Wage hike too costly

To the Editor:

Gov. Mark Dayton has signed into law a proposal that will raise Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.50 per hour.

Once House Democrats agreed to spend nearly $90 million of your tax dollars on an unneeded palace for Minnesota’s senators, Senate Democrats allowed the minimum wage bill to move forward. Its politics at its worst and, in the end, the Democrats’ gain is Minnesota’s loss.

I foresee problems ahead with this new law, especially with small business owners in rural border communities.

This law will have a positive outcome for a few, but will be a problem for most of us. The elderly, people on fixed incomes and anyone not receiving a raise will be unhappy to see prices increase when they go to restaurants and grocery stores. Those who benefit from the wage increase will also be disappointed when confronted with these increases that will negate their benefit.

Inevitably this law will cost people jobs. If a businessman is forced to pay higher salaries, he is going to either raise prices or cut jobs to protect his bottom line – that is just simple economic reality. Young people and entry-level workers can expect to have fewer job opportunities because of this.

I also don’t view this new law as a selling point to folks looking to relocate their business to southern Minnesota, particularly when Iowa’s minimum wage is $2 per hour less.

The good news is it will take three years before the new wage is fully implemented. The bad news is there will be people who will lose their jobs over it because some business owners will find it too costly to employ as many workers.

State Rep. Bob Gunther,