Former Florida Governor and possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush was recently asked at an event in South Carolina if the government should be involved with minimum wage or if it should be left to the private sector.
"We need to leave it to the private sector. I think state minimum wages are fine. The federal government shouldn’t be doing this. This is one of these poll-driven deals," Bush replied, noted Salon.com.
Bush later claimed, "But the federal government doing this will make it harder and harder for the first rung of the ladder to be reached, particularly for young people, particularly for people that have less education."
However, Bloomberg News noted that seven winners of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences were part of 75 economists who called for raising the federal minimum wage last year.
The group said in a letter that raising the minimum wage would mean "little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market."
Bush said that raising the federal minimum wage would somehow make it harder for poor people and the middle class:
We’re moving to a world that is sticky in the ends, where it’s harder for people in poverty to move up and where the rich are doing really well and the middle is getting squeezed. And any idea that makes, that perpetuates that is one that I would oppose, and I think this minimum wage idea is exactly one of those things.
Bush also claimed that people who would "benefit" from the federal minimum wage “would be likely the ones that would lose their job. That’s how it’s always worked.”
However, MediaMatters.org cites numerous studies that found higher minimum wages have not cost jobs, but instead provided workers with more money to spend in the economy.
The Economic Policy Institute reported in 2014 that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would help 4.7 million working mothers in America.