**IN CASE YOU MISSED IT**
THE NEWS-PRESS: GUEST OPINION: RAISING MINIMUM WAGE WOULD HURT FLORIDA FAMILIES, NOT HELP THEM
Tallahassee, FL — The Fort Myers News-Press published an opinion column this week by Skylar Zander, state director of Americans for Prosperity-Florida, informing voters to be wary of Ballot Amendment 2, as it is a weak scheme that promises a quick fix for Florida’s economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While families, workers, and small businesses across the Sunshine State struggle to make ends meet, policymakers are searching for solutions that will help ease the burden.
“But we ought to be wary of any solution that promises a quick fix.
“On Election Day, Floridians will consider one such “solution” — Amendment 2, which would incrementally raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.”
Zander explains that Ballot Amendment 2 means severe consequences for workers, managers, owners and, most especially, small businesses.
“In the wake of the COVID-19 shutdowns, small businesses are already struggling to stay afloat.
“To be sure, increasing the government-mandated minimum wage is bad for workers in any circumstances. But doing it now, at a time when money is already tight and employers have already had to cut hours or close their doors, would be doubly disastrous.”
Zander references real-life case studies seen across the country and the data proving the detrimental effects of a wage hike.
“One local Seattle burger joint, called Dick’s Drive-In, had to raise prices because of labor costs for the first time in its history.
“Bigger businesses have also been affected.
“Target raised its minimum to $15 per hour in 2017, then had to cut employees’ hours.
“As one Target employee named Heather told CNN, “I got that dollar raise but I’m getting $200 less in my paycheck.”
“A Competitive Enterprise Institute study found that wage hikes come with trade-offs, which include reduced non-wage compensation, fewer job openings, reduced hours, increased automation, higher insurance co-pays, less vacation and personal time, and reduced employee discounts.”
Another concern discussed is the danger of implementing a constitutional amendment that will mandate the same minimum wage in both rural and metropolitan areas of Florida, regardless of the varied cost of living in that region.
“Another challenge for statewide increases is that most states — especially one as large and diverse as Florida — have widely varying economies for which one-size-fits-all wage mandates make no sense.
“Families and small businesses in Miami experience different costs of living than those in Marianna. Palm Coast and Port Charlotte are not the same.
“We are already seeing this happen in New York, where a similar measure to incrementally raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour has affected the Utica-Rome region much differently than New York City, where the cost of living is 30.2 percent higher.”
Zander believes that wages should be determined by the economies of scale, not by a government-mandated raise that would ultimately put hundreds of thousands out of a job.
“The best way to help workers is to grow the economy so businesses succeed, productivity increases, and employees are rewarded for those gains. Giving a few workers a raise while forcing others to work fewer hours or lose their jobs entirely is no way to achieve that.
“According to a Florida State University study, it is predicted that Amendment 2 will cost Florida at least 158,00 jobs.”
Zander explains the argument for lifting people out of poverty, though well-intentioned, is not sustainable and will ultimately fail.
“”In 1987, The New York Times editorial board wrote: “The idea of using a minimum wage to overcome poverty is old, honorable — and fundamentally flawed.”
“These words are no less true today than they were 30-plus years ago. Many things have changed since 1987, but the fundamental laws of economics have not been repealed.
“To protect Florida workers, families, and small businesses, we encourage Floridians to vote no against Amendment 2 in November.”
To read the full column, click here.
Amendment 2 Hurts You is a campaign to raise awareness for the consequences of Ballot Amendment 2 on small businesses, workers and the economy.
Learn more about how Ballot Amendment 2 will devastate Florida:
- Online at Amendment2HurtsYou.com
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Help save Florida jobs by voting no on Ballot Amendment 2 this November.
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