2014 February 05 Wednesday
Demography And Regionally Higher Minimum Wages

Suppose some left-leaning states enact much higher minimum wages. This will drive some of the Democrat-voting lower classes to move to (primarily Republican) states with lower minimum wages in order to get low paid jobs. The lower classes will migrate to states with low housing costs and lower levels of government services. They'll vote for politicians who will raise taxes on the Republican-leaning upper middle class married couples with kids.

So what should Republican states do? Raise minimum wages before the Democrats arrive. If the Republican states put their minimum wages up to $15 or so then they'll have a much better chance of remaining Republican.

This is funny. In the name of helping the lower classes the middle and upper class Democrats want to raise minimum wages. This will help them gentrify their states as the lower classes move away. So the Republicans need to engage in a sort of demographic arms war and make their states unappealing to the lower classes.

First mover derives the biggest benefits. They'll get rid of sizable portions of their own lower classes and block the arrival of new lower classes. The Republican states could do this more effectively because they offer fewer welfare benefits to their lower classes. Anyone unemployed in a Republican state has a bigger incentive to move.

How to make this work even better? A sharp Republican state governor could, in the name of labor mobility and helping the poor, offer state citizens funding for nationwide job hunting and moving costs for anyone on welfare, unemployment, or otherwise in desperate economic straits.

Tyler Cowen predicts a shift of poor people away from coasts and cities into the interior. Such a shift will turn red states blue. The Republican states have the ability to push back hard against the forces driving this shift and reverse it. People of the plains states hear my call.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2014 February 05 10:06 PM 

Mike Street Station said at February 6, 2014 12:14 PM:

Left leaning States already have generally higher minimum wages, but none of them are so high that it would cause major differences in unemployment (all things being equal of course). We might have to have extremely high minimum wages, like $15-20 an hour "living wage" levels to test that theory. Plus, I'm not sure career minimum wage workers would think to move to a State with a lower minimum wage. I would think, if they had the gumption, they would move to a higher minimum wage State and be surprised when they get there to find that those few jobs are already taken.

I'm all for the experiment however. I would love for one of the left leaning States to put someone else's money where their mouth is and raise their minimum wage to $20-25 an hour. It could be an entertaining object lesson for the rest of the country.

James Bowery said at February 6, 2014 10:34 PM:

They should pass the Sortocracy Constitutional Amendment: Each State shall provide reasonable relocation expenses for residents wishing to emigrate for any reason whatsoever. Each State has the right to control its borders for any reason whatsoever. Any State that accepts immigration to it of a prisoner held in another State invokes that prisoner's right to emigrate. Federal regulation of Interstate Commerce is restricted to maintenance of interstate thoroughfares which shall cease being territory of the respective States. Environmental regulation by the Federal government shall be restricted to Interstate disputes brought before it by one or more of the respective States. Federal tax authority is restricted to foreign tariffs and land value assessed by the high bid in escrow for the assessed parcel. That bid and that bid only shall receive interest.

If they can't get it passed, they should secede.

dsgntd_plyr said at February 9, 2014 9:29 AM:

Impose work permits for all workers, rather than just on kids, nurses, doctors, barbers etc. That would keep out illegals.
Much lower taxes on long-term married couples with kids (so higher taxes on childless SWPLs).
Combined with lower welfare payments to the lower classes you keep out proles, immigrants and single women. All DNC base voters.

dsgntd_plyr said at February 9, 2014 9:38 AM:

One more thing. Mandate a-la-carte pay-tv service (McCain has a bill). That knee caps progressives who control The Narrative by taking viewers/money away from channels like MSNBC Bravo/Logo, CNN.

Eliminate gen ed requirements to get a college degree so it only takes 3 years (cheaper and faster to get a degree so you'd attract some moderate Whites and Asians), and cap STEM tuition so Liberal degrees cost more.

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