On January 1st, the Massachusetts pay floor (minimum wage) incurred its third consecutive increase to $11, from $10 in 2016. While some labor unions and far left progressive organizations praise the increase as a right step towards a living wage, many representing the business community, including the Associated Industries of America (AIM), worry that this will ultimately hurt the same employees it’s supposed to help as companies are forced to lay off workers to make up for paying the higher minimum wage. The state's minimum wage is highest of all the 50 states.
Despite Massachusetts already being the highest state, organized labor groups are pushing to increase the minimum wage to $15 because union contracts are based on the minimum wage. According to AIM and the Employment Policy Institute, a $15 minimum wage would drive up the compensation costs for three quarters of state employers. The effects of this would be severe. Organized labor groups claim that a $15 minimum wage would grow the state economy, since workers making minimum wage utilize local services. However, the sheer cost to employers would result in reduced hours and lay-offs, passing along higher costs to consumers, or even leaving the state altogether which would lead to a weaker economy in the long run. In other words, as Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby wrote, the minimum wage laws are filled with good intentions, but "Bad Results."
Retail consumers are seeing a growing trend in fast food restaurants as more and more are implementing kiosks to take orders and eventually replace minimum wage jobs. Additionally, Massachusetts is only one of a few states that requires some employers to pay time and a half on Sundays, raising the minimum wage would have a devastating impact to those businesses, jobs and employs if further arbitrary increases went into effect.
The New York Times editorial page once described the minimum wage as "old, honorable and fundamentally flawed," those words are still true. Countless national studies lead to the same conclusion, increasing the minimum wage results in less jobs for those that need it the most. Our website provides several studies on the minimum wage.
We wanted to share with you some media clips and pictures from yesterday’s hearing on the lawsuit being brought forward by companies owned by Rick Green and Mike Kane to close the union loophole in state campaign finance law. The loophole allows unions to donate up to $15,000 directly to candidates, while individuals are limited to $1,000 and businesses are prohibited.
We were at the hearing and the lawyer from the Attorney General’s office essentially made the case for the corporate ban because according to his logic, corporations by their mission of capital accumulation are inherently corruptible. We will keep you updated on the lawsuit's progress.
For a recap of yesterday's hearing, click the links below:
WGBH's Greater Boston - Campaign Finance
On Wednesday, December 7, hearings began at Suffolk Superior Court in the lawsuit filed by businesses owned by MassFiscal board members Rick Green and Mike Kane to close the so-called union loophole in Massachusetts campaign finance law. The loophole bans political contributions from businesses while allowing unions to contribute up to $15,000 to a single candidate. Unions, under current law, may also contribute via Political Action Committees, while PACs supported by businesses are prohibited. Individuals are permitted to donate up to $1,000 to a single candidate. Massachusetts is one of only six states with campaign finance laws that advantage unions.