A splashy front-page article appeared in today’s’ Albuquerque Journal indicating that raising the minimum wage is going to be considered during the 2015 legislative session despite Republicans having taken over the House (and holding the Governor’s mansion).
Even if, defying basic economics, raising the minimum wage doesn’t result in job losses, raising the wage is NOT going to do anything positive for New Mexico’s economy. Republicans should be focused on policy reforms that WILL result in economic improvement. The reality, of course, is that raising the minimum wage results in lost jobs as the Congressional Budget Office pointed out earlier this year.
Polling shows that Americans support raising the minimum wage, but that support evaporates if it kills jobs:
All of this strongly points to Republicans NOT raising the minimum wage. But it could, as Rep. Varela noted, be a point of compromise. And that is where a hike in the minimum wage could be tolerable. It should be big though. Right to Work or elimination of Davis-Bacon prevailing wage laws. I can’t really think of another compromise that would make sense for Republicans to take the politically-foolhardy and economically problematic step of raising the minimum wage, but it could exist.