It sounds simple: Raise the minimum wage, reward hard work, and strike a blow against society's inequalities. It's an emotional argument that blurs the truth and makes people forget one important economic lesson: There's no such thing as a free lunch.
UNFORTUNATELY, PASSAGE OF PROPOSITION 210 WILL PUT PEOPLE OUT OF WORK AND ONTO WELFARE.
The likely federal increase in the minimum wage will hurt California small businesses, but Proposition 210 will add even MORE costs onto businesses, put MORE people out of work, and increase consumer prices EVEN MORE. Fortunately, there IS something you can do about Proposition 210.
The vast majority of the 22,000 members of the American Economic Association agree that increasing the minimum wage WILL INCREASE UNEMPLOYMENT among young, unskilled workers. This 35% hike in the minimum wage paid by businesses will be one of the biggest increases in California history. And, it will hit just when the state is recovering from a long recession.
PROPOSITION 210 WILL MEAN LAYOFFS, REDUCED HOURS AND LOST OPPORTUNITIES. Studies show minimum wage increases make it harder for people to get off welfare by making it tougher for low-skilled workers to get jobs. With more unemployed, more people will need taxpayer assistance and crime will increase.
There are better ways to help the working poor, but they're less politically attractive to the labor unions and politicians who are paying for Proposition 210.
Vote ''NO" on Proposition 210.
PROFESSOR WILLIAM R. ALLEN
Former President, Western Economic Association
PROFESSOR MICHAEL DARBY
Former Undersecretary for Economic Affairs,
United States Department of Commerce