Minimum Wage Hike Threatens Oregon Economy
In Oregon this week, something nearly-unprecedented is happening: Democrats are beginning to admit they were wrong about something.
After rushing to pass a minimum wage hike into law in March, state Democrats are now starting to realize that by forcing Oregon employers to adhere to the highest wage floor in the United States, they may have – gasp! – made a big mistake.
“They just wanted to pass something,” said economist Eric Fruits. “They were really worried about the ’15 Now’ people sending something to the ballot, and I think they got so snakebit they would have passed anything that was called a minimum wage increase.”
Under the law, signed by Governor Kate Brown a few months ago, the state will raise the minimum wage to $12.50 in rural Oregon, to $13.50 in mid-size cities, and to $14.75 in the Portland area by 2022.
So desperate were state lawmakers to pass the legislation that they chose not to wait for Oregon economists to weigh in. Last week, though, analysts finally dropped their grim predictions on the Democrats. According to them, the wage hike will “result in approximately 40,000 fewer jobs in 2025 than would have been the case absent the legislation.”
Now Oregon lawmakers are scrambling to add a few pertinent amendments to the law in the hopes of avoiding catastrophe. They are considering a new bill that would make exemptions for workers in training and new employees who fit certain criteria. But even those mild adjustments have been met with resistance.
“I think having a sub-minimum wage, while it might sound good, could end up hurting the very people we’re trying to help,” said Diane Rosenbaum, a Democratic state senator.
Well, Diane, guess what? The minimum wage hike itself is already guaranteed to do that. You and your liberal cohorts might want to stop pandering to the labor unions and trying to impress your socialist professors and come back to reality.