Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Mayor Fisher to Veto Minimum Wage Hike
Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher announced last night that he will veto the Metro Council ordinance that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10.
Fisher said that he supports a minimum wage hike on a state-wide and national basis. The problem with just raising the minimum wage in Jefferson County, he explained, is that it would drive jobs to nearby counties.
That's the same point I made in my Courier-Journal column a few months ago. I have to commend Fisher for his courage in taking this position, for which he took tremendous heat on Twitter immediately upon announcing it. For a Democrat, Fisher has been relatively pro-business.
Where Fisher gets it wrong is that a state-wide minimum wage hike takes the same problem and just magnifies it; jobs would flow to states surrounding Kentucky that have not raised their minimum wage. A national minimum wage increase, according to the CBO could cost America between 600,000 to one million jobs.
My youngest son, reading the rants against Fisher on Twitter, observed to me that the market is already pricing labor above the current minimum wage. That's why he earned $9 and hour for flipping burgers.
The minimum wage is a terrible policy that hurts those it is designed to help: the poor and unskilled, particularly young minorities. Instead of increasing the minimum wage, it would be better to repeal it altogether.