Democrats continue to fight for a minimum wage increase but fail to identify just how it will help the American people. In fact, they love to reference European citizens when making the case for the United States. Progressive representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted this on Tuesday: “It is utterly embarrassing that ‘pay people enough to live’ is a stance that’s even up for debate.”
What is “utterly embarrassing” is that Ocasio-Cortez isn’t educated enough to use a completely irrational comparison. She added, “Override the parliamentarian and raise the wage. McD’s workers in Denmark are paid $22/hr + 6 wks paid vacation. $15/hr is a deep compromise – a big one, considering the phase-in.”
National Review’s David Harsanyi directly takes on “progressive arguments about imaginary Scandinavian utopias” such as AOC’s. “The most obvious problem with Ocasio-Cortez’s contention is that Denmark, like other Scandinavian nations doesn’t have a statutory minimum wage.” Instead, “industries and workers engage in sector-by-sector salary negotiations, which might well undermine intra-industry competition, but which is a much better idea than the flat national-wage floor being peddled by Democrats.”
“So,” writes Harsanyi, “this popular progressive talking point about Denmark’s miracle middle-class fast-food worker doesn’t make much sense to begin with.” But wait, there’s more! “Denmark can afford its system because high taxes are paid by all its citizens, not just the wealthy” explains Harsanyi. That’s where the Democrats’ plan hits its brick wall. When was the last time liberals wanted equality…in taxation?
Additionally, that fast-food employee making $45,000 a year hands over a whopping fifty percent of their earnings to the government and pays a 25 percent value-added tax on most purchases, as well as a number of other levies. Harsanyi also addresses something progressives don’t like to think about: consequences.
“If the federal government forced fast-food chains to start paying employees $22 per hour and giving them six weeks paid vacation, and health care…American consumers should be prepared to pay more for food or to be served by robots,” writes Harsanyi. This is no exaggeration. “Last time there was a push for a $15 minimum wage…McDonald’s quickly rolled out a touchscreen self-service kiosk makeover.”
Nonetheless, robots and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) saying 1.4 million people would lose their jobs in the event of a $15 national minimum wage increase do not dissuade AOC and her uninformed colleagues.