Re: “Minimum wage decision runs counter to improving state’s economy” (Richard S. Davis column, 10-20).
Davis’ rant against Washington’s minimum wage indicates a mindset typical of cheap-labor conservatives: Why does the average worker insist on being paid a decent salary?
As of October 2010, Washington unemployment is 8.9 percent, while the national average 9.6 percent – which means Davis is incorrect that a minimum wage contributes to unemployment, even with a recession.
And as for his alleged economic research (which lists no sources) that minimum wage hikes reduce employment, a New York Times story by Jim Egan (1-11-07) demolishes this falsehood. When Egan compared wages along the border between Washington and Idaho 10 years after I-688, the economic calamity predicted by Washington businesses did not happen.
Professor David Holland confirmed this in a 2006 Washington State University study: “Minimum wage increases are absorbed by the Washington economy with very little overall damage . . . on balance such increases are beneficial to minimum wage workers.”
But I guess that’s the point. By Davis’ logic, anything that benefits workers is bad.