The American Legislative Exchange Council—where “Exchange” stands for exchanging the power of the people for the power of corporate colonizers—have issued their 2015 Rich States Poor States rankings of state economic performance and outlook. On performance, ALEC ranks us 14th. On outlook, ALEC ranks us 9th.
Last year our outlook scored 2nd, and for the six years before that, we always made the top five. What happened? We raised our minimum wage:
“South Dakota took ninth place this year in part because the state has no personal or corporate income tax, both of which are detrimental to economic growth. While South Dakota does many other things right, including being a right-to-work state and not levying a death tax, the decision to raise the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour will cost jobs and discourage business expansion. This led the state’s economic outlook ranking to fall seven spots, from second last year, to ninth this year,” said Jonathan Williams, Vice President, Center for State Fiscal Reform at the American Legislative Exchange Council and co-author of Rich States, Poor States: ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index [ALEC, press release, 2015.04.08].
ALEC is lying again: increasing the minimum wage has no discernible effect on employment (not in Great Britain, either). More workers with more wages will buy more stuff, meaning somebody’s business is going to expand.
But hey! Anything we can do to make ALEC like us less must be a good thing. Let’s keep moving in that direction!