President Obama’s favorite think tank, the Center for American Progress, has a new ingenious plan to lower gun deaths in Chicago: raise the minimum wage. CAP’s Think Progress blog highlights a new Stand Up! Chicago report which found:
Decades of research have demonstrated that there is a statistically significant link between low wages, income inequality and crime. Researchers have found that the majority of increases in violent crime can be explained by downward wage trends, and The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that a twenty percent drop in wages leads to a 12 to 18 percent increase in youth crime. Other analysis shows that a 1 percent point increase in the Gini index (a measure of wealth inequality) produces, on average, a 3.6 percent increase in the homicide rates for a population.[...]
Much of Chicago’s poverty crisis is attributable to the problem of low wages and unemployment. According to a recent report by Women Employed and Action Now, the number of low-wage workers in Chicago, defined as those making $12 per hour or less, increased by nearly 30 percent over the last decade.
Think Progress comments:
It may be possible to help reduce gun violence in Chicago — a city that saw over 500 homicides last year — in one simple step: Raising the minimum wage.
What a great idea! And since raising the minimum wage never increases unemployment, at least according to Obama’s chief economist Alan Krueger, Chicago’s residents can all just vote themselves rich.
Crime wave and poverty both solved with one minimum wage hike. Hop on it Godfather!