Minimum wage hike draws opponents, supporters

By Becca Heller
Becca@MarylandReporter.com

A bill to raise Maryland’s minimum wage to $10 an hour drew 46 witnesses Thursday to a Senate hearing on the divisive issue.

Small business owners stood before the Finance Committee offering grave calculations and projecting labor loss, while professors and authors cited studies that showed the prospective hike in wage is a healthy economic initiative.

A WalMart associate, a teenage girl, and a disabled family testified to the desperate need for higher wages, while a grocery store owner expressed concern for the wage scales and the difficulties the law could pose to hiring disabled and less experienced workers in the future.

“If there’s one thing we know, you raise the price of something, you get less of it. You raise the price of labor, you’ll get less of it,” said Walt Clocker, the owner of Angel’s Food Market in Pasadena.

But supporters of the bill argue that the minimum wage hike would create an upturn in the economy by putting money into the pockets of consumers.

“Our members support raising minimum wage because it addresses one of the biggest problems that we see facing the economy and that’s weak demand,” said Bryan McGannon of the American Sustainable Business Council.

Check back Monday at marylandreporter.com for more on this issue.

About The Author

Len Lazarick

Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of MarylandReporter.com and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.

2 Comments

  1. Purplebari

    >a WalMart associate, a teenage girl, and a disabled family

    Putting aside for a moment the temptation to add “…walk into a bar” at the end of this phrase, let’s scale down the labor market to include only these three examples. Currently an hour’s labor for the three costs $7.25 x 3 = $21.75/hr. The proposed change increases that cost to $30/hr. At that point the employer can either operate at a loss or let one of the workers go. While our state legislators think the business will just eat the loss, that’s not the way businesses run if they want to stay in business and one of the three employees who thinks they are getting a raise actually gets a pink slip.

  2. Guest

    >WalMart associate, a teenage girl, and a disabled family

    Putting aside for a moment the temptation to add “…walk into a bar” at the end of this phrase, let’s scale down the labor market to include only these three examples. Currently an hour’s labor for the three costs $7.25 x 3 = $21.75/hr. The proposed change increases that cost to $30/hr. At that point the employer can either operate at a loss or let one of the workers go. While our state legislators think the business will just eat the loss, that’s not the way businesses run if they want to stay in business and one of the three employees who thinks they are getting a raise actually gets a pink slip.
    >

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