Republican lawmakers and Gov Rick Snyder panicked in adopting a bill to raise the minimum wage to $9.25 an hour. Afraid Democrats would make a campaign issue out of a ballot drive to hike the wage to !0.!0, the Republicans chose bad policy to avoid having worse policy forced on them.
But there was no guarantee that the unions backing the initiative could raise the resources to push it through. Union campaign warchests are depleted, and they have a lot of priorities competing for resources in this election cycle.
And even if the Democratic proposal had passed, the outcome would have only been marginally worse than what the GOP approved.
Republicans did get a lower rate for teen workers, and a more favorable formula for calculating the annual cost of living increase.
They also feel they took the politics out of this issue for the long term by indexing future wage increases to inflation.
But those automatic annual increases are a job killer. Businesses faced with stagnant or falling revenue will have just one choice for controlling labor costs — they’ll have to fire workers instead of simply freezing their wages.
Or raise prices. And those price hikes will eat up the wage increases for workers who are also consumers.
If Republicans are going to make policy like Democrats, whats the point of electing them?