Charles Krauthammer came out with a third-way position on raising the minimum wage Monday night, prompting a fellow conservative panelist to challenge his logic.
During Fox News’ “Special Report,” conservative Weekly Standard reporter Stephen Hayes said that if the government raises the minimum wage, “it’s clear that jobs will be lost.” Krauthammer agreed, but then went on to propose a two-tired minimum wage, which spurred a challenge from Hayes:
Krauthammer: Look, it’s an axiom of economics: If you raise the price of anything, you are going to lower demand. So there are going to be jobs lost. I do think that raising the minimum wage gradually and then indexing is the way to do it. If you index it, it stops being political issue. It retains the value it has.
Guest host John Roberts: So is $9 the starting point?
Krauthammer: I think what we really ought — what conservatives ought to do — is say if you can’t feed a family on this, and as a result of our lousy recovery a lot of people are depending on this wage, then I think for people who are the bread winners in a family, it ought to be raised. But I think what you want for entry-level jobs — it’s really going to hurt teenagers, it’s really going to hurt minorities, because they are going to lose the jobs which would help them to get started. I would have a two-tiered system. And I think that probably would be a way, a reasonable answer that Republicans and conservatives could offer. It’s not heartless but it keeps in mind how this would hurt …
Hayes: Why would you want that if it’s going to cost the very people it intends to help — it’s going to cost those jobs.
Krauthammer: Because I do think if somebody is the only wage earner in the family, I think it would be humane to raise it to a level where they can cover their expenses.