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Conservatives scramble to spin new economic analysis that shows clear benefits of minimum wage increase

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- Commentary

Ever since President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the United States’ first national minimum wage in 1938, there have been Republicans and fiscal conservatives insisting that minimum wages are a job killer. FDR, however, told Republicans to relax — a mandatory 25 cents per hour wouldn’t destroy the U.S. economy or hamper the success of his New Deal — and 81 years later, a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study is showing that increasing the national minimum wage to $15 per hour would be economically beneficial. Naturally, fiscal conservatives are scrambling to spin the study to their liking.

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The benefits, according to the CBO: Americans living belong the poverty line would see a 5.3% earnings increase, and wages would rise for up to 27.3 million workers. Workers already making more than $15 per hour would likely see their wages rise as well.

That’s the positive part of the CBO’s cost/benefit analysis, which also found that under a $15 minimum wage, Americans would be paying about 0.3% more for goods and services. Business owners would see a higher overhead if they started paying employees more.

But the American Prospect’s David Dayen explains that fiscal conservatives, responding to the study, are spinning it in terms of a “cost-cost” analysis — in other words, they’re highlighting the negatives while glossing over the positives.

For example, a group calling itself the Job Creators Network claims that a $15-per-hour minimum wage, according to the CBO, would bring staggering job losses. Dayen explains, “Though 21 people will get a wage boost for every one that would allegedly lose a job under the CBO’s analysis, the only impacts mentioned are the latter.”

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Dayen stresses that although the CBO analysis of a $15 minimum wage was more positive than negative, other analysis and research on the subject has been even more favorable to such an increase. A study by economists at the University of California at Berkeley found no “adverse effects on employment, weekly hours or annual weeks worked.”

The American Prospect editor explains, “This is what you might call a wealth transfer: well-off people would pay a little bit more for goods, and businesses would lose a little bit more in profits, to finance a wage increase for a substantial segment of the population. Inequality would be reduced by a significant factor. The cost-benefit analysis clearly comes out on the side of benefits.”


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Trump is openly colluding with Ukraine to smear Biden

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President Donald Trump is defending his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, one that recent media reports suggest may have been made in order to dig up dirt about one of Trump's likeliest and strongest opponents in the 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden.

This article first appeared on Salon.

"The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, want to stay as far away as possible from the Joe Biden demand that the Ukrainian Government fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son, or they won’t get a very large amount of U.S. money, so they fabricate a story about me and a perfectly fine and routine conversation I had with the new President of the Ukraine," Trump tweeted on Saturday. "Nothing was said that was in any way wrong, but Biden’s demand, on the other hand, was a complete and total disaster. The Fake News knows this but doesn’t want to report!"

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It’s ‘Clinton Cash’ all over again as the media blow the Trump whistleblower story

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

We would praise the reporters who revealed the content of a whistle-blower’s complaint that the Trump regime has refused to turn over to Congress as the law requires. But it appears that the outlines of the story were already known in DC political circles. Two weeks before the whistleblower story broke, The Washington Post ran an editorial noting that Donald Trump was withholding $250 million in military aid to Ukraine, and that while “some suspect Mr. Trump is once again catering to Mr. Putin, who is dedicated to undermining Ukrainian democracy and independence,… the president has a second and more venal agenda: He is attempting to force [Ukrainian president Volodymyr] Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden." The authors added, "Mr. Trump is not just soliciting Ukraine’s help with his presidential campaign; he is using U.S. military aid the country desperately needs in an attempt to extort it.”

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The new Rambo movie is essentially a MAGA fever dream of bigotry

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"Rambo: Last Blood," the latest in the long-running franchise about a traumatized war veteran (Sylvester Stallone) turned on-demand badass, is less an escapist action movie and more a dramatized manifestation of the most notorious sentences from Donald Trump's presidential campaign announcement speech: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." Even for a series that has always been shaped by a right wing worldview, the only reason for this latest sequel to exist — besides generating profits from die-hard Stallone fans — is to validate MAGA-world bigotries about Mexicans.This article first appeared in Salon.

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