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Economics

The $15 Minimum Wage Will Kill Jobs. Should You Care?

Oddly enough, those who worry about Americans hurt by free trade care less about those hurt by mandatory pay hikes.
Fast-Food Workers To Rally In 230 U.S. Cities Seeking Higher Pay
Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

This is a story about ethics and economics, winners and losers, and the philosophical muddle on both ends of the political spectrum, as told through two of the hot-button issues of the 2016 U.S. presidential race: the minimum wage and free trade.

Start with an unpopular but irrefutable fact: Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, as some states are doing, will create both winners and losers. The winners will be workers who get paid more, of course. The losers will be low-skilled workers who don't get paid at all, because employers couldn't afford to keep them on.