Teen Vogue bases entire argument on minimum wage falsehood

February 25, 2022

By Tim Worstall

If the aim of going to college is to get an education, this young activist has some further work to do:

“It’s an entry point to talk about how Georgia’s minimum wage is only $5.15 compared to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 — both of which are far too little to live on,” according to a new piece in Teen Vogue. 

The minimum wage is one of those areas where federal law entirely overrules state law. It’s possible to set a higher minimum than the feds, that is, but if it’s lower, then the federal one applies. That Georgia’s official state minimum wage is $5.15 is irrelevant, which is why no one has expended any political effort in trying to change it. 

One thing we might hope a college-educated activist might have learned is which efforts are worth making.

But, of course, this is just a lead-in at Teen Vogue to the claim that all student debt must be eradicated and now. Today’s justification is, “Now, at age 23, I owe the federal government more than $30,000 — just because I wanted to go to college.”

College has real costs. Teachers don’t work for free; buildings don’t spring unaided from the ground. Someone, somewhere, has to pay those costs. It doesn’t seem to us entirely vile that adults get to pay for their own choices. Decide to go to college by all means, but given the higher income you’ll statistically gain from having done so, it should be you carrying those costs. Rather than, say, taxation levied on those who didn’t go to college – and didn’t gain the higher income – who have to pay it for you.

Teen Vogue bills itself as “educating the influencers of tomorrow” and we’d suggest that they do a little more of that educating in their articles. The site gains some 5 million visits a month and can be said to have considerable reach among the teen audience.

 Someone, somewhere, has to pay the costs of college. Why shouldn’t it be those who benefit from having gone to college?


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