The Ontario government recently decided to ensure inequality continues to grow by not raising minimum wage, which is obviously a bad thing. The rationale by the anti-worker Conservative party was that paying people more will ruin the economy. They couldn’t be more wrong. Seattle went through the same debate years ago and the results from there show that their economy benefited from increased wages. The evidence is so good that people who argued against the wage increase have admitted they were wrong. Even the research that opponents used to argue against Seattle’s wage increase was based on bad data and mired in ideological goals.
Let’s hope that other jurisdictions base their decision on evidence instead of ideology.
Seattle, like some other thriving West Coast cities, a few years ago passed an ordinance raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in a series of steps. The law was a partial response to rising income inequality and poverty in the city, which began its post-crisis economic boom well before the rest of the country.
The options are to either rethink your ideology or alternatively ignore the data. Most participants seem to have done the latter. Kudos to the University of Washington team for at least trying to incorporate the facts into their latest research.