This article is spot on that fears over minimum wage hikes are way overblown. Still, there is a cost to everything. Life is about trade offs and we have to decide if the trade offs are worth the cost. The author says yes. Here are my doubts:
As Thomas Sowell said "the true minimum wage is zero." The problem with this discussion is that it sidelines the millions of people with no wage. Raising the minimum wage does nothing to help the worst off in our society and may add to their numbers. It's not just that McDonalds raises the price of their burgers, they also install kiosk to replace cashiers, build apps to replace window workers ("order ahead -it's easier!") and invest in auto cooking technology like the burger flipping robot.
The minimum wage also favors the large corporations the author highlights as bad actors in small towns. Amazon already pays fifteen dollars an hour, Walmart and Target can afford it. Can the Piggly Wiggly? Maybe. Can your independent grocer? Can the farmers market? This may consolidate more businesses while increasing their market share and push more folks into the gray market where abuse is much more rampant (I picked tobacco and strawberries for several summers, beware the gray market).
If you are going to make a big initiative like this, I would favor direct payments. Those benefit the unemployed and the low employed. They are a shared burden and don't favor a large business (Walmart) over a small one (independent hard ware store). I just feel like this argument is being made on the grounds of the big corporations choosing. Let's push for a Universal Basic Income instead.
I dig this take, it looks at both the pros & cons (although admittedly it comes out pro given the boon to lifting millions of Americans out of poverty, I'm here for that)