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ALEC Pitches Downward Spiral
Matt Singer on May 31, 2006 - 8:59am
The minimum wage is at an historic low. This moral travesty has sparked campaigns in states across the country to use legislative and ballot issue processes to raise the minimum and improve people's lives. As Forbes reports, that has some corporations nervous. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the dishonest lobbying tool of corporate America that poses as a bipartisan association of legislators, is repeating an old canard that states that raise wages for their workers will undermine employment:
Business groups scored small victories in Georgia and Wisconsin, where legislators enacted laws blocking municipalities from setting wage standards above the state minimum, notes Michael Keegan of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative state-issue think tank. He says states and cities that impose higher minimum wages will lose business investment to lower-wage localities. "Michigan has more to fear from Indiana than India," Keegan says.The truth is that what Michigan should fear is low wages. Studies from the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Oregon Center for Public Policy confirm: raising the minimum wage does not impact economic growth in a negative fashion. In fact, Wal-Mart of all businesses understands how the minimum wage works and actually advocates for an increase in the federal minimum wage. Why? They know it puts more disposable income in the pockets of their customers. Money moving through the economy isn't bad for the economy -- it is good for it. Increasing the minimum wage isn't just a moral necessity, it's also economic progress.