You have heard the talking points by now: raising the minimum wage to $15/hr is good for the American worker, good for business, and good for the economy. The only problem is that this could not be further from the truth.

As Ben Shapiro from The Daily Wire points out, central economic planning is doomed to fail from the beginning. Businesses already run on a fairly thin profit margin, and will do whatever it takes to maintain profits. As we see from Seattle, WA, hours worked in low wage jobs fell by 9% and income fell by around $125/month for the average worker.

People are not necessarily being fired or replaced by automation altogether. But, there is an obvious decrease in hours, and if it continues to rise, prices of goods will increase, and affordable housing will be a thing of the past. The effects of this terrible economic policy will be felt across the state and will likely hit low-income individuals the hardest.

Minimum wage laws also hurt marginalized groups, such as low-skilled workers, immigrants, and teenagers working their first jobs. If you continue to force business to pay higher wages, businesses will come to the point where the skills from these people simply are not worth the wage mandated by the government. When jobs and profits are scarce, low-skilled, poorly educated workers will be hurt the most. They will essentially be priced out of the job market altogether.

Increasing the minimum wage, while well intended, is simply bad economic policy. It is a sort of tunnel vision that the left loves to use. They see a group struggling, and they create policy to help that specific group, neglecting the inevitable, but unintended consequences. Increasing wages should happen according to what the free market dictates, not the government.

This idea that businesses are evil, money-hoarding machines, is so simply false. Government mandates like minimum wage laws only hurt the very people they intended to help. If the minimum wage goes up, you are telling businesses and workers what they can and cannot do, which goes beyond the government’s enumerated powers. If I recognize that I am low-skilled and am willing to work for less than the arbitrary minimum wage, that should be my business, not the business of the state.

Increasing the minimum wage is bad economic policy, infringes on the rights of business owners and workers, and stands in the way of prosperity.