If anyone called Rep. Ryan Winkler's amendment to HF0092 Brezhnev-style economics, they'd be right. What's worse than Rep. Winkler's telling entrepreneurs what they have to pay their employees is this quote from Rep. Winkler:
Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, said he expects to compromise with the author of the Senate bill.
"$10.55 is a starting point, and $7.50 is a starting point. We want to make sure we get it right, so I suspect at some point that we'll be in the middle," Winkler said. "But if you look historically and if the minimum wage kept up with inflation from the 1970s, it would be $11 an hour today. So $10.55 is not outrageous. It just hasn't been there for so long."
Rep. Winkler's amendment frightens businesses. His rationalization for the minimum wage to be set at $10.55 per hour shows Rep. Winkler hasn't figured it out that regulations like this are what cause youth unemployment to spike, especially during tough economic times like we're experiencing right now.
Dictating to businesses what they have to pay their employees is meddling by anyone's definition. That isn't the most intrusive part of Rep. Winkler's amendment. This is:
No employer may take any action to displace any employee, including a partial displacement through a reduction in hours, wages, or employment benefits, in order to hire an employee at the wage authorized in this paragraph.
Rep. Winkler's amendment includes a provision that adjusts for inflation each year. That means that provision will be in effect permanently. That effectively means the government, not employers, would dictate staffing decisions.
What's most likely to happen is that employers will terminate lots of employees right before this law goes into effect. The other thing that's likely to happen is that employees' hours getting significantly cut.
The short-term effect of Rep. Winkler's amendment will be shrinking revenues to Minnesota's general fund.
Rep. Winkler is wrong if he thinks there's nothing outrageous with his legislation. Anytime the government gets into the business of telling businesses how to run their business, that's outrageous.