Monday, December 15, 2014

The minimum wage is stifling the American dream

Link here

Most troublingly, these low-skilled workers saw “significant declines in economic mobility,” as these workers were 5 percentage points less likely to reach lower middle-class earnings in the medium-term. The authors provide a possible explanation: the minimum wage increases reduced these workers’ “short-run access to opportunities for accumulating experience and developing skills.”

For those who want to climb from a lower income level to a higher income level, nothing is more crucial than job experience. That is the single top thing that a poor person should do if he/she does not wish to remain poor.

While my family wasn't poor, I was from a working-class family of five where the main breadwinner was a US postal carrier. I worked paper routes for about 2 years and then at fast food restaurants for another 2 years, all before I was 16-years old. Those jobs taught me to work hard along with some skills that were valuable to other employers and in life (e.g., how to deal with people). That helped enable me to get higher paying jobs as an older teenager and in college and beyond.

If the minimum wage was higher, those opportunities would not have happened for me. Unfortunately, with the minimum wage as high as it is right now, there are millions of Americans who won't have the opportunities I had. The current (high) minimum wage is stifling the American dream.

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