The strangest thing just happened!
A Democrat alderman from St. Louis who is also a #BlackLivesMatter supporter has actually come out publicly AGAINST raising the minimum wage in his city.
St. Louis alderman are voting on the wage hike today (Friday) to raise the minimum wage to $11 by 2018, well above the state mandated wage of $7.65.
But in an op-ed written for St. Louis American, Alderman Antonio D. French came out firmly against the wage hike:
The City of St. Louis is in no economic position to raise our minimum wage alone and not expect big economic consequences in the years to come.
St. Louis city has the highest rate of concentrated poverty in the region. That poverty is driven by high unemployment, not low wages. There are more people in St. Louis city that have no job at all than work for the current minimum wage. In addition to unemployed workers, we have the highest rate of low-skill workers.
We aren’t in any economic position to tell an employer that $10 an hour isn’t good enough to pay an entry-level employee, when they can just go down the street and start at $8 or $9. Not to mention if they open in St. Louis County they don’t have to pay the 1 percent earnings tax or deal with many of the other perceived heartaches about owning a business in St. Louis city.
The City of St. Louis finds itself in the position we’re in today (high unemployment, high percentage of vacant buildings, bleeding population) because of a lot of bad decisions made over the years. Some of those decisions were very popular at the time.
But I don’t work as hard as I do rebuilding my community and this city only to have to pander and vote for something I know to be harmful in the long run. I didn’t go to business school and take on $100,000 in student debt for an MBA to now pretend I don’t understand economics and incentives.
True dat! And he might not be the only one in St. Louis who feels that way.
Today it was reported that another Alderman, Carol Howard, has struck her name off the bill.
And earlier this week, as the St. Louis Dispatch reported, St Louis non-profits argued the minimum wage hike could force them out of business, and leave developmentally disabled workers without a job.
“It would put us out of business, but the more important issue is how it will affect the lives of the people we employ,” said Mike Stroud, executive director of Industrial Aid, one of the four private nonprofit companies in St. Louis that employ developmentally disabled workers under a special exemption from the federal minimum wage.
The city’s proposed new minimum wage bill, as currently written, doesn’t offer such an exemption.
“If they can’t work in a competitive environment, and we can’t afford to pay them $11 an hour (the ultimate top level under the proposed new city minimum wage scale), where else are they going to work?” Stroud asked.
I dunno. Sometimes I get really depressed about the direction of this nation, and then I see things like this — or this former-Democrat’s thoughts on the minimum wage and think, maybe there’s hope after all.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford]