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Sunday, April 09, 2006

"Populism in pursuit of power preservation"

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Colin McNickle has a few thoughts on the House's passage of the minimum wage bill last week. Here's an excerpt from today's commentary, "Stop supporting fake Republicans":

Just last week, the GOP-controlled House voted 146-50 to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $6.25 on July 1 and $7.15 in 2007. Never mind the grave damage this will cause a commonwealth economy that these pseudo-conservatives rant and rave about and say they are dedicated to bolstering.

Who says? Try the economists at the Federal Reserve, Duke and Cornell universities and the University of Connecticut. Artificial wage floors set by government fiat -- not the marketplace -- displace previously employed low-income workers with teenagers from higher-income families, the folks at Duke concluded.

A 10 percent minimum wage increase results in employment reductions of up to 3 percent, the Fed says. And for black teenagers and young adults, that same 10 percent wage floor hike reduces employment by nearly 9 percent, the Cornell-Connecticut study found.

And House Republicans pass a nearly 39 percent increase in the minimum wage?

It's not sound economics. It's not conservative. But it is populism in pursuit of power preservation. And as per usual, they won't pay for the mess it creates; taxpayers will.

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