The Trouble With the Media Is...

...that this sort of article is absolutely inevitable only AFTER bad legislation is passed.

A federal minimum wage increase that takes effect Friday could prolong the recession, some economists say, by forcing small businesses to lay off the same workers that the pay hike passed in better times was meant to help.

The increase to $7.25 means 70 cents more an hour for the lowest-paid workers in the 30 states that don't have a higher minimum. It also means higher costs for employers who feel they've already trimmed all their operating fat.

"How will they absorb the increase?" said Rajeev Dhawan, director of Georgia State University's Economic Forecasting Center. "They will either hire less people or they will do less business."

More than in any period before, businesses are likely to lay off employees and reduce hours, further fueling the economic slump in states seeing double-digit unemployment rates, fiscal conservatives and some economists say.

In the run up to actually passing this legislation, the Arizona Republic did nothing but cheer-lead the effort, and would never have published such a story, or would have mentioned it only in graph 36 with some perfunctory balance-quote from the dreaded "industry representative."

We saw this exact same thing occur with ethanol legislation.


  1. Mike:

    The same also happened with the light rail. I never saw a story printed in the Republic that suggested anything negative about the light rail before it was built. Everything was rosy. But now that it's been built, suddenly they write about problems with the honor system, and X percent of passengers are not paying their fare.

    I grew up in San Diego, and I know this happens. I even posted comments to any article about the light rail about this problem, and I never saw the writers write about this potential problem. Only after it started happening, did the Republic take notice.

  2. Prof Frink:

    Don't y'all have some crappy state school in Arizona where the Republic could have interviewed some second rate professor? Why do you have to pick on Georgia State? Go Panthers!

    Of course the totally ridiculous aspect of the article is that the minimum wage hike was going to "help" people in a good economy. It was going to have the exact same effect regardless of the state of the economy. Lefties live in this delusional world where business owners just have this extra money they just don't know what to do with. They would pay their employees more if they weren't so darn greedy!

    Is it so difficult to understand that labor has value? Just because the government now decrees that an entry level 16 year old employee has a value of whatever per hour doesn't make it true.

  3. feeblemind:

    Another galling point about the minimum wage is the notion that politicians think they know what the 'correct' minimum wage should be. Why $7.25/hr? Doggone it, why not make it $72.50/hr and end poverty in America?

  4. Mesa Econoguy:

    Actually, the real trouble with the media is the people who comprise said media are uneducated, uninsightful, intellectually lazy and dishonest troglodytes, self-selected into that useless industry.

    And their business model is a failure.

  5. Ariel:

    I'll go for the $72.50 per hour. Think of how it will "enhance" government "revenue". All federal programs will be rolling in dough.