Congressional Democrats Push $15 Minimum Wage on Struggling Businesses
House and Senate Democrats on Tuesday reintroduced a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, more than doubling the current $7.25 hourly rate.
The House reportedly plans to include the measure in its upcoming COVID-19 relief legislation. The main problem: That would provide the polar opposite of relief to businesses buckling under the weight of COVID-19 and the associated government lockdowns.
As has been the case over the past year, the congressional aid package is, in part, supposed to resuscitate livelihoods decimated by state-required closures and restrictions. It’s richly ironic that a heightened minimum wage would be yet another mandate that business-owners might need help counteracting. Relief from the relief.
As of September 2020, 100,000 businesses that initially shuttered temporarily were declared dead, a number that has surely expanded through the COVID-19 winter surge. Many other establishments are on their deathbeds. The life support—named the Raise the Wage Act of 2021—could very well do them in, akin to replacing a diabetic’s insulin with a sugary drink and hoping for the best.
The debate around the minimum wage has been muddled by polarized voices on both the left and the right, who struggle to admit that the issue doesn’t fit neatly into a binary. Indeed, studies over the past several years come to entirely different conclusions about the minimum wage’s impact, allowing readers to manipulate the data as they search for the conclusions of their choice.
It was with that mindset that the National Bureau of Economic Research surveyed the
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