Good Call: Cleveland Rejects $15 Minimum Wage Proposal

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Aug 12, 2016 2:00 PM
Good Call: Cleveland Rejects $15 Minimum Wage Proposal

Cleveland is not falling for it. The city recently rejected a $15 minimum wage proposal, not falling into the economic trap that Seattle fell into that saw its workers hours cut and less people employed. Nevertheless, it appears the pro-minimum wage cohort seems to be looking for ways to get this proposal on the November ballot, even though it will gut the city’s economy (via Cleveland.com/Plain Dealer):

After months of contentious debate and public hearings, Cleveland City Council officially has rejected a proposal to set the city's minimum wage at $15 an hour.

But the "Fight for $15" movement still has a lot of fight left in it, as organizers now turn their attention toward their remaining options for getting the issue on the November ballot.

Council members on Wednesday night voted down the proposal, with only Councilman Jeffrey Johnson supporting it.

Councilman Zack Reed received thunderous applause from the initiative's backers for his comments on the floor, seemingly in favor of the $15 minimum wage. But he ended up voting with the majority of his colleagues, who believe a minimum wage hike in Cleveland alone, while the rest of the state remains at $8.10, will kill jobs and spur an exodus of business from the city.

After the vote, dozens of representatives from Raise Up Cleveland, an organization backed by the Service Employees International Union, filed out of council chambers, chanting, "See you in November!" -- alluding to the possible next stop for the piece.

American Action Forum conducted a study where minimum wage increases actually hurt (shocker!) the very people it was meant to help, cutting 700,000 jobs in 2013 alone. They noted that for every $1 increase in wages accounted for a 1.48 percent spike in unemployment. Not good. Still, the politics of minimum wage increase is touchy territory for Republicans, as Democrats like to frame their opposition to such proposals as being anti-poor and lacking empathy. It also polls well with a group of voters that are now voting increasingly Republican over the past few cycles: white working class voters, especially men. In fact, it's one of the few liberal policies they like from those on the Left.