Saturday, February 1, 2014

Create more jobs, then raise minimum wage

Notice how the Democrats are always talking about extending unemployment benefits and, lately, raising the minimum wage.

For their own sakes, not to mention the nation’s, they need to tap into the depth of experience in their policymaking think tanks and recognize the problems we face are more complex, demanding a broader approach.

The public is ahead of them on this one. The reliable Rasmussen poll says the nation supports the minimum wage but opposes more unemployment benefits.

While raising the minimum wage looks appealing, the timing might be off. Even conservative economist Arthur Laffer suggests this might have merit, but only at the state level, where conditions vary from place to place.  To that end, a movement has been launched to raise the minimum wage in Michigan.

It should be kept in mind that we have several problems: income growth is dismal; the job recovery is the worst in modern history; employers are dealing with an array of problems right now, not the least of which is implementation next year of the Affordable Care Act.

Businesses are already behind the curve in creating jobs. Why throw another requirement at them right now?

The Republicans are correct in their focus on job creation. We’d get further if the two parties would work together on this one. They both have good ideas if they put them forth, eschewing the sound bites in the process.

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