Monday, January 10, 2005

New Jersey Governor: Raise Minimum Wage.

Last month, we congratulated New York on its decision to raise the minimum wage within the state above the federal minimum. Now its officially becoming a trend. Acting Democratic Governor of New Jersey Richard Codey is proposing to raise the minimum wage within that state.

With the Federal government asleep at the wheel, its good to see the states getting involved. (Yay federalism for once.)

I wonder when all of those Christian-controlled state governments in the South are going to act on this crucial moral issue?

No Southern state has raised its minimum wage higher than the federal minimum, even though a significant number of states overall have done so.

Is all of this just South bashing? No, as a native Southerner, I know that Christian politicians in the South believe in treating well "the least of these." They just have to start voting consistently with that principle.


At 4:30 PM, Blogger DLW said...

The real value of the minimum wage is usually quite a bit higher in southern states than in other states, due to cost of living differences.

I think you should also be advocating that the states that raise their minimum wage also phase it in across districts with and randomly select which districts will receive the minimum wage increase.

That will allow for better policy verification as to the the effectiveness of the minimum wage change for poverty-reduction and other effects. It will be a superior form of evaluation than the across state comparisons that have been done in the past.

See the work by David Neumark and William Wascher for solid evaluation of the impact of raising the minimum wage.


At 5:06 PM, Blogger jj said...


I would just like Christian politicians to start giving a flip about the issue at all. Once we push this issue into the mainstream, then we can worry about the policy specifics. Low wages are a problem in this country. Let's decide to do something about it. Macro first, micro second.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger DLW said...

I think that the measures need to be grafted onto the activism from the beginning as a means to show that minimum wages are effective anti-poverty instruments.

There are other instruments that can be used to fight lower wages.


At 8:26 AM, Blogger jj said...

I'm also in favor of a federal wage subsidy. I.e., everyone gets paid a minimum wage PLUS a little from the government (50 cents, $1) per hour. This would raise wages while at the same time not driving more American jobs overseas due to the expense of labor. The combination of the subsidy with the minimum wage would prevent employers from capturing the benefit of the wage subsidy by just lowering what they pay.


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