Minimum wage increase push just a political ploy

Monday, September 14, 2015
Chris Woodward (

The push continues for a $15 an hour minimum wage in New York, but critics maintain it would do more harm than good.

On the same day that he announced a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) told a union rally in Manhattan that he is asking the state legislature to make $15 the minimum for all workers.

"Every working man and woman in the state of New York deserves $15 an hour as a minimum wage, and we're not going to stop until we get it done," he declared.

The Associated Press reports that Cuomo faces an uphill battle, as the governor used a provision in state law that allowed him to bypass the legislature and get the minimum wage increase for fast-food workers. Meanwhile, it was just a few months ago that Cuomo pushed for a much smaller increase in the minimum wage

Whatever the case may be, critics warn that a $15 an hour minimum wage in New York City and beyond is not a good approach.


Jared Meyer with the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and Economics thinks "a $15 an hour minimum wage is a dangerous idea that's really an uncharted territory. $15 an hour would be higher than any state in the U.S. right now, and New York has a lot of low-income areas, especially in upstate New York," Meyer tells OneNewsNow. "And also, if we look on the international level, that's above what any other country has. No other country, if you adjust for minimum purchasing power parody, has a minimum wage above $11 U.S. an hour. So, we're really getting into uncharted territory, and the effect on job creation and opportunity for people could be drastic."

According to Meyer, gradual increases in the minimum wage have been shown to not lead to large job losses. The effects, he says, are actually seen in "how much the labor force turns over in kind of new job creation."

"Minimum wage increases have been shown to have a negative effect on that, whereas, for example, a business owner may decide to not hire a new teenager or a new worker or not expand as quickly instead of firing a worker that they already have," the Manhattan Institute fellow poses. "With $15 an hour, I'd say that's all out of the window, and a lot of businesses are going to have to shut down just because their models are not conducive to paying laborers $15 an hour."

As for Governor Cuomo's varying ideas in recent months on what his state's minimum wage should be, Meyer says it shows how this is all just a political ploy and not an economic move.

"They just keep increasing the number to the new political talking point, just like President Obama. He went from $9 to $10.10 to $12," Meyer recalls.


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