I am going to borrow liberally from the Coyote and he gives a shout out to Carpe Diem. The debate concerning isn’t about making the lives of those suffering in poverty better – rather it is the “do gooders” crowd trying to impose their version of “fair” on others:
Note the household income per earner for the lowest quintile. It equates to something over $14 an hour, well above minimum wage almost everywhere in the US and nearly as high as the $15 national minimum wage proposed as an anti-poverty program.
The problem with most poor households is not wage rate, it is getting full time work. The household income per earner is nearly as high as the average income of the second quintile. The problem is that most poor households do not have full-time earners. The key stat is that only 16% worked full-time and only 30% had any sort of job at all.
Pay attention! The key metric is not that those in poverty are being paid low wages, it’s that they don’t have jobs. And raising the minimum wage only makes finding jobs harder.