Researchers Find Another Downfall to Raising the Minimum Wage — An Increased Crime Rate

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators gather for a protest calling for a $15-an-hour nationwide minimum wage in downtown Chicago, Illinois, United States, April 14, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo
REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

A new study revealed that the negative impacts of a higher minimum wage stretch well beyond the workplace.

Researchers from the University of New Hampshire and the University of Connecticut found that a mandated increase in the minimum wage led to increased levels of crime and less safe neighborhoods.

Conservatives have been wary of increasing the minimum wage in the United States because of the impact on business owners’ bottom line. When the price of labor rises, business owners either have to raise prices on their goods or cut back on labor expenses by firing employees or cutting back their hours.

This was evident in Seattle after the city raised its minimum wage in 2015 and employers cut back the average number of hours for their employees resulting in an average loss of $125 per month for workers after the wage increase.

Joseph J. Sabia — one of the authors of the study on the minimum wage and crime — explained that this drop in income and loss of low-wage labor is responsible for an increase in crime as workers turn to the underground economy to make ends meet.

In an op-ed to the Washington Examiner, Sabia explained that teens and young adults, who make up the majority of the low-wage workforce, were more likely to turn to crime as a result of lost wages or employment that resulted from an increased minimum wage.

Sabia and his colleagues found that a 10% percent minimum wage increase elevated the rate of property crime arrests by 2% for those ages 16 to 24. The researchers estimated that a federally mandated wage of $15 would result in a nationwide increase of $2.4 billion in property crimes.

Still, many Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and 2020 candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have pushed for a nationwide increase in the minimum wage to $15.

The study noted that an economic report done by the Obama White House claimed crime would drop by 3 to 5% if the wages hit $15, but that study failed to consider any loss in employment or wages, as was witnessed in Seattle.

Democrats will have to take updated findings into consideration as they continue to push for an increased minimum wage at the federal level.

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TOM
Member

Back in the day high schoolers would get jobs bagging groceries or working at the BK Lounge. They never expected it to be a career. Raise the minimum wage so that workforce entry job pays the same thing that the full time unskilled worker gets and the high schoolers won’t be able to find a part time after school job of any kind.

Screwtape
Member

Bernie (first paycheck at 40) and Nancy (wealthy, politically-connected family) never ran nor started a business. Even Beta’s businesses were financed by his family and wife.

So, these inexperienced know-nothings are dictating how businesses should pay their employees? Right.

Screwtape
Member

The difference between Obozo’s made up figures and reality speaks for itself. It’s the difference between fantasy and reality.

What else could one expect from a failure (adjutnct professor is NOT a permanent position) and politician who NEVER actually started or ran a business? Theory and ideology vs. the real world.

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