Home » Opinion » Editorials
Want to hurt workers? Raise the minimum wage
In the last session, legislators repealed New Hampshire's minimum wage law, defaulting to the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. As expected, Democratic members of the House are pushing to reestablish the state minimum at $8 an hour and raise it every two years.
Rep. Timothy Horrigan, D-Durham, a sponsor of that bill (House Bill 127), said, "I think wages in general are too low for working people. We seem to have accepted in the private sector that people doing the actual work, people at the bottom of the ladder, people out in the field, haven't had a pay raise for years. We sort of accept that as a fact of life, and now it's being used against public workers who have been attacked for having the audacity to ask for a pay raise."
This is an extraordinary comment. Horrigan admits that the goal of his bill really is to raise pay for public employees.
What about the private sector? HB 127 would hurt low-wage workers, not help them. Economists David Neumark and William Wascher found in their 2006 National Bureau of Economic Research review of more than 100 minimum wage studies that "the oft-stated assertion that recent research fails to support the traditional view that the minimum wage reduces the employment of low-wage workers is clearly incorrect.... In addition, among the papers we view as providing the most credible evidence, almost all point to negative employment effects, both for the United States as well as for many other countries."
They also found that "the studies that focus on the least-skilled groups provide relatively overwhelming evidence of stronger disemployment effects for these groups." That is, raising the minimum wage causes even more of the lowest-skilled people not to be hired.
If New Hampshire legislators want to hurt low-skilled workers, they will hardly find a quicker and more effective method than raising the minimum wage.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Cases against Keene 'Robin Hooders' dismissed by judge - 10
- Charitable organizations raise money, and lift spirits with Christmas tree sales - 0
- Holiday edition reminder to our readers - 1
- 600 gather for New Horizons soup kitchen, shelter fundraiser - 0
- Conn. school shooting probe ends with gunman's motives unknown - 43
- Railway company proposing Montreal to Portland service through northern NH - 19
- Exeter theater group suspends campaign to save Ioka - 0
- Stained-glass windows get new look at Tucker Free Library in Henniker - 0
- State Supreme Court overturns termination of father’s parental rights - 8
READER COMMENTS: 1
- UNH unveils new 'shield' logo - 21
- 'Unprepared' Canadian hikers rescued from Mt. Washington - 0
- Vemont pair killed, Sunapee man hurt in crash on I-89 in Lebanon - 0
- Napoli returns to Boston with two-year deal - 0
- Celtics come up big against Nuggets - 0
- Johnson honored for sixth NASCAR title - 0
- Kilpatrick leads UNH women past Dartmouth - 0
- UNH, Dartmouth football players named All-New England - 0
- Manchester Monarchs beat Portland Pirates in shootout - 0
Word of Abby's letter spurs tips of no use
UNH unveils new 'shield' logo
UPDATE: 2 dead in I-89 crash in Lebanon, highway northbound restricted to one lane as of 8:20 p.m.
Wildcats defeat Maine to advance
UNH unveils new 'shield' logo
Reams threatens to sue county commissioners
Dover police arrest 3 on drug charges
UNH lecturers seek to unionize