Op-Ed: Pennsylvanians deserve maximum wages, not harmful minimum wage mandates

Originally published in PennLive.

Last month, Gov. Tom Wolf and Democratic lawmakers held a rally to push for a minimum wage hike. Their desire to help people earn a living wage is admirable, and I share the sentiment. I want every Pennsylvania worker to make higher wages, though I disagree that a statewide minimum wage hike is the right strategy.

Like most well-meaning but misguided government decrees, a new minimum wage mandate would be a serious mistake with long-lasting repercussions. It would kill jobs, especially jobs for employees who currently earn the least, and would restrict their earnings potential for generations to come.

The Independent Fiscal Office’s most recent study concluded that a minimum wage hike to $12 per hour would cost our state economy over 34,000 jobs. Additionally, research from the University of California shows that minimum wage hikes increase poverty and exacerbate reliance on public assistance programs. It found that for every “$1 increase in the minimum wage,” poverty rates and government dependency within disadvantaged neighborhoods increased by “roughly three percent.”

While it seems counterintuitive, the very workers a minimum wage hike is meant to help will suffer because of it. This happens…

Read more at PennLive.