How Many Layoffs are Too Many for the Left

When we hear practically anything regarding the minimum wage, we’ve been conditioned to first and only think of fast-food workers – McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, etc. But there are many other low skilled workers being paid on the same scale.

But particularly recently, as many States are pressured by far-left groups like “Fight for 15” to increase the minimum wage, it is the fast-food employee which takes center stage.

Article after article has been written by liberal economists attempting to convince the public that a wage hike will not only not have a negative effect, but instead will be a positive.

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In 2014, Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Biden, took such a position. But we on the right understand that words mean things and as such, when reading a post written by a leftist, one must read a little more carefully.

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Arguing that “raising the minimum wage doesn’t lead to layoffs,” he wrote: “Those who argue that increases in the minimum wage will lead to large numbers of layoffs have a problem: They’re consistently wrong. Job losses from moderate increases in the minimum wage have repeatedly been shown to range from zero to ‘small…’”

The left does this stuff all the time. They take a premise like this one, change a few words as if no one will notice, and voila, they have somehow proven their point. No one, certainly not me, has predicted the amount of layoffs – just that there will be, but Bernstein casually throws in “large numbers.” What if a company employs 300 people and five are let go due to a mandated wage hike? Because that’s not a “large number,” I guess they don’t count?

Is this not the same bunch who constantly insists that if some onerous government program saves just one child, or troubled teen, or whatever, it’s worth anything that has to be given up to do so? And did you happen to also notice his use of “modest” increases?

Although I am against any State mandated increase, a modest increase is not what anyone is advocating for. Going from $10/hr. to $10.15/hr, such as did San Jose California, will likely not result in job losses. But anyone with any common sense must conclude that going from $10 to $15 certainly will.

Still, as long as the left can keep the public focused on large fast food corporations and the Walmart-type chains who can better absorb the hike by raising prices and cutting back elsewhere, like on quality, they can continue pushing the “no job loss” narrative.

Yet, as it always is, it’s the little guy in less high profile industries and those with overseas competition who will suffer most. It is those like the workers in the Los Angeles garment industry who will suffer in virtual anonymity, as their governor, Jerry “Moon Beam” Brown, gleefully signed the $15/hr statewide minimum wage.

By sheer coincidence, American Apparel began layoffs shortly after Brown’s signing. So far, “about 500 local employees have lost their jobs. But analysts said this was probably the company’s first step in leaving Los Angeles, at least when it comes to manufacturing. ‘They’re headed out of Dodge,’ said Lloyd Greif, chief executive of Los Angeles investment banking firm Greif & Co. ‘They are going to outsource all garments. It’s only a matter of time.’”

And then there is academia, with its overpriced and underworked administrators and tenured professors. Oh, they won’t be affected by a wage hike. No, it’s only the workers who clean up after them who will.

And what irony is it that the first to announce layoffs is the communist enclave, UC Berkeley, where their “workers of the world” will now unite at the unemployment office. Berkeley, who espouses looking out for the little guy, has announced the layoff of 500 of “the people who clean buildings, who work in food services or health clinics.”

And this will be just the tip of the iceberg. The liberal press will no doubt try their best not to report on it, but as sure as the sun will rise, many more layoffs are sure to follow, thanks to the new and totally arbitrary “living wage.”

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