Friday, August 15, 2003


Curmudgeonly & Skeptical pointed me to this article about the minimum wage laws in the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Ed Tinsley, reporting in the City Journal, explains that Santa Fe:
. . . passed a law imposing an $8.50 minimum wage on all businesses in the city with 25 or more workers. The hike takes effect in 2004, with the wage rising to $10.50�more than double the national minimum�by 2008. Not only is this the highest living wage in the U.S.; it is also unrivaled in its impact on private industry, since most of the 90 or so living-wage laws nationwide apply only to firms that do business with local government.

The article describes the overwhelmingly negative impact the law has on businesses, causing them to move out of town. Astonishingly, the law also provides for criminal penalties in the event of noncompliance.
The owner of a 24-employee firm who hires a one-hour-per-day temp for 30 days without boosting everyone�s pay will now be facing�unbelievably�up to 180 years in prison and $360,000 in fines.

One has to hope that someday the average voter will realize that minimum wage laws produce unemployment and relocation of businesses.

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