Conservatives joke that liberals just. Don’t. Get. Economics.
We joke, at times, that at some point a liberal is going to push for a “living wage” statute calling for a $100/hour minimum wage as a means to end poverty, followed by a bill barring any layoffs and banning bankruptcy.
It’s a joke. Some liberals shake their heads and go “yeah, yeah, we’re not nuts”.
And then something comes a long to prove that they really, really are that dissociative.
Rep. Ryan Winkler (D St. Louis Park), also known as “The Eddie Haskell of the House” – is introducing a “Kill All” amendment to House File 92 that bars businesses from laying off workers, cutting hours or benefits due to minimum wage increases.
I’m going to write that again, just to let it sink in.
Winkler’s bill would make it illegal for businesses to lay off workers, cut hours or benefits due to minimum wage increases.
No, I’m really not making it up; I’ve added emphasis to the original:
(c) Notwithstanding paragraph (b), during the first 90 consecutive days of employment, an employer may pay an employee under the age of 20 years a wage of :
(1) $6.07 per hour beginning August 1, 2013;
(2) $7.24 per hour beginning August 1, 2014;
(3) $8.41 per hour beginning August 1, 2015; and
(4) the rate established under paragraph (d) beginning January 1, 2016.
2.11 No employer may take any action to displace an employee, including a partial displacement through a reduction in hours, wages, or employment benefits, in order to hire an employee at the wage authorized in this paragraph.
(UPDATE: Commenter Master Of None points out, the above section refers to a training wage – a wage that employers may pay for up to 90 days – and says it’s not quite as dire as I’d made it out to be. I disagree; Winkler’s bill raises the already existing training wage, causing all the same problems that raising the minimum itself does, which negates most of the utility of a “training wage”, as well as starting some sort of enforcement mechanism to painstakingly adjudicate all disputes related to training and minimum wages. Because Minnesota businesses needed more niggling regulations)
And as the Obama Administration launches into permanent quantitative easing, Winkler wants to key the minimum wage to inflation, ensuring that no wages will ever keep up with inflation:
2.14 (d) No later than November 1 of each year, beginning in 2015, the commissioner shall determine the percentage increase in the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, United States city average, as determined by the United States Department of Labor, during the most recent 12-month period for which data is available. The minimum wage rates in paragraphs (b) and (c) are increased by the percentage calculated by the commissioner, rounded to the nearest cent. The new minimum wage rates determined under this paragraph take effect on the next January 1
In other words: Ryan Winkler wants to…:
- arbitrariliy set wages (higher than the federal minimum, no less!)
- bar business from compensating for the arbitrary change in labor costs in any way but by increasing revenues in the middle of a crap economy (which Dayton’s business service taxes and Obamacare are making worse by the day).
It’s the sort of thing any Economics 101 student knows is madness if he or she wants to get better than a “C”.
Bonus Question: Do you think Rachel Stassen-Berger, Tom Scheck, Tim Pugmire or John Cronyn will bring any of this up with Winkler or the leadership that enables him?