Save Jersey bloggers have spent a lot of time discussing how a minimum wage hike will kill jobs if this fall’s ballot question passes.
What we haven’t discussed at-length is one of the terrible ironies of Big Government’s central planning in New Jersey: many welfare beneficiaries are already receiving significantly more money than they would working for the minimum wage after this proposed increase!
The libertarian CATO Institute released the results of an eye-opening new study this week that found welfare benefits in 35 U.S. states are actually worth more than a minimum wage job. You can click here to read the full report.
Specifically, in our own state of New Jersey, the full government welfare package (TANF, SNAP, housing assistance, Medicaid, etc) is worth $38,782 annually. That works out to roughly $18.62 per hour.
In case you’ve forgotten, Save Jerseyans, New Jersey’s current minimum wage is $7.25, so someone working a 40 hour per week job is earning only $15,080 annually. President Obama previously pitched a $9 federal minimum wage and Cory Booker wants $10.10 per hour. This November, New Jerseyans will vote on a comparatively modest bump (to $8.25 an hour) and, less modestly, whether to constitutionally tie future increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
I’m trying to understand how liberal logic rationalizes this economic incongruity.
If wage fixing and welfare subsidies are the answer, Save Jerseyans, then why don’t Trenton Democrats simply set the minimum wage at $18.62 per hour?
And don’t tell me about how most recipients don’t receive all available benefits and, therefore, these total benefits numbers are inflated. As the CATO report’s authors astutely observed, “the likelihood of receiving those additional benefits is primarily a function of the length of a family’s stay on welfare. That means that hard-core welfare recipients, who spend long periods on welfare, are likely to be receiving those benefits.”
At the end of the day, Save Jerseyans, it’s truly a fool’s errand to try to rationalize something that’s thoroughly irrational.
The legislature’s proposed minimum wage amendment is likely to succeed if recent polling is accurate; jobs will be destroyed as a direct result, leading to not only LESS tax revenue-generating private sector employment in the Garden State but also MORE welfare dependents who, ironically, will be paid more by the taxpayers than they would’ve received from their minimum wage-paying private sector employers.
To review: minimum wage hike = (1) less people working, (2) less people paying into the system, but (3) more people pulling down higher-than-minimum wage welfare benefits… paid for by less people…
Go ahead and pull the lever for Buono/Booker/Democrat legislators in a couple of months if any of this makes a lick of sense to you, Save Jerseyans.
If it doesn’t, then you’ve certainly come to the right blog.