Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) said yesterday that the passage of the bill increasing the minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $10/hour would cost the country millions of jobs. Your eager reporter went out to places where the minimum wage is paid to investigate this claim and would like to report that he may actually be correct.
I first went to a local fast food restaurant that advertises the Dollar Menu. I approached many in the line and asked what their reaction would be if the restaurant were to increase its prices by 15% to 20% to accommodate the increases in wages. Many customers said they would no longer dine there, but go to China for lunch because it was much cheaper and that they had better Egg Foo Young. Others suggested that instead of fast food, they would go out to expensive foodie restaurants, because the price differential would no longer be so great.
Next I went to a large chain retail store where many employees are paid close to the minimum wage. The manager opined that if they were forced to increase their wages to $10/hour, they would simply close all their stores in this country and move them to China. He mentioned that since everything in the store was either made in China or assembled from products made in China, they would also save a bundle on shipping costs, and would have a much larger target audience. He also said that they could then offer Egg Foo Young at the food counter in the store at a substantially reduced price.
I went to an office building where all the cleaning staff were paid minimum wage. The owners of the building declared that if they were forced to pay the new $10 minimum wage, they would relocate the building to China to save on cleaning costs. They added that since many of the employees went out to a Chinese restaurant for lunch anyway, most of them would either not notice the change or actually prefer it. I did notice a number of half filled Egg Foo Young containers in the trash, adding credence to his claim.
Lastly, I stopped several gardening crews in my neighborhood, asking the leaders what would happen to their business if the minimum wage went up to $10/hour. They uniformly told me that their customers could no longer afford lawn care and would remove their grass to use the space for chicken coops. I was a bit puzzled by this and asked why chicken coops. He replied that it due to increased price of eggs due to the demand for Egg Foo Young.
I guess Mitch is onto something.