Minimum Wage Hike Hurts

August 14, 2014
The Arizona Republic
Joe Galli

Driving up minimum wage hurts the people it's supposed to help

Every time I turn around there's a new study out about the impacts of minimum wage on an economy.

Two months ago, minimum-wage proponents were crowing because, allegedly, a handful of states whose economy had improved in the first quarter were states that had just recently raised their minimum wage, Arizona included.

A Sunday article in The Arizona Republic said Arizona saw a 4.7percent job decrease between 2006 and 2013, years the state was increasing its minimum wage ("An elusive tipping point," AZ Economy).

The article focuses on the restaurant industry, a thin-margin, private business sector, which, rightfully so, should be concerned about increased labor costs, as should diners-out.

People like Tomas Robles Jr., executive director of Living United for Change in Arizona, argue that business owners should pay more for labor so people can meet their "basic" needs, all while his labor increases drive up the basic costs of goods and services, unfairly penalizing the very people he's arguing need help — those with low incomes.

Let's be honest. Our economy and workers would all be better off when individuals compete and are rewarded for their ability and effort, without artificial, arbitrary and punitive wage mandates.

Joe GalliScottsdale
The writer is executive director of the Market Freedom Alliance.