Posted by on March 30, 2016


Assemblyman Gary D. Finch (R,C,I-Springport) has a simple question for progressive activists agitating for a $15 an hour minimum wage who claim that such a dramatic increase will not harm upstate’s fragile economy.

How could you know that?

“This kind of increase, 67 percent, is totally unprecedented,” said Finch. “This proposed acceleration is nearly three times faster than our minimum wage increased between 2009 and 2015, when we went from $7.25 to $9.00. Even the most astute labor economist couldn’t predict all of the externalities associated with this because it is so extreme.”

Finch criticized the $15 an hour target as arbitrary and said it is rooted in public relations, not economics.

“If you look at other benchmarks that indicate affordability and economic change, like the consumer price index and Social Security cost of living adjustments, you won’t find any evidence that a dramatic increase like this is necessary,” said Finch.

“Social Security beneficiaries received no cost of living adjustment this year,” said Finch. “Even in the unlikely event they began receiving 2.5 percent cost of living adjustments each year of the governor’s proposed minimum wage phase-in, their total increase in benefits would only amount to about a 13 percent increase. Unskilled, entry-level workers would see their incomes rise by 67 percent over the same period,” said Finch.

Finch knows that business owners will be forced to increase prices to cover increased overhead expenses. He is fearful that seniors living on fixed incomes will be driven even further behind the economic curve. Some may be driven below the poverty level for the first time.

“Our retirees have worked hard, raised great kids and sacrificed to send them to college. How do Democrats thank them? With job-killing regulations and taxes that drive their kids and jobs out of state,” said Finch.

“A $15 an hour minimum wage is an extension of the failed policies that have led us to climb down the ladder of success. It is an extension of the failed policies that have made our state dead last in business climate. Instead, we need to cut taxes and reform regulations so that talented job creators and innovative entrepreneurs invest in our communities. They’re the ones who can build ladders of opportunity for the working poor to climb up into the middle class,” said Finch.

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