The minimum wage debate is one we’ve covered closely here at ACC. One of the primary reasons is we know that a significant increase in the minimum wage above the market rate for unskilled labor will result in job losses. No one wants job losses.
But even though a significant minimum wage increase would pretty obviously put some people out of work, reduce hours for others, and force some businesses to just close up shop, there are those who have continued to push for a higher wage.
Is it ignorance? In some cases. But as we see here it’s good politics for big government politicians in the short term, and politicians are primarily concerned with the short term.
On April 28, 2015, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta emailed Neera Tanden who is the head of the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank that Podesta chairs, about Clinton’s progressive agenda and particularly support for a minimum wage hike. Tanden emailed Podesta back,“Substantively, we have not supported $15 – you will get a fair number of liberal economists who will say it will lose jobs.” Tanden also emailed Podesta that she was not getting any political pressure to support such a high minimum wage.
Clinton foreign policy advisor Jake Sullivan then emailed Tanden and Podesta calling the Democratic Party’s progressive base the “Red Army”—an obvious communist reference—and said they want to support $15 an hour.