Want to see a classic example of feel-good politics that will do far more damage than good?  Look no further than Seattle.

Yesterday the Seattle city council unanimously voted to raise the city\’s minimum wage from its already-high $9.32 an hour to $15 – exactly the number that fast-food agitators were demanding.  Depending on the size of the company, this will phase in over a 3 – 7 year period.  But there will be an immediate $1 an hour raise.

Currently, Seattle\’s unemployment rate for 16 -19 year olds without a high school diploma is 31.4%

What effect do you suppose summarily raising the minimum wage by over 10%, and then by almost 60% during the next six years will have on that unemployment rate?

And what effect do you think it will have on the pay scale of people who currently earn between $10 and $15.  Remember, raising a minimum wage inevitably causes raises in other people\’s wages right up the line.

And what effect do you think that in turn, will have on the amount of hiring at those higher levels? 

And how do you figure at least some of these uneducated and now shut-out-of-employment teens will try to get the money they need?

Personally, I have no problem with the minimum wage rising in accordance with how the economy is moving.  But doing it this way – as if there is no relationship between the state of the economy and what companies can pay their employees – is virtually guaranteed to cause far more harm than good. 

Untold numbers of teens will be shut out of work, and untold numbers of jobs will not be created because companies – especially in the awful economy we still are mired in – will not be able to afford them.

But, congratulations to Seattle.  You guys sure do know how to make the activist crowd feel good. 

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