When I read the Providence Journal headline, “Rhode Island lawmakers propose $10.50 minimum wage,” I can’t help but wonder: Propose to whom?
A group of Rhode Island state lawmakers has proposed raising the state’s hourly minimum wage by 90 cents this summer.
The bill introduced Wednesday proposes increasing the minimum wage to $10.50 on July 1. The current $9.60 minimum took effect a year ago.
The answer, obviously, is that some legislators are proposing it to other legislators, who are no more the business owners who will be forced to foot the bill than are those doing the proposing. This is an insular, disconnected group debating whether to claim a political reward for spending somebody else’s money.
Rhode Island legislators are the only group in the state empowered to promise people a nearly 10% increase in pay without having to come up with the money, or even to worry whether people lose their jobs over it. They’re thieves, plain and simple.