Letter to the Editor

Posted on June 08, 2009

Dear Editor: A job at the previous rate is better than none. Brian Moran fails to acknowledge the unintended–but very real–consequences of automatically indexing the minimum wage (‘Moran Makes Last Minute Campaign Pitch In
Leesburg,’ June 3).

Putting minimum wage increases on auto-pilot, without any mechanism for stopping the increases during a recession, is an extremely misguided policy that is yielding disastrous results for vulnerable employees in states that index their wage rates.

Decades of economic research predicted that there would be an increase in job losses following minimum wage hikes, particularly among vulnerable groups like minority teens and adults without a high school diploma. This job loss is only exacerbated in a weak economy.

When wage rates are artificially increased, employers who are seeing demand for their products and services dropping dramatically are forced to cut employees hours and eliminate some jobs entirely in order to stomach automatic wage hikes that take place regardless of the economic climate.

The unintended consequence of reckless, auto-pilot minimum wage hikes is job loss for the least skilled workers at a time when they need help the most.

Brian Moran should recognize this and keep his focus on job creation and job retention.