Reuters story ("Ten U.S. states raise minimum wage, rates up 10 to
appeared at the top of my Google News page early in
the new year. First paragraph:
Ten U.S. states kicked off the new year with a minimum wage rise of
between 10 and 35 cents, modestly boosting the incomes of nearly 1
million low-paid workers.
I looked for the Econ 101
caveat: … or at least for those still employed,
clocking the same number of hours, which won't be everyone.
But it wasn't there. The
"news" story didn't seem at all interested in possible negative effects
of minimum wage increases. In ReutersLand, it's all sunshine and
The increases are due to state laws mandating a wage rate higher than
the US minimum of $7.25/hr, and linking the rate to inflation. To
reinforce the story's Pollyannish view of the effects, seemingly expert
The increase will put an extra $190 to $510 per year into the pocket of
the average minimum-wage worker, according to a study by the
non-partisan National Employment Law Project, released last month.
Is the National Employment Law Project (NELP) "non-partisan"?
Their website is here. To give you an idea
on whether they
have an invested position on the minimum wage,
they also maintain the website www.raisetheminimumwage.com.
And if you look at NELP's Board
of Directors, you'll see a preponderance of union bigwigs,
"community activists", and "progressive" hangers-on.
Apparently the Reuters rulebook allows the NELP
to be deemed
But I would be stunned if you were able to show me a single GOP donor
on the Board.
Reuters' labelling of NELP as "non-partisan" is lulls the
reader into thinking they're getting authoritative facts from
an unbiased source; in fact, they're getting ideological
The story continues…
"For a low-wage worker, these increases are a vital protection against
rising costs. In states without indexing, inflation slowly erodes the
value of minimum wage workers' pay," said David Cooper, an analyst with
the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute.
There's that "nonpartisan" blessing from Reuters again. And (again)
the "nonpartisan" EPI turns out to
left-wing advocacy outfit. Their board is about as
nonpartisan as the AFL-CIO. (Clue: the board's chairman
is Richard Trumka, also the president of the AFL-CIO.)
[Note that Reuters isn't shy about labelling the ideology of
organizations when they're not on the left. For example,
article follows up a reference to the Heritage
Foundation with the dismissive "a Washington-based conservative
think-tank"; the Cato Institute is nearly always
to as "the libertarian Cato Institute" or a "libertarian think-tank".]
You would not know from reading the Reuters article that there's any
controversy about the minimum wage at all. Wikipedia
could have told Reuters about it.
Fun fact: a
2006 survey of 210 Ph.D. members of the American Economics
Association asked about the minimum wage: of the economists responding
to that question, nearly half thought it should eliminated; that was
the largest single response.
New Year Resolution: try to figure out how to remove Reuters articles
from Google News.