Letter: Critique of $15 wage flawed

Steve Chapman's June 2 piece on the $15 an hour minimum wage in the Miner is replete with errors. Like many supply-siders, he gets much economic history wrong and leaves gaps in analysis to try and prove a point.

Nixon instituted price controls in 1971 to try and curb inflation and then abandoned them in 1974, years before Jimmy Carter. High oil prices and long gas lines were the result of OPEC's oil embargo, not price controls.

In citing the restaurant owners' closing in Seattle, he ignores other reasons why such a business might cease: demand, poor management, etc. An anecdotal example does not support a postulation.

The average worker wage is the lowest since the 1920s, inflation adjusted. A $15 minimum wage would merely bring up a worker's minimum pay to what it was in the 1960s, not reduce jobs. (Real unemployment then was far lower than today.)

Automation in American factories has increased exponentially, as tech for such improves, no matter what we pay labor. When people are needed because of the type of work, they'll be hired. A robot cannot give vital assembly line or customer feedback for product improvement.

A $15 wage might allow many workers to start spending more, which leads to more employment. How come Chapman and others in his camp never mention CONSUMER DEMAND, 75 percent of the engine that drives our economy?

Mike Lipskin