Colorado Just Raised Minimum Wage; Now Look What’s Happening – by Brian Thomas
Despite having raised the minimum wage for 2017, Colorado plans to increase minimum wage again, this time to $10.20 an hour.
A constitutional requirement approved in 2016 means Colorado will have a minimum wage of $12 in a little over two years.
Fox Denver reports that the hike is controversial due to unintended consequences certain to result from it:
“I think we are going to see more and more restaurants use technology because it cuts down on costs — your computer is not going to call in sick,” said Sonia Riggs, president of the Colorado Restaurant Association.
Riggs said most restaurants don’t make much profit, and another sharp increase is resulting in potential menu increases and staff cuts.
“I think customers are going to see a combination of things, from increased prices to reduction in staff,” Riggs said.
Sonya Riggs, the president of the Colorado Restaurant Association, says that restaurants don’t have so much money to spare that they can increase their minimum wage and continue as they do.
“Customers are gonna see a combination of things,” Riggs told KDVR, “from increased prices to reduction in staff.”
Fox Denver highlighted Valeria Marquez, an Aurora mom who works a minimum wage job at Starbucks. Marquez, however, is hardly an average representative of a minimum wage worker.
According to the Heritage Foundation and Census Bureau data, “the characteristics of the teenagers and young adults who earn the minimum wage or less support the notion that these minimum-wage workers rarely work to support children and their families.”
The average family income of a minimum wage worker is $53,113 a year.
Lest we decide that so many teenagers and younger adults work minimum wage jobs that it effects the average, the Heritage Foundation also pointed out that older minimum wage workers “have an average family income of $42,500 a year.”
For some reason, wealthier suburban liberals like to think of minimum wage when they think of poverty. But they’re missing the facts.
“Two-thirds of individuals living below the poverty line did not work,” the Heritage Foundation continued, “and less than one in 10 worked full-time year-round. Families are poor not because they earn low wages but because they do not have full-time jobs. Raising the minimum wage does not address this problem.”
In other words, raising the minimum wage will make plenty of kids happy (in the short run), and it will give some extra income to supplementary household earners. But it will also result in massive layoffs, reduced hours, full-time to part-time demotions, higher menu prices, and more restaurants and retailers using technological solutions instead of workers to “staff” their businesses.
A Harvard study concluded earlier this year that the likelihood of a restaurant closing increases “4 to 10 percent” for ever dollar increase in the minimum wage.
Colorado hasn’t learned any lessons from what’s happened wherever the minimum wage has been raised significantly higher than the federal requirement.
Business there will surely suffer the same decline we’ve seen elsewhere, as will workers and customers.
Source: The Federalist Papers
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