Roper: The $15 minimum wage will be bad for young families

By Rob Roper

Gubernatorial candidate Christine Hallquist and Democratic leaders promised to revive and, if they win the additional seats they need in the House and Senate this November, pass the legislation for a $15 minimum that was vetoed by Gov. Phil Scott this spring.

Rob Roper

Rob Roper is the president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

In a recent post I pointed out how a $15 minimum wage would cause serious financial pain for senior citizens living on fixed incomes. But a $15 minimum wage would also cause financial problems for families with young children in childcare via a wicked one-two punch.

RELATED: AARP, other senior citizen groups silent on minimum wage despite impact on retirees

As we know, child care in Vermont is extremely expensive and, in some places, hard to find at all. Artificially raising the wages of childcare workers as much as 40 percent will cause that already prohibitive price to skyrocket, making the cost crisis worse. And, in cases where childcare businesses cannot recoup the costs of those higher wages through higher prices, they will go out of business, making the childcare availability situation worse. Even the child advocacy group Let’s Grow Kids warned that the wage increase “might even exacerbate the [childcare] situation.”

That’s the first punch. The second has to do with the “benefits cliff.”

A minimum wage increase is supposed to help the most vulnerable workers, but parents who currently earn minimum or low wage salaries stand to lose more in benefits then they might gain in wage increases under this new law. The Joint Fiscal Office calculated that a couple working full time in minimum wage jobs with one school-aged child would see an annual income increase by $1,155 in the first year of proposed minimum wage increases, but they would lose $1,334 in benefits.

So, the overall impact of the $15 minimum wage on the young parents would be that they will be left with fewer resources to pay for a more expensive service that is at the same time harder to find. “Brilliant!” as the beer ad says.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Public domain and Rob Roper

2 thoughts on “Roper: The $15 minimum wage will be bad for young families

  1. Let natural selection work.I mean,why would people that are only capable of minimum wage jobs even have children? You breed 2 of these dim bulbs and guess what? That’s right,an even dimmer bulb as an offspring.
    This is totally counter to what we witness in our natural world.The best get to breed and pass on their traits.We on the other hand seem to be propping up the least of our kind.What does that say for the future of humanity?

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