Sens. Alison Clarkson and Michael Sirotkin have proposed a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour, but a recent committee discussion shows they may have their sights set on something much higher.
As increasing numbers of Vermonters and their legislators learn of the harmful effects that the minimum wage will gave on Vermont’s economy, some legislators will still cast their vote in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Why?
The gears of the state economy were under a microscope late last week as lawmakers held hearings on a proposed increase in Vermont’s minimum wage from $10.50 to $15.00 per hour.
As the union-backed “Fight for $15” movement has sought to enact mandatory minimum-wage increases in states and localities across the country, tax reform seems to have spurred wage growth using a different approach.
The California study concludes that, “In these industries [food services and retail trade], we project 10.7 and 9.5 percent of jobs will be eliminated as a result of a $15 minimum.” Tell us again how a $15 minimum wage is supposed to help low-wage Vermonters?
It is apparent that one of the priority bills in the new year will be to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce has joined many other pro-business groups to oppose this recommendation.
Is this really a policy we want to embrace? The warm fuzzy feeling advocates will get if this passes won’t last much longer than the celebratory press conference.
We can add a possible tax increase to the list of reasons not to adopt a $15 minimum wage.
While Suter claims that past research shows “little negative impact on employment or hours,” Vermont’s Joint Fiscal Office estimates that Vermont’s economy will have 2,830 fewer jobs by 2028 if Vermont enacts a $15 minimum wage.
Though it’s nice to think that parents with less hours to work — or no hours to work — would use the opportunity to spend more quality time with their kids, it is more likely that the resulting underemployment and unemployment a minimum wage hike would usher in would hurt rather than help Vermont children.
In a classic case of good intentions paving the way to hell, it appears that minimum wage increases might be bad for your health.