By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
You may’ve missed it with everything going on in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Save Jerseyans. That was probably part of the plan. The Trenton Democrats dropped their $15 per hour minimum wage hike game plan which will be a coordinated state and federal effort. Specifically, while Donald Norcross agitate for it in Congress, Senate President Steve Sweeney announced he’ll push for a 2017 minimum wage constitutional question to help drive Democrat turnout for his gubernatorial campaign.
That last part wasn’t verbalized but it goes without saying, right?
And like I said, folks, it’s no coincidence that this news came out in a distracted news cycle. The move won’t be as popular as some assume.
Among the dissenters is the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and its New Jersey state director, Laurie Ehlbeck.
“Law makers are playing Russian roulette with New Jersey’s economy and it is only a matter of time before their ridiculous mandates deal a final blow to the small business sector that simply cannot afford to absorb the cost of $15 an hour required for minimum wage employees,” said Ehlbeck in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. “Small businesses employ the vast majority of people in our state and forcing them to face this kind of salary increase will force them to reduce hours and worse yet, lay people off.”
She also made some important arguments that we too-infrequently hear from the loyal opposition under the Dome.
“The minimum wage was never intended to drive people out of poverty, it is used in most cases as an entry level or even training wage and for lawmakers to discuss minimum wage as if it should be substantial enough to feed a family is preposterous,” she continued. “There will certainly be an impact on employees if wages are mandated as high as $15 an hour but it will not be empowering low income families, it will be sending them to the unemployment line when their employer can no longer afford to pay them.”
Exactly! The entire premise behind additional hikes (remember: N.J. voters already tied the minimum wage to the CPI back in 2013) is 100% bunk. The minimum wage is NOT a family wage. It IS a way to guarantee minimum employment opportunities for our economically-challenged state. Minimum wage = maximum taxes. Free market economics is totally marketable if someone is willing to make the sale.
Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick left the possibility of some sort of additional minimum wage hike on the table not unlike how he refused to rule out a gas tax compromise in the run-up to Election 2015.
“The Democrats’ plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 is bad public policy if the goal is to create more jobs. Business owners already find New Jersey’s business environment to be difficult with high taxes and burdensome regulations,” he explained in his own competing statement released subsequent to Sweeney’s presser. “We should discuss raising the minimum wage, but it must be done in a measured way and understanding that we must be competitive with other states.”
Yup, it’s a guaranteed job-killer. So why on God’s green earth should we discuss any hike at all? Right?
Playing along to get along makes NO sense. None. Least of all in the new political environment if conviction alone isn’t enough to convince you.
We’re not only (1) negotiating against ourselves, but since we’re also firmly relegated to minority status at least until the next redistricting or a favorable SCOTUS decision on one-person/one-vote, we’re (2) failing to even try to change the debate by challenging a weak liberal premise… for absolutely nothing in return. See above.
I don’t get it.
I’m simply stating the time of day, by the way. The Bastille is besieged. Voters are thirsting for someone willing to fight, upend the table and crush the status quo. Bernie and the Donald scored historic wins on Tuesday night for no reason other than the fact that both men are saying what their respective supporters have always thought but could’ve find a politician to echo aloud until now. Trumpies and Berners refuse to settle for “okay, but” better manager alternatives anymore. This is war.
Don’t forget: there’s a not insignificant difference between hard-fought compromise on the one hand and surrendering the premise BEFORE the negotiation is even underway on the other. Check out all of the “NO GAS TAX” write-ins for LD-11 last November for all the proof you’ll need of what I’m arguing!
Need another example? Chris Christie’s presidential campaign is over and it’s no mystery why; for starters, he made a name for himself by unapologetically taking on the bad guys only to then campaign for president as THE guy who knows how to work with bad guys. Who the hell is going to vote for that???
We now have our answer: about 8% of the N.H. GOP.
Listen. Open your eyes. Wise up. Take notice. Leave the bubble! And mark my words: 2017 won’t end any better for the NJ GOP than 2015 if we don’t start learning and internalizing what’s going on out there. They’ll have to learn’em without me, too, for whatever that’s worth, because talking to the wall is getting real old. I hear the Carolinas are lovely this time of year! At least until all of those politicians start arriving on Wednesday.