CNN's Velshi: 'We've been underpaying minimum wage earners for too long'

     CNN business reporter Ali Velshi has picked up where he left off, beating the drum for hikes in the minimum wage. This time his cheerleading was even more blatant.


     “[T]here is unmitigated good news,” Velshi said on the July 24 “American Morning.” “There are lots of sides to the story. There is no question about that, but it's good news. We've been underpaying minimum wage earners for too long.”


     Earlier this year, Velshi attempted to make the case that the minimum wage was unfair, but couldn’t do the basic math to prove his point. “[T]he bottom line is it’s simply not fair that there has been a federal minimum wage of $5.15 an hour or about $900 a week,” Velshi said on the Jan. 2 “American Morning.”


     Velshi was more than a little off as the Business & Media Institute pointed out on Jan. 2. “His math was way off – $5.15 an hour comes to $206 per week,” wrote BMI. “Velshi probably meant that a minimum wage earner would pull down close to $900 a month, given a 40-hour work week. Pay at $900 a week translates to $46,800 a year, a few hundred dollars more than the U.S. median income in 2005.”


     But this time, Velshi was right with the math and left with his politics. “The bottom line is you can't underpay people,” Velshi said on the July 24 “American Morning.” “And we've been underpaying people. At $5—5.15 an hour – I've done the math on this, it's $900 a month. Try and live on that.”


     Velshi conceded this could hurt small business, but failed to point out the potential immediate impact in his report of this minimum wage hike.

     Marc Freedman, director of labor law policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told USA Today “the higher federal minimum wage could mean fewer hours for employees, fewer pay increases for other employees, benefits reductions, job losses and waning job creation.”

     “In particular, in the small-business sector where companies have restricted cash flow, any time you have to arbitrarily increase labor costs, they have to cover the costs in some ways,” Freedman said in the July 24 USA Today. “They have to pay more and get nothing out of it.”