Megan McCardle’s recent column (May 22) on the long-term effects of increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour is disingenuous at best. She starts by saying that the recent studies that indicate no negative employment effects of minimal wage increases cannot tell us what the effects of such a large increase would be. OK, I’m with her. Unfortunately, she proceeds to tell us exactly what would happen. It’s all negative, of course, and unfounded conjecture. Along the way she ignores (purposely?) one of the fundamental principles of economics: The supply of money increases as people spend it faster. Low-wage workers tend to spend 100 percent of wage increases, and they do it immediately, thus expanding the amount of money in the economy. Finally, she concludes that the effects of raising the minimum wage 65 percent (over five years), while unknowable, are likely to result in “the desperation of unemployment, or a forced relocation.” Evidently she is unwilling to acknowledge that in 2003 Santa Fe raised its minimum wage 85 percent in two years. A follow-up study by the University of New Mexico concluded that there were no negative employment effects; in fact, they found a slight increase in employment.
Geoff Burns, McCall