Dear Senator Harkin:
On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I write in strong opposition to the so-called Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 (S.1737), which would gradually raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Despite its good intentions, your legislation would hurt the employment opportunities for the very people it’s trying to help.
Raising the minimum wage increases the cost of labor, meaning that businesses will hire fewer people on the margin. Those who are able to find work may face fewer hours or lower levels of benefits as employers switch from full-time employees to part-time employees. This shift has a particular impact on low-income and low-skilled workers, preventing them from developing the knowledge and skills they need to climb the economic ladder.
President Obama and his allies in Congress claim that raising the minimum wage will increase the incomes for the poorest households, but the economic evidence shows otherwise. According to a recent meta-analysis conducted by economists from University of California-Irvine and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, 85% percent of economic studies since 1990 have found that increasing the minimum wage causes businesses to shed their payrolls.
There’s wide agreement among economists from across the political spectrum that raising the minimum wage will fail to produce its desired effects. Writing in the New York Times this past March, former chairwoman of Council of Economic Advisers Christina Romer called it a “half-measure.” “[E]conomic analysis raises questions about whether a higher minimum wage will achieve better outcomes for the economy and reduce poverty,” she penned.
Americans for Prosperity strongly opposes your legislation and similar efforts to raise the minimum wage. I urge your colleagues to oppose its passage, and I look forward to working with you in the future.
Christine Harbin Hanson
Federal Affairs Manager
Americans for Prosperity