If my Facebook wall is any indication, there’s a common misconception that minimum wage earners are mostly teens from wealthy households trying to earn some extra pocket money for video games and drugs. This is the image pushed by organizations like the Heritage Foundation, which according to its own researchers has abandoned sound research in favor of partisan propaganda. It’s also a lie.
Congress recently pushed through a cut to the federal SNAP program (popularly known as Food Stamps) that would save $9 billion over 10 years by taking food away from poor people in blue states. In response, state governments have found a way to avert the cuts, keeping food on the table but also reducing or eliminating the cost savings completely.
Meanwhile, studies suggest that raising minimum wage, and linking it on an annual basis to the Consumer Price Index (as is already done with the Earned Income Tax Credit) would cut $45 billion from SNAP without taking food away from anyone.
Opposition to raising minimum wage comes mostly from the same misinformed understanding of economics that says trickle-down actually works. If more Americans would know and accept the truth, that the middle-class is essentially a product of government intervention, we would all benefit.