The man I will replace in the South Dakota Senate, David Novstrup, continues to recite his tired artifice that cutting wages for young workers gives them more opportunity. Now, in that Sioux Falls paper’s latest report on Novstrup’s Referred Law 20, the quitting Aberdeen senator admits that his hypothesis rests on taking away opportunity from older workers:
The proposal does give employers more options when it comes time to hire, said state Sen. David Novstrup, who introduced the measure. The Republican lawmaker from Aberdeen came up with the idea after having conversations with lobbyists for retailers.
Younger job-seekers would have an advantage over older, potentially more qualified candidates if employers knew they could pay less, Novstrup said.
“The person doing the hiring might be more willing to take a chance on that person,” Novstrup said [Patrick Anderson, “Lower Minimum Wage for Kids? You Decide,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.10.14].
Novstrup also admits his proposal was a response to the voters’ decision in 2014 to raise the minimum wage for all workers, but he says undoing the voters’ will is o.k. because voters made a mistake:
Novstrup agrees his proposal was a response to the increase, but that’s nothing against voters, he said. He supports the ballot initiative process. Both legislators and voters are capable of making mistakes, Novstrup said.
“When they put that on the ballot two years ago, they had a specific mission or goal in mind, but that didn’t necessarily craft the best policy for the state, and the voters didn’t really have a choice,” Novstrup said.
I won’t call David a liar, but I will say he’s mistaken. Voters really did have a choice in 2014. They knew full well that Initiated Measure 18 would raise the minimum wage for every worker, including the teen workers whom Novstrup thinks are worth less. They could have chosen not to enact that universal minimum wage increase. Voters debated that issue and chose economic justice over David’s bad arguments.
Anderson shares my statements on the voters’ correct choice and Novstrup’s effort to undo that choice:
“If you are in the workforce, you deserve the same basic workplace protections as everybody else, whether you are 16 or 60,” said Cory Heidelberger, who started the petition drive. “Young or old, black or white, male or female, there’s no reason to have a separate minimum wage for someone who’s willing to show up and work.”
…The attempt to reverse the new law goes against the will of voters, Heidelberger said.
“This is the Legislature saying, ‘We’re in charge, you’re not,’” said Heidelberger, who is running for state Senate this fall. “And they were trying to discourage voters from doing ballot measures in the future” [Anderson, 2016.10.14].
District 3 will enjoy replacing Novstrup’s Newspeak with a Senator who talks straight and respects their will.
Update 10:38 CDT: At least David Novstrup hasn’t resorted to Main Governor Paul LePage’s argument, that sponsors of Maine’s ballot question to raise the minimum wage should be thrown in jail:
“To me when you go out and kill somebody, you go to jail. Well, this is attempted murder in my mind because it is pushing people to the brink of survival,” LePage said of the proposed minimum wage increase.
LePage has argued the wage increase will push the prices of consumer goods and services beyond the reach of retirees on fixed incomes and said he believed Tipping and Chin were committing a moral crime [Scott Thistle, “LePage Likens Advocacy of Minimum Wage Increase to ‘Attempted Murder,” Portland (ME) Press Herald, 2016.10.14].
Let’s hope the Novstrups and the SDGOP don’t start shouting, “Lock him up!”