5 Other States to Consider Raising their Minimum Wage

By Gloria Taylor

This spring, California and New York made history as their respective governors signed into law sweeping minimum wage hikes that give both states a number of years to adopt the highest minimum wage in the country. This unprecedented hike in wages not only sets up the states for serious economic consequences, but has also sets the stage for other states to follow their lead.

This November, five other states, Arizona, Colorado, Maine, South Dakota, and Washington, will all consider various minimum wage proposals on their ballots.

As the election draws nearer and the debate heats up, the same old arguments to increase the minimum wage have resurfaced. Politicians point to the minimum wage as a silver bullet to lift people out of poverty and provide a real “living wage.” But only four percent of minimum wage workers are single parents, half are between sixteen and twenty-four years old and two-thirds of these employees are part-time.

The minimum wage is not meant to provide a living wage. Instead these jobs provide the first opportunity for low-skilled workers to gain experience, move up the ladder of economic mobility and eventually see meaningful income growth. By artificially raising wages, politicians cripple a worker’s ability to enter the job market. Businesses will likely respond by cutting jobs, raising prices, replacing workers with machines, or relocating. All of which disadvantage the low-skilled workers this policy is trying to protect.

If implemented at the federal level, a fifteen dollar minimum wage stands to eliminate seven million jobs from our already sluggish economy. States must carefully consider the negative consequences such an increase would bring despite the catchy slogans and political pressure from the left.

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