Bob Menendez And The Minimum Wage
Put aside the negative impact an increase in the minimum wage would have on employment and ask Menendez this question. How would his position on the minimum wage help the people of New Jersey? If Menendez answered the question truthfully he would have to say that it wouldn’t help anyone in our state. The current minimum in New Jersey is $6.15 and on Oct. 1 2006, before the election, it will be $7.15.
So why would Menendez tout a position that not only won’t amount to an increase for New Jersey’s workers, but dictates economic policy to other states? As Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker has said, "Hike the minimum wage, and you put people out of work” and 90 percent of economist agree that a higher minimum wage reduces jobs for low-skilled workers.
Cornell economists Richard V. Burkhauser and Joseph J. Sabia, in a 2004 study, estimated that just a 10 percent hike in the federal minimum wage would cause an 8.5 percent decrease in the employment of young African-Americans, a 5.7 percent decrease in the employment of teenagers and an 8.5 percent drop in the employment of workers without a high school diploma.
So again, ask yourself why is Bob Menendez running on a promise to increase the federal minimum wage? It won’t boost income for New Jersey’s workers and it will cost job opportunities for the most vulnerable in other states. The obvious answer is because Menendez thinks it sounds good in TV commercials and during debates. In other words, he’s trying to pull the wool over your eyes.