Center for American Progress

Do Conservatives Oppose Investment and Productivity?
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Do Conservatives Oppose Investment and Productivity?

Brendan Duke argues why the fear of automation should not be the reason conservatives fear raising the minimum wage.

The minimum wage in California and for some New York workers is now on track to reach $15 per hour sometime over the next decade. Predictably, conservative critics were quick to forecast that the plans will destroy job growth in both states, even though the best peer-reviewed research has found no relationship between previous minimum wage increases and reduced employment.

One argument conservatives are trying to sell is that a higher minimum wage will hurt workers by speeding up automation—in other words, that businesses will seek to raise productivity by investing in machines, which will displace human labor. This is a bizarre line of argument, since conservatives have argued for years that cutting taxes on corporations and capital income will ultimately benefit most workers because these cuts will encourage companies to invest in capital, raising workers’ productivity and wages.

The above excerpt was originally published in Morning Consult. Click here to view the full article.

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Brendan Duke

Senior Director, Economic Policy

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