A Minimum Wage Means Different Things to Different People

By capitulating to progressive-union pressure, and despite disingenuous claims that no broad-based taxes were imposed, Ocean Staters will once again bear increased burdens to pay for new taxes and regulations, more spending, and more union giveaways. Lawmakers chose to appease, rather than resist, the progressives’ job-killing, big-spending agenda.

There’s something worth noting in a Patch article by Mike Carraggi:

A minimum wage bump will see more than $12.4 million in additional pay for Rhode Island workers in 2019. That’s according to an analysis by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, which studied all the minimum wage boosts 20 states are seeing this year.

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The article notes that 40-cents per hour is “not exactly monumental,” but what it doesn’t mention is that $12.4 million in additional pay is also $12.4 in new costs for Rhode Island businesses.  That cost isn’t distributed as widely as the benefits and will hit a much smaller number of businesses, many of which are operating with slender margins as it is.

If our society really thinks the best way to provide welfare is by putting a regulator gun to the metaphoric heads of businesses, so be it, but let’s not pretend the money comes out of nowhere.

  • Christopher C. Reed

    Amazing that these so-called analysts seem to believe there’s a cloud of free money out there just waiting to be sweated out of the greedy capitalists. They’re like devotees of a cargo cult, waiting for the big bird to drop the manna from heaven. “19,800 workers will get a pay raise”…earned or not. Makes it all sound so scientific. What a crock. Some will get a raise, some will get fired. Some duties will be transferred to management, some will be automated or outsourced, and some businesses will just close shop, laying off everybody. The aggregate wage bill will stay the same, adjusted downward for less economic activity due to the policy. It’s what the military guys call a self-licking ice cream cone.

    Organized labor was all for time-and-a-half pay for overtime. I sucked down plenty in my day. But what really happened when it was made mandatory? After all, there were plenty of guys willing to pull overtime at straight time rate. And if there weren’t? Make an offer. Time-and-a-half? Maybe. Double-time? Now you’re talking. That’s the American way, right? Let’s make a deal.* But no…so there was a population explosion of white-collar workers exempt from mandatory overtime. Suddenly there were all these ‘assistant managers’ running around in short-sleeve shirts and ties, swinging mops and such. And the ranks of the hourly were strangely capped. But “I’m alright, Jack, you can pull up the ladder now.”

    *But not if you have to compete will all those Mexican, Viet, and Guatemalan guys who pull a long face if their weekly time card doesn’t have 60 hours on it. That’s the beauty of open borders….low-bid wages for everyone…so the Pelosis can get their lawns cut for cheap.