"As long as we are not chased from our words we have nothing to fear. As long as our utterances keep their sound we have a voice. As long as our words keep their sense we have a soul." -- Edmond Jabes, from The Book of Yukel, Return to the Book

Friday, June 28, 2013

Businesses weigh in on minimum wage

A study released the other day by a business lobbying group has found that the state could lose thousands of jobs if the minimum wage is increased and indexed to inflation -- a claim wage-hike supporters say is misleading.

What the business groups who funded the study argue is that the wage hike will increase costs to businesses and that businesses, in turn, will cut back on hours and jobs.

There is a certain logic to this -- except that the studies are not conclusive on this and, despite what the business lobby says, indicate that the cutbacks rarely happen.

Part of the reason for this, supporters say, is that putting money in the pockets of low-income workers ends up putting money back into businesses, which offsets the increased cost of manpower. Again, the studies are not conclusive.

What is conclusive, it seems to me, is that it is impossible to live on the current minimum wage in New Jersey and, while a $1 an hour increase will only offer nominal help, it will add a bit more of a cushion to the income of the men and women who are working at or near the minimum wage. The issue, as I see it, is one of fairness and the economic arguments are only a side show.

Here is my story in NJ Spotlight on the study and the debate.

Send me an e-mail.


Anonymous said...

So these corporate lick spittle lap dogs to the top 1% are against raising the minimum wage from an abject poverty level to an extreme poverty level? I'm shocked, shocked I tells you. Maybe some day in the distant future, 30 or 50 or 100 years from now, and in another universe we can raise the minimum wage by a few pennies and if the US Chamber Pot of Commerce and the NJ Chamber Pot of Commerce are in a good mood.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile in Florida: "On Friday, June 14, Governor Rick Scott struck a double blow when he signed into law a bill suppressing “living wage” and paid sick-leave policies for Florida workers. While Gov. Scott’s negative opinion of government-sponsored health care and state taxes remain no secret in Florida, what’s less known is that a national group called ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is behind the effort to place this latest anti-worker bill into the governor’s hands." [snip]Florida House Bill 655 clearly borrows from an ALEC model bill, the “Living Wage Mandate Preemption Act,” which seeks to repeal or prohibit any “living wage” mandates or ordinances set by local city and town councils." That was from billmoyers.com

Anonymous said...

More from billmoyers.com: "The Florida Chamber of Commerce, Disney World and Darden Restaurants (a former ALEC member) were among the bill’s supporters. The Orlando Sentinel reported that a “host of business leaders” oppose paid sick-leave policies, saying they “would be expensive and ‘kill’ jobs.”" Amazing, isn't it, what ever chamber of commerce it is, national, state, local, they are all against a minimum wage, a living wage, paid sick leave, universal health care, Social Security, Medicare, unions, etc. These bastrad chambers of commerce are ALWAYS against anything that helps low wage workers and anything that helps the working class.