How to Mitigate the Damage Caused by Michigan’s New Minimum Wage Hike and Why More Labor Reforms Are Necessary

Issues and Ideas Forum

James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, will present on ways to mitigate the economic harms caused by a higher minimum wage and on ways to hold government unions more accountable to their members.

Raising the entry wage employees use to get into the workforce will result in the elimination of positions many workers need to gain experience and move up the economic ladder. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour would result in more than  500,000 lost jobs. More than 500 economists recently signed an open letter against raising the minimum wage, citing the job losses predicted by CBO and saying that "the minimum wage is also a poorly targeted anti-poverty measure."

Since Michigan has nonetheless chosen to increase the minimum wage, state policymakers should consider steps to minimize these harmful unintended consequences. These include using the most accurate measure of inflation for annual cost of living adjustments, and switching from a “minimum wage” to “minimum compensation.”

State law gives government unions tremendous power over the workers they are supposed to represent, while giving rank-and-file employees little ability to hold their union accountable to them. Surveys show that most union members believe their union leadership primarily looks out for itself and ignores their priorities. State law also makes it easy for government unions to do so. Once elected unions very rarely have to stand for re-election and have little obligation to explain to their members how those dues get spent.

Michigan took a large step toward union accountability with Freedom-to-Work legislation, but Michigan can expand this accountability by requiring unions to periodically run for re-election, giving government employees the power to regularly evaluate their union’s performance. Michigan should also end the automatic deduction of union dues from all government employee paychecks, and require unions to itemize and disclose their spending. This would enable union members to see exactly where their dues go and to easily to decide whether they want to continue their support.

Lunch is free and is included with reservations

WHEN: Tues. June 10 at noon — registration begins at 11:30 a.m.
Program runs from 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.
WHERE:  Anderson House Office Building
Mackinac Room, 5th Floor
124 North Capitol Avenue
Lansing, MI 48909

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Event Manager Kimberley Fischer-Kinne at 989-698-1905.

Registration deadline is Friday, June 6th at 12:00 Noon.

Please note: We are unable to guarantee lunch for any guest if the registration is received after the deadline.


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