Amazon’s announcement that it will pay a starting wage of $15 an hour got it half right.
The retail giant's policy change is further proof that employees can earn a $15 minimum wage on their own, without a new government mandate. Other large retailers and restaurants, including Walmart and Target and McDonald's, have voluntarily raised their own pay floors.
Unfortunately, Amazon's positive news was overshadowed by an unfortunate caveat: The retailer said it would also lobby for an increase of the federal minimum wage, putting its small competitors at an even-greater disadvantage while putting entry-level jobs at risk.
Amazon has no excuse to be ignorant of these negative impacts. In the company's hometown of Seattle, a $15 minimum wage experiment has caused employees to lose $125 a month, on average, from lost work hours as a consequence of the new wage mandate.
Jeff Bezos should keep his focus on his own employees' wages, rather than advocating for new mandates on entrepreneurs who would follow in his footsteps.
— Samantha Summers, Employment Policies Institute