Resolution in Opposition to any Increase in the Starting (Minimum) Wage
WHEREAS, increasing the starting wage results in higher costs for business owners, which leads to higher prices for consumers; and
WHEREAS, increases in prices has an adverse impact on everyone, especially those on limited budgets, while an increase in the starting wage only temporarily benefits a few; and
WHEREAS, over three-fourths of all economists agree that increasing the starting wage leads to a reduction in job opportunities; and
WHEREAS, starting wage jobs provide millions of teenagers and others the value of a work ethic, how to work as a team, how to show up on time, dress for a job and more, without the need of a government grant or subsidy; and
WHEREAS, 60 percent of current restaurant managers and owners got their start in entry-level restaurant jobs, washing dishes, busing tables, and waiting on customers; and
WHEREAS, a majority of starting wage workers are secondary workers in moderate or middle income families, or primary workers in families with other significant sources of income; and
WHEREAS, 70 percent of starting wage workers are in families well above the poverty level, with nearly 40 percent in families in the top half of the income distribution; and
WHEREAS, less than 6.5 percent of starting wage workers are single parents, male or female, and only about half of these single parents work full time; and
WHEREAS, even the Association of Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN), a prime supporter of raising the starting wage, has recognized that starting wages have a negative affect on employment opportunities, as evidenced by its lawsuit against the State of California which alleges the state’s starting wage is unconstitutional because it limits the number of activists the organization is able to employ; and
WHEREAS, the most vulnerable to job losses include unskilled, inner-city minorities, who most need the opportunity to develop skills; and
WHEREAS, studies show that increasing the starting wage has no impact on pulling people out of poverty, since only 9.2 percent of poor people of working age are employed full-time, while 60 percent do not work at all; and
WHEREAS, employers use starting wage jobs to provide millions of Americans with real on-the-job training which employees need to move on to higher wages and develop better skills and more responsibilities; and
WHEREAS, starting wage employment is largely tied to work experience, with more than 26 percent of teenagers aged 16-17 working at the starting wage, while less than 8/10ths of one percent of persons 40 or over earn the starting wage; and
WHEREAS, when people are hired at the starting wage, they usually lack skills and knowledge, but as they acquire skills and knowledge, their wages go up — thus, studies show that 63 percent of workers at the starting wage will earn higher wages within 12 months, with the median raise being 20 percent; and
WHEREAS, studies show that increasing starting wages lures high school students into the full-time work force, resulting in an increase in high school drop-out rates; and
WHEREAS, many people statistically categorized as starting wage workers, actually make much more than the starting wage when tips are taken into consideration — in fact, 63 percent of all restaurant employees earning the starting wage also earn tips; and
WHEREAS, increasing the starting wage represents an unfunded mandate on business by the government, and disproportionately makes it difficult for small business — the engine of job creation — to hire new employees; and
WHEREAS, individual states that seek to approve mandated increases in the starting wage run the risk of losing their ability to economically compete with neighboring states, and;
WHEREAS, the forces of supply and demand are more than capable of determining wage levels, taking into consideration regional differences, such as the cost of living and available workforce;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the State/Commonwealth of (insert state) affirms the principle that increasing the starting wage is counterproductive, because it mainly helps middle class families and adversely affects the working poor by increasing their expenses, while decreasing their opportunities;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that increasing the starting wage makes it more difficult for employers to bring teenagers, entry-level workers, and others who need job experience, into the workforce, where they can gain skills, training and confidence.
Approved by ALEC Board of Directors on January 1996.
Reapproved by ALEC Board of Directors on January 28, 2013.
Reapproved by ALEC Board of Directors on November 16, 2017.