Last week it was a bill requiring Wal-Mart, I mean all large employers, to subsidize health insurance for its employees. This week, the Maryland General Assembly conitinued to display its economic irrationality by voting raise the minimum wage.
The Maryland General Assembly today voted to raise the state’s minimum wage by $1 an hour, brushing aside concerns by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) that the move would hurt small businesses.
The Democratic-led Senate voted 30-17 to override Ehrlich’s veto of the legislation, which would bump the minimum wage in Maryland up to $6.15 an hour, $1 more than what is mandated by federal law. The House, also led by Democrats, voted to override Ehrlich last week.
The economic arguments against the minimum wage are as old as The Wealth of Nations and don’t need to be repeated here. It is just distressing to see nonsense like this still being touted as fact:
During debate on the measure in the House, Del. Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore) said it was “shameful” that the minimum wage has not been increased in nine years. “Anybody recall what a gas-electric bill was in 1997?”asked McIntosh (D-Baltimore), who then held up her own home heating bill, which had nearly doubled.
Del. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D-Montgomery) argued that “a full time job ought to be a bridge out of poverty. . . . For a minimum wage worker, it is not.”
No, its much better that they don’t have a job at all.
And its not just Maryland where this is happening. A minimum wage increase may be on the agenda in Richmond during the current session of the Virginia General Assembly.
Two bills with different political pedigrees before the General Assembly would gradually raise the state?s minimum wage to $8.15 per hour by mid-2008.
The federal and state minimum wage is $5.15.
As expected, the bills – one by a House Republican and the other by a Senate Democrat – are drawing strong opposition from Virginia business groups.
?I suppose there are some employers in the state that would like to pay Third World wages,? said Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr., R-Fairfax, sponsor of House Bill 539.
Callahan?s bill and Senate Bill 480, by state Sen. Charles J. Colgan, D-Prince William, would raise the state?s minimum wage to $6.15 this July, $7.15 on July 1, 2007, and $8.15 a year later. In subsequent years, the minimum wage would be adjusted annually for inflation.
That’s a Republican talking folks, a Republican. Granted, he represents increasingly left-wing Fairfax County, but still at least in Maryland the Republicans are fighting this kind of nonsense.
Update: Rob at Wizbang sums this up nicely: Maryland Democrats Levy $ 100,000,000 Tax on Businesses, Customers.