Novstrup Keeps Beating Dead Horse on Youth Minimum Wage

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!”

9 Responses to Novstrup Keeps Beating Dead Horse on Youth Minimum Wage

  1. Porter Lansing

    I’ve owned businesses since I was twelve years old. What Novstrup is trying to weasel around is the fact that he needs the kids more than the kids need Novstrup. Trying to get the state to justify his greed is noteworthy and indicative of a lack of character and depleted dedication to community.

  2. Novstrup should talk direct figures. How much additional money does he need to pay for this wage increase to these teens? Would it really be a hardship to him? Let’s look at his overhead.
    Has he talked about having to raise his admission fees if this doesn’t pass?

    Come on, we want numbers here.

  3. Let’s face it. David Novstrup is not the sharpest tool in the shed. His wife probably picks his next day’s clothes for him and sets them out in the evening. David fronted this issue because Al didn’t want his own name front and center, and Al put him up to it. Kind of like how the domestic violence people kept coming up with small modifications to protection order laws every year and feeding the bills to David so he could pass something in the legislature. He could barely read the typed fact sheet they handed him, and certainly couldn’t answer any questions about the bills. It borders on cruelty to continue questioning David about this issue. He should just defer all questions to Al.

  4. Yeah, Ror, but we can’t get Al to come to any debates to answer those questions.

    Jenny, I would add a question about why he and other employers were able to weather past minimum wage increases without proposing a separate lower youth minimum wage. What has changed—the fact that Democrats are realizing they can circumvent the Republican Legislature and win approval for good policy straight from the people?

  5. Mr. Lansing’s lemonade stand wages aside, I think blaming Mr. Novstrup the elder for whatever sins-of-the-liberal-brain you think Mr. Novstrup the younger may have done is cheap.

    Although, I am told that Mr. Novstrup the elder has post cards that have the neat Unibomber-hair-style picture of Mr. H on them and that’s kind of cheap, too, since Mr. H is now much more neatly coiffed.

  6. Porter Lansing

    Good one, Nick. ?? I did have a lemonade stand and I shoveled snow and mowed grass before twelve but my first “real” business with a business plan and advertising was selling nightcrawlers to fishermen at Kampeska and Pelican. (My grandma’s yard was full of ’em.)

  7. I might have even purchased a glass or two of lemonade back then when you were a young ‘un, Mr. Lansing, if I was driving through your shallow-lake region, but that you had success in the other business is more impressive because the worm market is often a little squishy.

  8. Darin Larson

    “. . . and the voters didn’t really have a choice,” Novstrup said.

    Oh, but they did have a choice! They could have voted No. The people voted Yes, but the game of “Republicans know better than the voters” continues.

    Stepping back to see the bigger picture, I’m probably late to this conclusion as others have certainly reached it and mentioned it on DFP: the legislature is increasingly irrelevant. They don’t reflect the SD electorate as a whole. Worse yet, they have no vision for moving SD into the future. Time has passed them by in many respects. They don’t act on problems like school funding, roads, or county budgets until they have reached a crisis. They spend far too much time mucking around in social issues that belie their small-government mantra. They spend far too little time getting the most out of the budget for priorities like schools. They apparently devote absolutely no time to legislative oversight.

    The initiative process will become increasingly critical to moving this state forward with members of the legislature kicking and screaming the entire way. I feel like John Belushi when he is asked “Do you see the light!”

  9. Roger Elgersma

    Novstrup reduces teenagers opportunity to go to college.