Another news item on minimum-wage protests that ignores mainstream economics

Last month I asked, “Why don’t reports on minimum-wage hikes cite mainstream economic thinking on it?” In response to one of the many articles in which reporters write about the issue, I wrote:

It would be nice if the reporter had spoken to an economist about the idea. After all, the negative impacts of the minimum wage is one of the items about which economists are in greatest agreement.

The News & Observer reports today about “34 arrested while advocating for a $15 minimum wage and better conditions for NC poor .” Which to anyone familiar with the issue reads like “Nearly three dozen people get arrested seeking to disemploy hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians in the daft notion they’re making conditions better for the poor.”

But here’s how the N&O’s report covers the topic:

Paragraph 1: 34 arrested at the Legislative Building, and here’s what they were protested for: $15/hr. minimum wage and unions.

Paragraphs 2-5: Discussion of the campaign inducing people into getting arrested at the rally.

Paragraph 6: Legislators raised state workers’ pay but did not more than double the minimum wage on private employers.

Next several paragraphs: Here are statistics and bullet points used at the rally to talk about living expenses.

Final paragraphs: More details about the rally, its desire for unions and a $15/hr. minimum wage, and living expenses.

But once again, no mention — no peep — no hint — in the article about the economics of the minimum wage. It was basically a rehash of rally talking points, an advocacy piece masquerading as journalism.

In other words, no responsible reporting on the issue.

Jon Sanders / Director of Regulatory Studies

Jon Sanders studies regulatory policy, a veritable kudzu of invasive government and unintended consequences. As director of regulatory studies at the John Locke Foundation, Jo...

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