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ICYMI: Guest opinion: Raising minimum wage would hurt Florida families, not help them

Oct 22, 2020 by AFP

Americans for Prosperity-Florida State Director Skylar Zander | The News-Press

The COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding shutdown threw our economy a curveball no one saw coming. While families, workers, and small businesses across the Sunshine State struggle to make ends meet, policymakers are searching for solutions that will help ease the burden.

But we ought to be wary of any solution that promises a quick fix.

On Election Day, Floridians will consider one such “solution” — Amendment 2, which would incrementally raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

In the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns, small businesses are already struggling to stay afloat.

To be sure, increasing the government-mandated minimum wage is bad for workers in any circumstances. But doing it now, at a time when money is already tight and employers have already had to cut hours or close their doors, would be doubly disastrous.

We don’t have to guess about the result of a minimum wage hike. We’ve seen it recently across the country.

One local Seattle burger joint, called Dick’s Drive-In, had to raise prices because of labor costs for the first time in its history.

Bigger businesses have also been affected.

Target raised its minimum to $15 per hour in 2017, then had to cut employees’ hours.

The best way to help workers is to grow the economy so businesses succeed, productivity increases, and employees are rewarded for those gains. Giving a few workers a raise while forcing others to work fewer hours or lose their jobs entirely is no way to achieve that.

According to a Florida State University study, it is predicted that Amendment 2 will cost Florida at least 158,00 jobs.

Those supporting Amendment 2 are well-intentioned, but their preferred method of lifting people out of poverty is doomed to fail.

To protect Florida workers, families, and small businesses, we encourage Floridians to vote no against Amendment 2 in November.

Click here to read the entire op-ed.