Bernie Sanders wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, but he sees fit to pay his interns only $12 an hour. You might say, “$15, $12, what’s the difference?” Well, $3 to be exact. In a press release, Sanders stated:
“It is a national disgrace that millions of full-time workers are living in poverty and millions more are forced to work two or three jobs just to pay their bills,” Sanders said at the outdoor rally near the Capitol. “In the year 2015, a job must lift workers out of poverty, not keep them in it. The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is a starvation wage and must be raised to a living wage.”
“The federal minimum wage has not been raised since 2009. Increasing the minimum wage would directly benefit 62 million workers who currently make less than $15 an hour, including over half of African-American workers and close to 60 percent of Latino workers. If the minimum wage had kept up with productivity and inflation since 1968, it would be more than $26 an hour today.
He calls our current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour a “starvation wage.” If we actually raised the minimum wage to what he’s campaigning on, people will definitely be starving. And not because they won’t be getting paid enough, but because they probably won’t have a job.
What happens if the government mandates that all businesses pay their employees at least $15 an hour? They’ll have to either cut their staff, raise their prices, or some combination of both. If they raise their prices, they’ll lose customers. If they cut their staff, people will be out of a job, and they won’t be able to maintain their supply to keep up with demand. At that point, something’s got to give. The business will have to decide whether it’s even worth it to stay open.
This isn’t hard math, but some people refuse to get it. People like Senator Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist (at least he’s honest), are smart people. They have to know the consequences of allowing the federal government to get involved in marketplace wage controls. The big corporations will be able to comply easily. The small businesses will be wiped out.
So, what does Sanders pay his interns? He’s campaigning on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, so he must be willing to pay at least that, right?