In the latest political stunt from freshman Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), better known as Member #3 of the Progressive ‘Squad,’ takes a stand against what many on the left deem to be unfair wages.
At an event hosted by One Fair Wage, a non-profit dedicated to raising the minimum wage for tipped workers, which is currently $2.13, far below the federal minimum wage of $7.25, Rep. Tlaib proposed Congress raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour, far higher than the $15 an hour many Democratic officials and 2020 candidates are currently running on.
This past week the Democratically controlled House of Representatives voted on, and passed, a measure to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. It is highly unlikely to make it through the Republican controlled Senate.
“People cannot live on those kinds of wages,” Tlaib told the crowd, “it’s not enough to support our families.”
“Big fights like this one, $15. By the way, when we started it, it should have been $15,” the Squad member added. “Now I think it should be $20 … It should be $20 an hour. $18-20 an hour.”
“They say all this is gonna raise the cost, but I could tell you, milk has gone up, eggs has gone up, everything has gone up, the cost of food has gone up, the cost of a lot of things we need has gone up already.”
According to the USDA, people are spending less today on food, per month, inflation adjusted, then they did 40 years ago.
In 2015, Seattle decided to raise its minimum wage from $11 an hour to $13 an hour. As a result, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that “total payroll fell for [low wage] jobs, implying that the minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees’ earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016,” or a total of $1,500 in lost wages for low-income families.
Similarly, as the House prepared to pass the $15 minimum wage, the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan research and analysis agency within the legislature tasked with providing economic information to Congress, released a warning to House Democrats.
In an average week in 2025, the $15 option would boost the wages of 17 million workers who would otherwise earn less than $15 per hour. Another 10 million workers otherwise earning slightly more than $15 per hour might see their wages rise as well. But 1.3 million other workers would become jobless, according to CBO’s median estimate. There is a two- thirds chance that the change in employment would be between about zero and a decrease of 3.7 million workers. The number of people with annual income below the poverty threshold in 2025 would fall by 1.3 million.CBO Report
While tens of millions would benefit from a slightly larger paycheck, over 1.3 million people will likely lose their jobs as a result of a $15 minimum wage. A $20 minimum wage, as Rep. Tlaib suggested, would do far more damage. Also, the report found that there is a 66% chance that we will see a net decrease of 3.7 million jobs between now and 2025, likely indicating a recession.