Magazine March 8, 2021, Issue

Minimum-Wage Complexities

McDonald’s employees demand a $15 minimum wage at a protest in Las Vegas, Nev., June 14, 2019. (Mike Segar / Reuters)
A surprisingly convoluted redistribution scheme

Democrats are moving fast to advance some of their biggest policy goals under the guise of COVID-19 relief. One of their most contentious proposals is to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, with the phase-in beginning this year.

That is an exceedingly risky idea. It could reduce employment by more than a million jobs. And the effects would reverberate well beyond the employment impact, because minimum-wage hikes have a variety of convoluted, poorly understood, and unpredictable knock-on effects. If we want higher wages at the bottom of the labor market, there are better ways to create them.


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In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




Readers react to commentary on the federal legalization of marijuana, Zionism, and academic credentials.
The Week

The Week

That light you may have seen in the night sky, brighter than Halley’s Comet, steadier than the aurora borealis, is the Lincoln Project blowing up.


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