Republican Rep. Tom McClintock gave voice to this view on Thursday when he spoke about why increasing the minimum wage is a bad idea.
During an appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, host Greta Brawner asked McClintock if he, like Mitt Romney, could get behind raising the minimum wage to $10.10.
McClintock bristled at the idea, arguing that it would “rip the first rung in the ladder of opportunity for teenagers, for minorities, for people who are trying to get into the job market for their first job.”
According to McClintock, the minimum wage was never intended to be a living wage, even though many people exist for years on minimum wage after being refused raises by their employers.
“It’s not supposed to support a family. The minimum wage is that first job when you have no skills, no experience, no working history. That’s how you get into the job market, that’s how you develop that experience, develop that work record, get your first raise, then your next raise, then your promotion.”
The danger in raising the minimum wage is that it will reduce jobs for the poor, says McClintock.
“If your labor is an unskilled person just entering the workforce is worth say $7 an hour at a job and the minimum wage is $10, you have just been made permanently unemployable. That first rung of the economic ladder has been ripped out and you can’t get on it. That is a tragedy.”