Governor Andrew Cuomo’s RV trip around the state to pitch his $15 minimum wage proposal has been fueled with lofty claims and misleading facts. In an ad in today’s New York Post, we take on his boldest claim, that there’s “no credible evidence” that his proposed minimum wage will hurt the state’s businesses and the people they employ.
This is simply not the case. In fact, while some outlying studies of past minimum wage increases find no impact on employment, a majority of the research — including the latest and most credible reports — reaches the conclusion that there is a negative impact on jobs. In a University of New Hampshire survey of US labor economists, 72 percent opposed a broad $15 wage standard.
Even a supportive new study on Gov. Cuomo’s $15 minimum wage, authored by union-affiliated researchers at the University of California-Berkeley, estimates that 77,000 jobs will be lost on the road to $15.
The Governor also turned to experts for support – citing a list of 600 economists who support a higher minimum wage – but he neglected to mention a key detail: Those 600 economists were supporting a much lower $10.10 minimum wage. Embarrassingly for the Governor, some of the signers on that list have vocally opposed $15. The includes alumni of both the Obama and Clinton administrations.
Most importantly, the Governor ignores the stories of real businesses in the state that have already been hurt by recent wage hikes. This includes businesses like Longway’s Diner, Betty’s, P.J. Clarke’s, and Medici House that have reduced hours and jobs or closed entirely in response to this misguided policy. (Read more specific stories at Facesof15.com.)
The Governor encourages New Yorkers to “focus on the facts, not fear” when evaluating this issue. On that point, we agree–which is why it’s so important to see through his populist rhetoric.