Bernie Sanders has some well-earned egg on his face after he cut campaign employees’ hours in order to meet their demands for a $15 an hour wage.
The move isn’t surprising to anyone with a basic grasp of how economics works. Mandating a higher wage doesn’t mean that the resources to pay for it are magically going to appear. It’s the same reason why the Congressional Budget Office predicted that the recent $15 minimum wage bill passed by the House could kill almost 4 million jobs. (It also might just be why a 2017 report found that pro-wage-hike politicians still like using unpaid intern labor.)
But this debate isn’t just theoretical or contained to Washington, D.C.; jacked-up forced minimum wages have cost people their jobs all over the country in recent years. Here’s just a small sample of the mountain of evidence that could have saved Sanders from this latest embarrassment:
“Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws,” economist Thomas Sowell famously explained in “Basic Economics,” “and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they either lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force.”
Then again, if self-described socialists were to heed the economic lessons of history, they probably wouldn’t be socialists in the first place.