“Fake News” on the minimum wage

In the wake of the 2016 election, there is a heated debate over the issue of “fake news.” Unfortunately, the Albuquerque Journal fell prey to this trend. They ran an AP story on December 31 that was chock full of misleading and inaccurate information on the minimum wage.

Everything in the story including the headline implied that minimum wages are “all gain and no pain.” Wages go up and there are zero negatives associated with laws mandating higher basic wages. It is a wonder then that the story didn’t question why certain New Mexico politicians are ONLY trying to raise New Mexico’s minimum wage to either $15 or $8.45 an hour.

The reality is that economic theory, logic, research, and real world experience have all found minimum wages to do exactly what any other arbitrary government-mandated price increase would do: reduce demand for that item.

Here in New Mexico with the nation’s second-highest unemployment rate, our state minimum wage is “only” $7.50 an hour, but Santa Fe is at $10.91, Albuquerque is $8.00 an hour, and Las Cruces is at $9.20 an hour.