Latin for “it does not follow,” the non sequitur is a common logical fallacy. The statement itself may be true or false, but the conclusion it purports to support, doesn’t actually follow from the statement.
An example of this would be:
- Humans are mammals
- Dogs are mammals
- Therefore, humans are dogs
An example of a non sequitur in political debate is as follows:
- The federal government might raise the minimum wage
- Only X amount of people even make the minimum wage
- Therefore, only X amount of people would benefit from a minimum wage increase
The first two parts are indeed true, but the conclusion is false. As of March 8, 2014, the federal minimum wage is $7.25/hour and it may be raised to $10/hour. So in fact, anyone making anything below $10.00/hour ($7.50, $8.00, $8.50, etc) would benefit from the increase. And in fact, at the time of this writing, about 1/4 of private sector US workers make less than $10/hour*
* On the subject of non sequiturs, it should not be assumed that 1/4 of the workforce would necessarily benefit from a minimum wage increase to $10/hour, since some workers can legally receive below the minimum wage. On the other hand, raising the minimum wage also has a ripple effect, which leads to an increase in pay for employee who make above the minimum wage employers for slightly more skilled employees.