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Absurd Ellison Op-Ed Ignores Basic Facts About Minimum Wage

In this morning’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune, one of the nation’s most-liberal Congressman, Rep. Keith Ellison, penned an op-ed that was full of misleading information about the effects of hiking the minimum wage.

To point out the litany of facts that Ellison got wrong in his piece, we went through it with Genius to highlight how his writing does not match the true story. Some highlights:

-It’s no surprise that Ellison would be an advocate for a minimum wage hike. After all, it’s Big Labor groups that are spearheading this effort so they can acquire more dues-paying members that will increase their funding. Conveniently, Big Labor has flooded Ellison with over $945,000 in campaign contributions. 

-Ellison tries to make it seem like the so-called “Fight for $15” is an organic movement. Not quite. It’s actually funded and organized by the SEIU, who poured $19 million into it last year. 

-He argues that tipped workers need a higher minimum wage which falls apart when looking at what happens when that has been experimented with. Last year, a popular restaurant did a test-run where they did not allow tipping in their restaurants, and instead raised prices and hourly wages for workers. The result was massive backlash, causing the CEO to say, “Our customers and staff spoke very loudly [about the policy], and a lot of them voted with their feet.” On top of that, a California restauranteur tried the same thing and when he re-instituted tipping, the staff was “delighted.”  

-Ellison claims that the minimum wage needs to be increased because not all workers are teenagers, but he doesn’t look at restaurant jobs correctly. The fact is that restaurant jobs should be seen as entry-level positions and increasing the minimum wage would harm those that need these jobs the most! By increasing the minimum wage, Ellison is really preventing many of these people that he cites from finding any work whatsoever. Americans need entry-level jobs and many restaurants offer those for people who need work and the opportunity to rise through the employment ranks. Under Ellison’s proposal, that opportunity would go away and it would be the people who need jobs that would suffer.

  • The Federalist: Harvard Study: Minimum Wage Hikes Cut Entry-Level Jobs, Harm Poor Minorities Most

He is simply false when he suggests that a minimum wage hike would not hurt small business or the economy. Even liberal economists admit that a $15 minimum wage would eliminate jobs and be too economically dangerous. On top of that, The Heritage Foundation found that a $15 minimum wage would substantially raise prices, making it tougher for people to spend money and grow the economy. Finally, Ellison absurdly claims that minimum wage hikes haven’t hurt cities in California, but headlines from The San Diego Union-Tribune, Orange County Register, and Los Angeles Times dispute that. 

Get the Genius chrome extension to read all of our annotations here or go to AR Squared’s Genius home page to see how Ellison’s argument falls apart when the facts are examined. The bottom line is that a minimum wage increase has far more consequences than benefits since it would eliminate jobs for individuals that need them and prevent employers from hiring Americans that need work.

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