Raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour could increase the price of a hamburger by about 438 percent, Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) argued at a town hall meeting with constituents on Thursday, Think Progress reports.
The math behind Mullin's argument is a bit hazy and it's not clear from his remarks how a 38 percent increase in wages would lead to a more than 400 percent increase in prices. We reached out to Mullin's office Monday afternoon but didn't receive a response. Other economists predict a much more modest increase in fast food prices as a result of a minimum wage increase.
We do know, as Think Progress points out, that the price of a Big Mac in Australia –- where the minimum wage is $14.50 an hour –- is just 6 cents higher than in the U.S. where the average Big Mac costs $4.56.
While acknowledging that fast-food companies are profitable on the backs of low-paid workers, the New Yorker's James Surowiecki points out in a piece last week that a $10.10 minimum wage is something that "companies can easily tolerate."
There are also a number of examples of successful fast-food restaurants that pay their employees above the minimum wage, including In-N-Out Burger, which starts its workers at $10 an hour, according to CBS DFW.
Mullin's comments come a few weeks after fast food workers went on strike across the country demanding higher pay and as Congress mulls over a bill to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour from $7.25.