Perennially Dishonest L.A. Times Writer Michael Hiltzik: The CBO Report Saying 500,000 People Will Lose Jobs From an Increase in the Minimum Wage Is a Slam Dunk for Increasing the Minimum Wage
Typical dishonesty from a dishonest writer. Here’s Hiltzik:
Here are the main points. See if you can guess which one has gotten the most headline play in the news.
1. Wages would rise for 16.5 million workers.
2. Income for families living below the poverty line would rise by a combined $5 billion, and by $12 billion for those earning less than three times the poverty level.
3. About 900,000 people would be moved out of poverty.
4. The raise would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers.
Those are the main points? How about I quote, in its entirety, the summary at the head of the report:
Increasing the minimum wage would have two principal effects on low-wage workers. Most of them would receive higher pay that would increase their family’s income, and some of those families would see their income rise above the federal poverty threshold. But some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated, the income of most workers who became jobless would fall substantially, and the share of low-wage workers who were employed would probably fall slightly.
The way Hiltzik explains it, there is only one “main point” that is negative — yet the full summary I just quoted notes not only that half a million people would likely be out of work, but that (duh) their incomes would “fall substantially” and that the general effect on employment for low-wage workers would be bad.
The report also notes near the top:
Moreover, the increased earnings for some workers would be accompanied by reductions in real (inflation-adjusted) income for the people who became jobless because of the minimum-wage increase, for business owners, and for consumers facing higher prices.
Funny, I don’t see higher prices for consumers among Hiltzik’s “main points.” Nor do I see lower income for business owners among Hiltzik’ “main points.”
And while Hiltzik is happy to tell us about the $5 billion increase in income for those in so-called “poverty” and the $12 billion increase in income for some relatively less well-off people, the report actually lists three different effects on income in one place, and four in another. Hiltzik gives us the two rosiest income effects, but fails to mention this one:
Real income would decrease, on net, by $17 billion for families whose income would otherwise have been six times the poverty threshold or more, lowering their average family income by 0.4 percent.
Funny how increases in income for some are among the reports “main points” — but decreases in income for others are . . . not.
After a while, it starts to look like Hiltzik’s “main points” have been cherry picked by a reporter with a history of dishonesty and sneakiness, who wants to sell readers his partisan and slanted view of the report’s findings.
Thanks to Dana.