While the Uber Left argues that a minimum wage of $15.00-$20.00 per hour is a necessity and the hard right argues that it will cause massive job loss and problems for the economy, neither is correct. At best the Congressional Budget Office https://www.cbo.gov/publication/44995 claims there may be some job loss but minimal, especially if we stay within a realistic range of $9-10.00 per hour from the current $7.25 (as low as $5.25 in states not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act).
The last time the minimum wage was increased on the Federal level was in 2009 and increased from $6.55 to the current $7.25 per hour: Prior to that it had not seen an increase for ten years. One could easily argue that in the last 16 years when calculating in the rate of inflation that number would be much lower. In fact by using the actual rate of inflation over the last ten years the real rate if we were indexing to inflation should be $8.95 http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/current-inflation-rates/ . If you add in the prior six years, the rate would be more like $15.00 per hour. This however does not accurately calculate the real rate of inflation for the cost of goods one must pay in order to survive at the minimum in America. They buying power of the U.S. dollar within the last sixteen years has risen cumulatively by 2289.9%. In other words a buck sixteen years ago that bought something then would take $477.98 to buy that same thing today. http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/
Using the rate of inflation and the buying power of the dollar alone must surely warrant a raise in the Federal minimum wage of in itself. However there are additional compelling reasons to do so.
Right now the Republican platform argues against raising the minimum wage. This is not a very “populist” concept and the Republicans need to start expanding beyond their base and attract new followers not just with exciting new leaders as Ben Carson https://www.bencarson.com/ but also start thinking out of the box and break new ground on their party positions. The minimum wage is one of many that they can do it with, while Hillary Clinton refuses to answer questions about her positions, let alone Benghazi or Clinton-gate. The Republicans need to jump out in front with this one as with others. Raising the minimum wage is not just long overdue, it will affect how many perceive the Republican Party, who still is having a difficult time living down the Obama claim that they are the “party of no.”
But how do we make this most effectively work for America and as palatable for those on the hard right as possible? We do so by tying the minimum wage to welfare rules and payments. We start by re instating, what Obama removed from Bill Clinton’s welfare rules, where one had to seek work (The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA)). In 2013 a report by the Cato Inst. “The Work Vs. Welfare Trade-off, concluded that: “ Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and in 13 states it pays more than $15 per hour.”
It seems for those only capable of receiving a minimum wage of up to half what welfare pays the answer is simple: WHY WORK? This should not be taken as a slight to those who would ponder this simple question, as ask yourself what you would do and the answer may seem quite obvious.
As the Federal government with its heavy hand and all too frequent mismanagement, the implementation of the minimum wage should be at the state level as is welfare and the two should, as I have stated be tied together. This way if you can work, you must work and the work you do is equally rewarded as if you stayed at home doing nothing. By having states administer a prescribed minimum wage to be negotiated with each state and the Federal Government, you allow for the discrepancy between the economies of each state and thus a fairer implementation of the wage. Each state sets their own rules for the amount of welfare payments and the minimum wage should be set right there along with that in the states.
In summation a fair minimum wage, set in consultation with the states and in accordance with that state’s welfare laws, would allow for an increase to those workers affected and would serve to reduce the welfare rolls and their accordant taxes imposed on the rest of society. It is more than just the “right thing to do,” but adds the additional perks of improving the “populist view” of the Republican Party and reducing the costs of welfare as well.