Australia Is Proof That America Should Raise Its Minimum Wage (VIDEO)

Living-Wage

On the issue of America’s minimum wage, conservatives continue to promote two ideas that are antithetical to the economic well-being of American workers. The first idea being that the minimum wage hurts the economy by reducing job creation. The second being that the minimum wage reduces the opportunity for social mobility, a belief expressed by Charles Koch in an interview last month with the Wichita Eagle.

And while conservatives continue to promote the fantasy that reducing, or even eliminating the minimum wage, is a legitimate path to economic prosperity; reality, and it’s well-known liberal bias, has reared its ugly head again for conservatives in the form of the land Down Under.

If it were true that the minimum wage has a negative effect on job creation and social mobility, it would be unfathomable that Australia and its more than $16 an hour minimum wage would be the only major economy to avoid the 2009 global recession. It would also be unfathomable that Australia would rank ahead of the United States and its $7.25 an hour minimum wage in terms of social mobility. Unsurprisingly, this just happens to be the case.

In an interview conducted by TheRealNews.com, Salvatore Babones, a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia, and an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., discussed Australia not being impacted by the global recession that brought the world economy to its knees in 2009. “Australia had no recession. There was not a single quarter in which GDP declined in Australia…There was a mild slowdown in hiring in 2008, and then things picked right back up,” said Babones.

Babones also discussed the conservative delusion that eliminating the minimum wage is a way to stimulate America’s economy:

On the issue of social mobility, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, conducted a study in 2010 that ranked Australia second when it came to the opportunity for individuals to climb the social ladder. The United States came in 10th, far below countries like Denmark, which ranked first, Norway, Finland, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Spain and France.

While raising the minimum wage is ultimately no cure-all for the economy, countries like Australia show that guaranteeing workers a living wage will not result in economic Armageddon. Instead, it highlights how conservatives often revert to scapegoating low-wage workers for America’s economic woes.

Here’s a report on the state of minimum wage in Australia: