimum-wage hikes. It has policy and ideological implications that those who support a minimum wage hike are facing with varying degrees of engagement or pique.

But there’s a silver lining. They can, if they choose, stop thinking of their fellow citizens as monsters hell-bent on making life harder for low-income working people. Perhaps it’s the opposite—they just wanted to avoid unintended consequences of hurting low-income workers with a policy that sounds generous but is anything but in practice.

As a wage-hike proponent, you are free to quibble with this study, as one can any study. Researchers themselves say they left out chain establishments in food and retail because they didn’t have sufficient data on them, and the paper has yet to be peer-reviewed. What you shouldn’t dismiss is the possibility that your fellow Americans who disagree with you on this issue do so because they are concerned about the economic well-being of the cities trying this and the workers who are supposed to benefit.

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