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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Index the Minimum Wage

It turns out that in Missouri and Montana that state referenda on minimum wages just killed us. They passed overwhelmingly and like gay marriage amendments in reverse, brought those most disinclined to vote Republican to the polls. It's time to end this by giving in.

Every time the minimum wage is on the ballot or part of a campaign, we lose. Further, while they are bad economics, relatively low minimum wages are not THAT bad. So conservatives need to push for simply getting this issue settled so it doesn't keep coming up. We should agree to a $7.50 minimum wage that automatically goes up with the CPI just like Social Security payments, or perhaps instead indexed to average wage growth. This would be like liberals agreeing to constitutional amendments against gay marriage just to keep from getting hit every time. The difference is that they really really care about eventually getting gay marriage, so they would never do this. We, on the other hand, don't (or shouldn't) care about permanently being stuck with a relatively low minimum wage. Like I said, it's bad policy, but it's not that bad.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Interesting - using referendums to get people to the polls for a pay raise.

According to the US Dept of Labor, there are 475,000 workers in the US earning the minimum wage. One half of these were under age 25. One quarter were under age 19.

So, maybe there are not all that many people who would be voting for their own salaries.

However, the real myth is that a boost in the minimum wage will increase your own wage by the same amount. I remember working in college when the minimum wage went up from $3.35 to $3.80. I was making roughly $6 per hour at the time. I remember thinking I would also get a 50 cent raise.

I didn't.

So maybe Pencil is right. Lets increase the minimum wage.

10:16 PM, November 09, 2006  

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