Voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Washington State and South Dakota will soon get the chance to vote on new minimum wage hikes in those states, determining rate increases of between $8.50 and $13.50 per hour.
Four of the wage measures are only slightly different. Arizona, Colorado and Maine are considering phased-in $12 hourly minimum wages by 2020. In Washington state, where the minimum wage is $9.47 an hour, voters are considering a higher minimum wage, $13.50 an hour by 2020. The measures in Arizona and Washington also require employers to give paid sick leave.
Voters in South Dakota are looking at the minimum wage for the second time in as many years. They will consider a so-called "referred law" to overturn a state law passed in reaction to a 2014 vote raising the minimum to $8.50, with the wage pegged to inflation.
South Dakota lawmakers lowered the minimum wage to $7.50 for workers under 18, with no inflation adjustment for those youngest workers. The ballot measure asks voters to choose between keeping lawmakers' approach to younger workers, or requiring higher wages for all working teens.
Recently, Capitalism.com CEO and Founder Ryan Moran explained in a video commentary why government should not be in the business of dictating minimum wage. He said:
Increasing production costs by raising the minimum wage for jobs that don’t require any particular skill or offer any value to the marketplace will result in the higher cost being passed on to the consumer. As the price of consumer goods increase, the ‘higher’ minimum wage will no longer be enough and soon enough people will be demanding another increase in wage, creating a perpetual cycle of increasing costs.
Your wage should be a reflection of the value you bring to the marketplace, he said.
Moreover, Capitalism.com analyst Kristin Tate said raising minimum wage hurts both employers and employees, and what our economy truly needs is a free market.
• VIDEO: Government Shouldn’t Dictate A Minimum Wage
• VIDEO: Government Doesn’t Get Things Done. You Do.
• VIDEO: Why Minimum Wage Hurts Employers and Employees, with Kristin Tate