By Scott Shackford – Reason.com –
An interesting dynamic is contrasting tonight’s embrace of Republican politicians – votes in favor of increases in the minimum wage.
So far, South Dakota, Arkansas, and Nebraska have voted to increase their minimum wages today. You will note that these states are not hotbeds of progressive politics. Alaska has a pending vote to raise theirs as well. We should not be surprised to see it pass either. We know from polls that raises in minimum wages are popular up until people are told that increases may cost jobs. Then they turn against it. Emily Ekins explains how that polling works here. A majority are okay with it increases in minimum wages driving up prices. But if it costs jobs, a majority turns against it.
And so the debate becomes about costing jobs. Does it really? We have a real world example to explain. In Los Angeles, the city passed an ordinance requiring “living wages” for employees of hotels near the city’s airport back in 2008. As they considered expanding the law to all large hotel workers in the city earlier this year they commissioned studies to analyze the impact of their previous increase. Here’s what Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics discovered: