The Louisiana Senate has just declared war on poor people, but it won’t be reported as such. The Louisiana Senate is set to consider a minimum wage increase. Such a minimum wage increase would actually cost jobs in the state.
A state minimum wage of $8 would be established on Jan. 1 and then increased to $8.50 in 2019 under legislation that was passed to the Senate floor today.
Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, said his Senate Bill 153 would not only replace the federal minimum wage, but also send a supportive message to workers in Louisiana. “We feel your pain,” Carter said, relaying that message, “and we want to help.”
In the face of opposition from the business lobby and conservative lawmakers, the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee voted 4-2 to advance the proposal. Sen. Barrow Peacock, R-Shreveport, voiced concerns about Louisiana creating a minimum wage that outstrips the federal rate when neighboring states are choosing not to do so. That could create an unfair advantage for those states, he added. “Let Louisiana compete,” Peacock urged his colleagues.
Jim Patterson, the vice president of government relations at the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, suggested that companies, in response to such a mandate, would mitigate the additional costs by restructuring staffs and possibly passing on the related expenses to consumers. “You’d be better served coming up with ways to help individuals find their way into higher employment,” Patterson told the committee.
A minimum wage increase is one of those things that sounds good, but once you actually do more research on it, it’s a terrible idea. The wage increase would increase costs on businesses. On top of this wage increase, business is set to get whacked by higher taxes from the state. These increased costs would give businesses an incentive to leave the state and head to Louisiana’s neighbors.
I’ll close with this video from the Foundation for Economic Education about the minimum wage.