MInimum Wage Folly
The New York State Assembly is attempting to kill jobs once again in our state. Speaker Sheldon Silver is seeking to increase the state’s minimum wage to $8.50 and then link it to inflation. Though Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) has come out against this, some Republicans are still on the fence and Governor Cuomo has indicated that he is willing to compromise on this issue.
As Empire Center for NYS Policy Senior Fellow, Russell Sykes points out in his article in the New York Post, a higher minimum wage would not help the working poor and would harm the economy.
A higher minimum wage would only reduce job opportunities for the very people it is suppose to help and the general benefits of such an increase would only flow to households that aren’t poor. Speaker Silver’s thought on this increase ignores an important federal, state and city boost to low-income working households, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit.
As explained by Mr. Sykes, “the federal EITC dates to the mid-1970s; with bipartisan support, it’s been greatly expanded over time. New York State adopted its own EITC in 1994 and has raised it several times; it now provides a 30 percent add-on to the federal credit. Working families in the five boroughs also get a New York City EITC worth 5 percent of the federal one. All this provides $4.5 billion a year in wage supplements to New York workers — $3.58 billion federal and $967 million state. The EITC already addresses New York’s ostensibly inadequate wage floor by boosting the effective wages of low-income workers. Unlike the minimum wage, it does so without killing jobs and driving up the cost of hiring unskilled workers as well as wages across the board.”
As has been reported by Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s Need To Know Paper: “The Minimum Wage,” as you raise the minimum wage, employers can’t afford to hire new workers and due to the cost increase, have to lay off employees. In some cases, as the University of Wisconsin reported, employers reduce the hours of workers to offset this additional cost. This also drastically reduces the number of jobs available to younger workers, looking for their first opportunity. Ultimately, any minimum wage increase would increase unemployment, especially amongst the young.
There will be three public hearings scheduled as follows:
Monday, April 23, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.
Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building
163 W. 125th Street
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.
Common Council Chambers
233 East Washington Street
Friday, May 11, 2012 at 1:00 p.m.
City Hall, Council Chambers, 13th Floor
65 Niagara Square
Please attend and make your opposition to this legislation be heard and be sure to contact your state legislators and the Governor and tell them NO to an increase in the minimum wage!