Policy Documents

The Leaflet - Obama Urges Governments To Raise Minimum Wage

January 31, 2014

 

Obama Urges Governments To Raise Minimum Wage 

 

During his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama called for raising the federal minimum wage to at least $10 per hour. President Obama didn’t stop there. “To every mayor, governor, state legislator in America, I say, you don’t have to wait for Congress to act; Americans will support you if you take this on.” Lawmakers in at least 30 states are pushing to raise their state’s minimum wage.

 

According to economist Walter Williams, “Workers earning the minimum wage or less tend to be young, single workers between the ages of 16 and 25. Only about 2 percent of workers over 25 years of age earn minimum wages.” When minimum wage laws require businesses to pay their workers higher wages, businesses have to make adjustments elsewhere to offset the increased costs in order to maintain profitability. These cuts lead to reduced hiring, fewer work hours for employees, diminished fringe benefits for employees, and higher prices for consumers.

 

Increasing the legal minimum wage is not an effective method of addressing poverty and can harm the economy by creating barriers to entry for less-skilled and less-educated workers. Increasing the minimum wage will increase both the number of unskilled workers looking for work and overall unemployment

 

 

Health Care

Tennessee Legislature Mulls Making People Pay More to Puff

 

Writing for Tennessee Watchdog, Christopher Butler examines a new proposal being considered in Tennessee that would require smokers to pay an additional 44-cent tax on each pack of cigarettes to help fund Medicaid expansion. State Rep. Gary Odom, the bill’s sponsor, believes the tax would raise about $175 million a year to expand TennCare. Critics of the bill question whether using cigarette taxes, an unreliable tax, to fund Medicaid is good public policy. Read More

 

Budget & Tax

Research & Commentary: Michigan Income Tax Reform

 

Michigan is facing a budget surplus, and as a result several legislative leaders are now considering lowering the personal income tax. In this Research & Commentary, Matthew Glans examines the income tax proposal and argues that cuts are a step in the right direction. While the ideal reform for state corporate income taxes would be to eliminate them altogether, short of that, legislators should strive for a tax system that is flat, not progressive, with as few tax brackets as possible. Read More

 

Telecom

No 1930s Regulations for the Internet - Let's Modernize Instead

 

The D.C. Circuit Court struck down the Federal Communication Commission’s 2010 “net neutrality” rule requiring Internet service providers to treat all traffic across their networks the same – discriminating against none and favoring none. On this edition of the Heartland Daily Podcast, Jim Lakely, co-director of Heartland’s Center on the Digital Economy, and Ryan Radia of the Competitive Enterprise Institute discuss the ramifications of this decision. It’s the second time in three years the D.C. Circuit has declared illegal the FCC’s attempts to impose binding net neutrality regulations. Read More

 

Education

Poll: What Americans Want in Education Policy

 

U.S. adults say the most effective education reforms are smaller class sizes, increasing technology, and accountability, a new survey has found. The national sample of 1,000 respondents ranked vouchers the fourth-most-effective education reform, followed by limiting teachers unions, merit pay, and longer school days. Read More

 

Environment

Kansas Renewable Mandates Causing Skyrocketing Electricity Prices

 

Heartland Senior Fellow James M. Taylor examines U.S. Energy Information Administration data and finds since 2009, when Kansas first implemented its renewable power mandate, the state’s electricity prices have risen almost eight times faster than the national average. Read More


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The February issue of School Reform News reports on the Obama administration’s continued efforts to monitor the state of Louisiana’s voucher program to assess whether the program alters the skin-color ratios of students enrolled in public schools. Gov. Bobby Jindal said the feds could “regulate the program to death.”

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