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In the last session, legislators repealed New Hampshire's minimum wage law, defaulting to the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.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: 28
- Charles Arlinghaus: Don't believe hype on Medicaid expansion - 0
- Thomas Sowell: Common sense vs. the military's pursuit of political correctness - 0
- Diana Lacey: $50 million in personnel cuts would hurt NH - 27
- Jonah Goldberg: Freedom: the unfolding revolution - 4
- Deroy Murdock: Corruption aside, the IRS has too much Obamacare authority - 8
- Thomas Sowell: There's lots of bad economic thinking in the immigration debate - 0
- Roger Simon: The slacker who came in from the cold - 3
- Charles Krauthammer: Pushing the envelope, NSA-style - 4
- George Will: Slipping the Constitution's leash - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- UPDATED: Senate mum on House proposal for special session on Medicare - 3
- NH man killed ex-wife's husband, self, Vermont police say - 0
- Recent 'Fugitive of the Week' Michelle Smith captured in Nashua - 0
- UPDATED: Senate, House negotiators mull compromise plan to narrowly align state insurance rules with 'Obamacare' - 1
- UPDATED: Apology issued for naming of Boston bomber as a victim of gun violence at Concord rally - 22
- UPDATE: Salem student receives minor injuries in bus crash - 0
- 21 in Concord wake to find their tires slashed - 0
- NH man to be tried in $13 million mortgage fraud scheme - 0
- UPDATE: Elderly Nashua couple were stabbed to death - 12
UPDATED: Apology issued for naming of Boston bomber as a victim of gun violence at Concord rally
Tax credit math: Who owns your money?
Drones and privacy: Debate just taking off