While many government leaders ignore the ever-increasing data against a higher minimum wage, one governor fought to save his city from a similar outcome.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced on Friday he will allow a bill to become law forcing cities to adhere to state minimum wage laws.
The bill will revert St. Louis’ $10 minimum wage law enacted in May to $7.70 an hour on August 28. The minimum wage was set to rise to $11 an hour in January according to a 2015 ordinance, and then increase with inflation. Gretiens said in a statement that he ran for governor to add more paychecks and jobs to Missouri, but that this bill would do neither.
“Politicians in St. Louis passed a bill that fails on both counts: it will kill jobs, and despite what you hear from liberals, it will take money out of people’s pockets,” Gretiens said.
“Government imposes an arbitrary wage, and small businesses either have to cut people’s hours or let them go,” the governor said, citing studies that high minimum wages hurt businesses and low-income workers.
“[Seattle] minimum wage went up, and the results are heartbreaking: the average worker in the city lost $125 a month. That’s $1,500 a year because jobs were lost and hours were cut,” Gretiens said. “Liberals say these laws help people. They don’t. They hurt them.”
Democratic Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh vetoed a $15 minimum wage bill in March, citing that after she had done “some research,” she believed “it is not appropriate at this time that I will sign this bill.”
Gretiens and Pugh are not alone in their conclusion. One economist at Point Loma Nazarene University said that San Diego’s new minimum wage had already destroyed 4,000 jobs, and the American Action Forum published research that Illinois’ $15 minimum wage bill would kill 328,000 jobs.
“Fight for $15” is a popular idea for either those who have not done their research or politicians who only care about re-election. Leaders must consult data in order to truly understand how to help their workers.