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Minimum jobs: Chopping down the economic ladder

EDITORIAL
September 18. 2018 8:01PM




Liberal groups that want to double the minimum wage gathered at the State House in Concord this week to protest against the laws of economics.

“Fight for $15” has changed its name to “Raise Up NH” but is still relying on the same bad math.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and liberals have been pushing for years for New Hampshire to establish a higher minimum, much like our neighboring states. Doing so would hurt the people on the low end of the wage scale rather than helping them.

The price of labor, like everything else in the economy, is subject to supply and demand. Mandating higher hourly wages drives down demand and eliminates entry-level jobs. Companies could increase prices, but competitive businesses are forced to cut hours, make do with fewer employees, and rely more on automation.

Speakers at the State House rally wandered a bit off topic, complaining about disrespect for people using food stamps. But chopping off the lower rungs on the economic ladder make it that much harder for the working poor to climb out of dependency. Minimum wage laws provide a few more dollars for some low-wage workers, and unemployment for others.

Ultimately, “Raise Up NH” is a political group, hoping to motivate voters to support liberal candidates in November. Voters who want to help low-wage workers should support policies that work, rather than economically-illiterate good intentions.


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