Former Aberdonian gone north Tony Bender weighs in on the youth minimum wage (which our noble volunteers are working to refer to a public vote right now!). Bender says Aberdeen Senator David Novstrup’s economic justification for cutting youth wages holds no water:
Novstrup said he acted to lower teen worker salaries for their own good, saying lower wages create more job opportunities. So did slavery.
There are 29 states with minimum-wage laws. With the unemployment rate continuing to fall and the stock market at record heights, it does not seem to have been the economic calamity some predicted.
A recent Center for Economic and Policy Research study reports job creation actually accelerated in states that raised minimum wage. But, in South Dakota, the sky was falling because teenagers were going to get an extra buck for flipping burgers [Tony Bender, “Minimum Wage Proves Teens Don’t Count in SD,” Aberdeen American News, 2015.04.02].
Bender recognizes the ongoing insult to teen workers and all South Dakota voters inherent in the youth minimum wage:
When teens realize what happened, I’m sure they will be eternally grateful for the preemptive wage cut and the life lessons that come with this decision. Among them is the realization that as a teenager, you don’t count in South Dakota. And, even when you grow out of it, your vote really doesn’t count, either [Bender, 2015.04.02].
The youth minimum wage says young workers and all voters don’t count. Let’s stop the youth minimum wage and teach the Legislature how to count our worth.