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It’s Baaaaack – Minimum Wage Campaign Rises From the Dead

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Government-Imposed Minimum Wage Increases Don’t Work for Oregon Small Businesses

Steve Buckstein, Cascade Policy Institute

The concept that everyone should earn at least some government-mandated minimum wage is politically very appealing. It’s almost the classic example of taking from the few and giving to the many. “The few” in this case are portrayed as rich businessmen who could never spend all the money they have, so what’s wrong with making them pay their workers a little more? Now, proponents of raising Oregon’s minimum wage are trying to convince us that somehow such policy is actually good for small business owners…

Let’s just hope that if another bump in Oregon’s minimum wage results in some workers losing their jobs and others not getting hired in the first place that they place the blame for their troubles where it belongs―not on employers, but on those who promised them higher wages but couldn’t deliver because economic reality stood in the way.

We Respond & Your Comments

They’re back – Democrats are again campaigning to raise the Oregon minimum wage from $9.25/hour to somewhere between $10.25 and $15.00.

We’ve shared with you why this is a bad idea. By way of review, here are some of the reasons:

  • Businesses facing increased labor costs typically respond by a combination of reducing labor, increasing prices, or decreasing the quantity or quality of their products;
  • Increasing labor costs incentivizes businesses to replace labor with technology. At about 800 Olive Garden restaurants you’ll soon order and pay for your spaghetti on computer tablets at the table – tablets that don’t earn anything, call in sick or take days off;
  • Many union contracts are tied to the minimum wage. Raise that and you raise lots of union salaries;
  • Low wage workers don’t necessarily come from low income families. A recent study shows that if you raise the minimum wage to $15/hr. only 12% of the benefits will go to poor families. 36% will go to families earning more than 3 times the poverty line.

These are just a few of the reasons that raising the minimum wage is bad for Oregonians. Please click the link above and discover even more.


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