Save Jersey bloggers have spent a lot of time discussing how a minimum wage hike will kill jobs if this fall’s ballot question passes.
What we haven’t discussed at-length is one of the terrible ironies of Big Government’s central planning in New Jersey: many welfare beneficiaries are already receiving significantly more money than they would working for the minimum wage after this proposed increase!
The libertarian CATO Institute released the results of an eye-opening new study this week that found welfare benefits in 35 U.S. states are actually worth more than a minimum wage job. You can click here to read the full report.
Specifically, in our own state of New Jersey, the full government welfare package (TANF, SNAP, housing assistance, Medicaid, etc) is worth $38,782 annually. That works out to roughly $18.62 per hour.
In case you’ve forgotten, Save Jerseyans, New Jersey’s current minimum wage is $7.25, so someone working a 40 hour per week job is earning only $15,080 annually. President Obama previously pitched a $9 federal minimum wage and Cory Booker wants $10.10 per hour. This November, New Jerseyans will vote on a comparatively modest bump (to $8.25 an hour) and, less modestly, whether to constitutionally tie future increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
I’m trying to understand how liberal logic rationalizes this economic incongruity.