Michael Rathbone

Many sci-fi fans would be familiar with one of the key parts of the British science fiction show Dr. Who, regeneration. Whenever the actor playing the Doctor decides to leave the show, the producers have the Doctor regenerate so a new actor can step in and play the role. However, no matter how many times the Doctor regenerates, it’s still the same character. Looking at the proposal to raise the minimum wage in Saint Louis, a Whovian can get a sense of déjà vu.

On Thursday, Mayor Slay announced his support for a compromise proposal. This new proposal would raise the minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2020 instead of $15. Like the original proposal, it exempts small businesses, but it also exempts in-home health care workers and nursing home workers whose services are paid for by Medicare and Medicaid.

While $11 an hour is less than $15 an hour, it will still cost jobs. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) studied the effects of an increase in the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour and $10.10 an hour. In both scenarios, the CBO found that increasing the minimum wage would cost jobs. An $11 minimum wage in 2020 is slightly less harmful than a $10.10 minimum wage today and more harmful than what $9.00 an hour is now. That means this proposal will still harm employment. This harm especially would be felt in Saint Louis City, since businesses can hop across the county line to avoid having to pay the higher wage.

Seeking higher wages for low-income workers is a noble sentiment, but government mandates are not the way to go about it. This proposal, while less harmful than before, will still EXTERMINATE jobs and hurt those it means to help.

About the Author

Michael Rathbone
Policy Researcher
Michael Rathbone was a policy researcher at the Show-Me Institute. He is a native of Saint Louis and a 2008 graduate of Saint Louis University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering.