NM Politics – HJR 6

I am very unhappy with a proposal in the New Mexico Legislature- HJR 6. The full text of the bill can be found here.

The statement of purpose for this bill is “Proposing an Amendment to Article 20 of the Constitution of New Mexico to Require the State Minimum Wage Rates to be Increased Annually at the Rate of Inflation.”

I’ll start out by saying that I fully oppose the notion of a minimum wage on moral grounds. As the employer, I should be able to decide what a job is worth to me, and as an employee, you should be able to decide whether or not to accept employment. If I charge too little, I will find no employees. If you ask too much, you won’t have a job. It is self-regulating.

Instead, someone decided that all jobs should be worth a minimum amount. Wrong. You have no moral right to decide how I spend my money. If I decide sweeping my floor is worth $3.00 an hour, who are you to decide that I must spend more?

Furthermore, tying minimum wage rate to inflation is like tying the legal blood alcohol content of drunk drivers to the drunkest driver arrested. Each time the minimum wage goes up, so will inflation. Next year, we’ll raise minimum wage to reflect that change in inflation, and so on.

Everyone who supports this bill thinks how much easier it will be to pay their bills if they make a few more dollars. What they don’t think about is that the grocery store is going to have to pay more per hour to its employees, and thus is going to pass that cost on to the consumer. Guess who will pay more for a gallon of milk? Everyone. Then, we find it is as hard to get by on $9 an hour as it was last year on $8 an hour. So we raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour. Guess what happens next year?

This bill is a terrible encroachment on the freedoms of business owners and outright poison for the economy. I hope, for all of our sakes, it doesn’t pass.

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