In May, Ben Carson said he would support a higher minimum wage.
At the GOP debate Tuesday night, he said “I would not raise it specifically because I’m interested in making sure that people are able to enter the job market and take advantage of opportunities.”
Appearing on the main stage for the Republican debate, Carson said, “every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases… if you lower those wages, that comes down.”
“As far as the minimum wage is concerned, people need to be educated on the minimum wage,” claimed Carson. “Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases. This is particularly a problem in the black community. Only 19.8% of black teenagers have a job who are looking for one and that’s because of those high wages.”
“If you lower those wages, that comes down. You know, I can remember as a youngster, you know my first job working in a laboratory as a lab assistant and multiple other jobs but i would not have gotten those jobs if someone had to pay me a large amount of money but what I did gain from those jobs is tremendous amount of experience and how to operate in the world and how to relate to different people and how to become a responsible individual and that’s what gave me what I needed to ascend the ladder of opportunity in this country,” said Carson.
“That is what we need to be thinking about. How do we allow people to ascend the ladder of opportunity and rather than give them everything and keep them dependent.”
When asked to clarify his position Carson said, “I would not raise it. I would not raise it specifically because I’m interested in making sure that people are able to enter the job market and take advantage of opportunities.”
On May 30, 2015 Carson said the $7.25 federal minimum wage should be raised. In an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, Carson said, “I think, probably, it should be higher than now.”
Carson’s prior position on the minimum wage indexed the wage to the inflation rate as well as having a separate minimum wage for first-time workers and adults.
At the second GOP debate at the Reagan Presidential Library, Carson proposed a “starter and a sustained” minimum wage.