More Evidence on Worker Opposition to Minimum Wage
By David Henderson
Pizza shop worker Devin Jeran was excited about the raise that was coming his way thanks to Seattle’s new $15 an hour minimum wage law. Or at least he was until he found out that it would cost him his job.
Jeran will only see a bigger paycheck until August when his boss has to shut down her Z Pizza location, putting him and his 11 co-workers out of work, Q13 Fox reported.
He said that while the law was being discussed all he heard about was how the mandatory minimum wage increase would make life better for him, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
“If that’s the truth, I don’t think that’s very apparent. People like me are finding themselves in a tougher situation than ever,” he told the TV station.
This is from Ashley Dobson, “Pizza shop worker loves Seattle’s new $15 minimum wage, until he finds out that it cost him his job.”
This helps make the point I made in my recent post that we can’t expect low wage workers to be good economic theorists, just as we can’t expect most people to be good economic theorists. This minimum wage increase had to smack Devin Jeran in the face before he started thinking about it. And, truth be told, we still don’t know that he opposes the minimum wage increase.
The fact is that many people hold on to their views even despite the evidence. My father, to his dying day, believed in Canada’s Medicare system even though that system prevented him from getting some needed surgery and, in desperation, he took an overdose of sleeping pills to put himself out of his misery. (Fortunately, the pills didn’t “work” and other things did: his situation got worse and so he rose on the priority list for surgery and had 9 good year afterwards. I wrote about this in Making Great Decisions in Business and Life.)
Robin Hanson often writes that “politics is not about policy” and he’s basically right. He gets pushback, partly, I believe, but only partly, because that quote does not recognize nuance. If he said, “For the vast majority of people, politics is not about policy,” he would be correct.