Attacks against Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for paying his interns “only” $12-per-hour instead of the $15-per-hour minimum wage rate he favors (see article link below) are misguided. Until every employer, including competing candidates, are subject to a $15-per-hour minimum wage rate, employers (such as Sanders) paying a higher rate would quickly find themselves at a definite competitive disadvantage if they were to unilaterally raise their workers’ pay rates above market. In other words, their labor costs would exceed those of their competitors.
The Sanders campaign’s wage rate policies for its interns are no more hypocritical than one’s being against high taxes, but still paying them. Or being against national health insurance, while partaking in it. We rarely can choose our economic environment; instead, we must adapt to it. Raising one’s voice against a policy does not require flouting the laws pertaining to that policy.
So Sanders is doing nothing unseemly by paying his interns market rate wages while, politically, pushing for higher rates. And this clearly demonstrates that even those, like Sanders, who have little knowledge about economics (how could he? he’s a socialist) still inexorably find themselves subject to its immutable laws.