Newspaper column: House $15 minimum wage bill would kill jobs

The House this past week passed a bill that would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 and phase out the sub-minimum wage currently allowed for tip earners. The vote was 231-199, largely along party lines.

While all three of Nevada’s Democratic representatives put out statements bragging about voting for the Raise the Wage Act and citing how many people in their districts would be eligible for pay hikes under the law, Republican Mark Amodei, who represents Northern Nevada, warned of the many problems that the bill could create and said the only good thing about it is that it is unlikely to pass in the Senate.

“It makes a good campaign ad in certain neighborhoods, I guess,” Amodei said during a conference call on Friday. He said the bill, while it may raise hourly wages for some by 107 percent, others will lose their jobs entirely or have their hours cut. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that somewhere between 1.3 million and 3.7 million would lose their jobs.

Amodei said the bill is especially problematic for Nevada because a third of the workforce is tipped workers. “In a state that has 45 million-plus people a year who come here for the resort industry … they tip people in the housekeeping industry, they tip people in restaurants, they tip people in casinos,” the congressman noted, adding that the current federal minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 an hour and the increase to $15 an hour would constitute a 600 percent increase.

“When you say everybody is going to make 15 bucks an hour you’re picking winners and losers,” Amodei said. “Because what do business people do in response to that? They take a look at, first of all they’re going to raise prices, which by the way is kind of that vicious circle — the good news is you’re making more money, the bad news is it costs you more on everything this impacts.”

A Cato Institute analysis in 2012 found that a 10 percent increase in the U.S. minimum wage raises food prices by up to 4 percent. Imagine what 107 percent would do.

Amodei also noted that the National Restaurant Association reports that almost two-thirds of restaurant owners, when faced with higher minimum wage requirements, reduce hours for workers, half eliminated jobs and all raised prices. “So the good news is you’re getting 15 bucks and hour, the bad news is you’re not going to work as many hours,” he said.

6 comments on “Newspaper column: House $15 minimum wage bill would kill jobs

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    It’s not the wage, it’s the “money”
    When I was a kid I made $1.25 an hour BUT quarters were made out of Silver. The melt value of one of those quarters is worth over $4 in today’s “money”

  2. Steve says:

    Bernie Sanders campaign is proving this effect true, cutting hours worked to pay all the staff a minimum of $15 per hour. And that’s only a $2 per hour raise.

  3. Steve says:

    See how we get shown the bias in mainstream media.
    CNBC reports no hours cut for employees of Sanders campaign while WashPo details they were working 60 hours a week before the new agreement lowering their hours to 50 a week, thereby effecting a $15 hourly wage.

  4. Rincon says:

    Lemme see if I have this straight. We could afford to pay, in today’s dollars, about $12.00/hour in 1968, but cannot pay 25% more than that today, even though our productivity has approximately doubled since then, but Jeff Bezos is worth 8-9 times (AFI)as much as the richest whole family in the country in 1968 (along with 25 others that are worth more than the richest in 1968), and that we can easily afford. As a matter of fact, it’s good for us. Got it.

  5. Athos says:

    Rinny, what’s your point? You’re not an Economic Denier, are you?

  6. […] past year the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that somewhere between 1.3 million and 3.7 million would lose their jobs if the minimum wage were […]

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