Daily Caller co-founder Neil Patel predicted that Amazon and Walmart could support an increase in the federal minimum wage in order to price out their smaller competitors during a Sunday appearance on Fox News’ “The Next Revolution.”
While discussing the minimum wage and how it’s implemented across the U.S., Patel explained to host Steve Hilton that he understands the argument to apply a livable wage to large companies like Amazon and Walmart that make billions in profit, but added that it “makes a lot less sense for small businesses.” (RELATED: ‘They Can Afford It’: Daily Caller Co-Founder Neil Patel Suggests Large Corporations Should Bear The Brunt Of A Minimum Wage Increase)
“Small business has been devastated through this pandemic, and the youth case is just different. If you have a deli down the street from you and the owner wants to take a few hours off in the afternoon and have a high school kid come in, then that’s a really different case than what Amazon pays their thousands and thousands of employees,” Patel said.
“And then the second part is … New York has more than double the cost of living for a lot of small towns in America. Why would Manhattan have the same minimum wage as a small town in Kansas? That makes zero sense,” he continued.
Hilton went on to ask Patel why companies like Amazon and Walmart would be pushing for the minimum wage increase nationwide, calling it “transparently stupid.”
Patel suggested it’s because the corporations could price small businesses “out of the market.”
“I don’t know if it’s stupid from Amazon or Walmart’s perspective. If your primary competitors in many communities are small businesses, and you can price them out of the market, then that as a business matter that may not be stupid for them,” he said. “As a public policy matter for us, for Washington, for Biden, it makes no sense. These small businesses are already devastated, and to add, I mean, in a COVID relief bill, to put a minimum wage, that doesn’t exempt small business in any way is almost perverse.”
Hilton then pointed out that the minimum wage was “designed” to help big businesses. He added that it was the same for companies pushing to “open the borders” when it comes to immigration, saying that it helps them get more low wage workers.
“There is a lot of debate on the effect of immigration on wages, but even the studies that show less effect in the lower wage occupations, there is a massive effect, it is just obvious,” Patel replied. “If you bring in a ton more workers to compete for the same job, the price of labor is going to go down, and the studies show that.”
“If you look at the data on the unemployment, the people who’ve been hit the hardest are the lower wage people, and especially people in hospitality and entertainment businesses, and this is not the right time to open the border to a ton more low wage immigration,” he added.
The negotiations over the content of the relief package are still ongoing in Congress. The $15 minimum wage proposal has not yet been taken off the table by Democrats, but Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has said she does not support it remaining part of the package.