Novstrup vs. Heidelberger on SDPB… on Youth Minimum Wage!

SDPB broadcasts opposing views on Referred Law 20, the youth minimum wage cut we get to vote down in November. SDPB’s new Rapid City correspondent Lee Strubinger gives wage-cut sponsor Senator David Novstrup a chance to repeat his paradoxical insistence that we give kids more opportunity by paying them less money:


“Some people will say that this is about businesses,” Novstrup says. “I would argue that it’s more for the young person getting that job or for the business—it’s not about the business saving money. It’s about giving that young person that first job and getting that opportunity” [Lee Strubinger, “RL20 Puts Youth Minimum Wage to a Vote,” SDPB Radio, 2016.07.26].

Novstrup cleverly distracts us from his capitalist greed and the lack of empirical evidence for his claims in South Dakota by crying it’s all about the children! With a little effort, Novstrup could Google up some support for the notion that minimum wage increases have coincided with decreases in teen employment, but I can just as easily negate such support with subsequent research finding that, when researchers apply the proper controls, negative effects on teen employment from minimum wage hikes disappear and (no duh!) earnings go up. In other words, it seems the minimum wage increases opportunity, even for teen workers.

Strubinger doesn’t use my great quotes on the economic, political, and moral ills of Senator Novstrup’s effort to take money away from young workers. Instead, Strubinger segues to my summary of the impact of our successful referral of the youth minimum wage cut and my hopes for November:


“That’s why kids all over the state, who are working hard right now, last summer and this summer, they’re minimum wage is $8.50 an hour right now,” Heidelberger says. “They kept $8.50 last year. They got the nickel increase just like every other worker, and they’re getting that thanks to our petition effort. Now we just have to power through to November and get the people of South Dakota to say ‘That’s what we really meant, let’s set that minimum wage for everybody. Let’s not cut it for the kids’” [Strubinger, 2016.07.26].

Novstrup and I maintain the same positions we expressed last year when my friends and I stopped his youth minimum wage cut and put Referred Law 20 on the 2016 ballot. Novstrup thinks we do kids a favor by paying them less and voters a favor by undoing their will. I think we do kids a clearer favor by giving them equal treatment in the workplace. I think we do voters a favor by respecting their wishes and not overturning their ballot measures except in extreme situations where we have clear evidence that the voters’ decision has created a disaster that we must fix right away.

8 Responses to Novstrup vs. Heidelberger on SDPB… on Youth Minimum Wage!

  1. Paul Seamans

    Expanding on David Novstrup’s logic: just think of all the opportunities for young people if we lower the youth minimum wage to $1.25/ hr.

  2. Further expanding on David Novstrup’s logic: I’m giving Sibby more opportunity by restricting his comments. ;-)

    Paul, you are absolutely right about where Novstrup’s logic leads us. Less is more! Black is white! Freedom is slavery! Novstrup is a wise leader!

  3. Darin Larson

    Novstrup should push for the indentured servitude Act of 2017. Why stop at a reduced minimum wage? By his logic kids should be paying the businesses at their first jobs for the opportunity to work for those businesses. Just think of all the workers that business could employ if the workers paid the business to work there instead of the other way around.

  4. Darin Larson

    Debate on minimum wage on Minnesota public radio right now.

  5. mike from iowa

    Novstrup would be further ahead if he could charge kids to get the experience.

  6. Roger Cornelius

    Last night at the Democratic National Convention former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke about how to be a successful business starting at the bottom and working his way up without a million dollar grub stake from daddy.
    His message was clear and totally contrary to Novstrup, when you pay workers minimum or lower your business will either fail or remain stagnant. Failure is guaranteed if you don’t respect your workers.
    Successful business owners know that their success or failure is a reflection of themselves.
    South Dakota remains visionless in developing a business climate with a potential to grow, they continue to search for low pay industries to accommodate their greed,to saying nothing about paying workers a livable wage that both the worker and business owner can be proud of.

  7. That’s a pretty good assessment of Novstrup’s philosophy, Mike! If he is providing kids with such a great opportunity, he should charge kids for the pleasure of working at his establishment. His thinking shows a Trump-like narcissism, ignoring the fact that the kids are actually providing him the opportunity to stay in business. Management doesn’t do labor a favor by hiring them: labor and management enter into a mutually beneficial relationship. Both sides expect concrete benefits, not wishy-washy promises of “opportunity.”

  8. mike from iowa

    I must confess when I posted my comment @ 11:25 Darin’s comment above mine hadn’t shown up yet. Darin elaborately stated in detail, what I later said. Darin deserves the acknowledgement as first responder.:)