A DC think tank economist offered testimony on Rep. Ryan Winkler's minimum wage legislation that might've been best suited for an episode of the 1960's TV show the Twilight Zone:
Douglas Hall, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, another progressive Washington think tank, said boosting Minnesota's minimum wage would spur the state's economy and could create nearly 5,000 additional jobs by 2015. He said nearly one-fourth of Minnesota workers would benefit directly or indirectly from the increase.
Dr. Hall's testimony isn't rooted in reality. It certainly isn't based on a careful reading of Rep. Winkler's legislation. Here's the poison pill in the Winkler bill:
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.
There isn't a small business owner that supports the government, whether it's the state or federal government, micromanaging their business. Telling businesses that they can't reduce employee's hours or benefits qualifies as the government micromanaging businesses.
Though that's the most intrusive part of the legislation, that isn't the most frightening part of the legislation. This language is frightening:
(b) Except as otherwise provided in sections 177.21 to 177.35, every large employer must pay each employee wages at a rate of at least
(i) $8.35 per hour beginning August 1, 2013;
(ii) $9.45 per hour beginning August 1, 2014;
(iii) $10.55 per hour beginning August 1, 2015; and
(iv) the rate established under paragraph (d) beginning January 1, 2016;
There's another frightening part of Rep. Winkler's legislation. It's indexed to inflation starting on Jan. 1, 2016.
Rep. Winkler's legislation will hurt Minnesota businesses. It will cause unemployment to spike amongst high school and college students. There's a definite possibility that Rep. Winkler's legislation will drive companies to other states.
During the 2012 campaign, the DFL promised to focus on creating jobs. Thus far, the legislation that they've focused on are gun control, gay marriage, raising taxes (both income taxes and the sales tax) and raising the minimum wage.
Of the things they've focused on thus far, they haven't focused on anything that will create jobs yet.