After getting a barrage of criticism from within his own campaign for not paying staffers the kind of money he insists should be mandated federally, Sen. Bernie Sanders announced this weekend that he would slash the staffers’ hours so that their pay evened out to be equal to $15 an hour. While perhaps a commendable response to an internal mutiny, Sanders’ plan is shining evidence of exactly what would happen if Congress were to pass a federal minimum wage hike of this type.
Indeed, this is exactly the kind of thing that has happened in cities where $15/hour laws have passed. It simply doesn’t work to go messing around with the free market in this kind of reckless, ham-fisted way. Yes, our market has always had a measure of government interference to avoid exploitation and runaway profit-seeking, but the measures should always be those of least harm. This bash-them-over-the-head approach has the opposite effect, and the people hurt the worst are the very people bleeding-heart voters were trying to help.
Restaurants slash staff, jack up prices, and cut hours. Stores close, unable to meet the already-thin margins. Benefits are reduced or eliminated altogether. Suddenly, we have a part-time employment economy because retailers and restaurants are doing everything in their power just to keep the doors open. This is what a $15 an hour minimum wake hike does to the economy, and Sanders just proved it by doing the very same thing.
“For the first time in his life, socialist Bernie Sanders practices economics and, buddy, the results are hilarious,” wrote columnist Stephen Miller. “Why won’t millionaire Bernie Sanders, who owns 3 homes, instead of cutting hours, pay his staff a living wage? People are starving.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) also found Sanders’ predicament extremely telling.
“So does this fall under the category of hypocrisy, irony, or poetic justice?” Crenshaw tweeted. “All three? Can’t make this stuff up.”
We’d say it falls under the category of “Imaginary, feel-good socialism runs smack into reality.” Hopefully, some of Sanders’ supporters are paying close attention, because this is a perfect example of how bad policy affects real people. It isn’t the end of the world that Sanders’ staffers will now work fewer hours, but if you extrapolate this kind of result to the nation at large, you have a slow-scale disaster in the making. We can’t afford to let Democrats destroy the economy for the sake of pleasing their ignorant base.