California Democratic State Sen. Mark Leno took his minimum wage hike argument to the San Francisco Chronicle, using generic studies and a single conservative to convince readers that a state-wide hike would help reduce the growing income gap.
Leno goes heavy on statistics to set up his case.
Workers’ wages and salaries are growing at the lowest rate relative to corporate profits in our nation’s history. State income tax returns show that the average income of the bottom 80 percent of earners has dropped during the last two decades, while the top earners have seen dramatic increases. In fact, since the beginning of our current economic recovery in 2009, 95 percent of all gains have benefited the top one percent of wage earners. Meanwhile, 65 percent of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Most egregiously, 1 in 4 Californians is living in poverty, the highest poverty rate of any state in the country.
What’s missing, of course, is any mention of the policies, both in liberal-controlled California and in the current Democratic administration, which led to said disparities.
But what about those “conservative” studies that show raising the minimum wage means less jobs? Leno has your answer.
First, he quotes a lone conservative business man:
As Ron Unz, a conservative Silicon Valley entrepreneur has said, “In recent years, the growing impoverishment of non-wealthy Americans has become a major drag on the consumer spending that drives our economy, and a hefty rise in wages and disposable income would be a tonic for our continuing economic stagnation.”
Next, Leno cites “many and repeated studies” to confirm his arguments and deflecting the line of reasoning that job losses will inevitably occur with such a hike.
Many and repeated studies confirm that most business fears are not realized when we boost wages. It does not reduce the number of jobs available. In fact, with more dollars circulating in local economies, consumer spending is stimulated, benefiting both small and large businesses, reducing turnover and improving work performance and productivity.