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More minimum-wage follies: Missouri's wake-up call

| Thursday, July 13, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Supporters of a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers rally in front of a McDonald's in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo).

As Pennsylvania ponders whether to boost its hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $15, it should first carefully consider a practical lesson from the Show-Me State.

Under new legislation, Missouri next month will roll back its minimum wage, reducing the hourly rate from $10 to $7.70 an hour. That nullifies a move by St. Louis city government to boost its baseline to $11 an hour.

Rather than sustain jobs at higher salaries, the St. Louis minimum-wage boost “fails on both counts,” said Republican Gov. Eric Greitens. “It will kill jobs, and despite what you hear from liberals, it will take money out of people's pockets.”

Indeed, what “might read pretty on paper doesn't work in practice,” added Mr. Greitens, who will allow Missouri's new minimum-wage measure to become law without his signature. Studies show arbitrary raises imposed by governments compel private businesses to cut hours or eliminate jobs.

Nevertheless, Pittsburgh City Council is urging support for state legislation to boost Pennsylvania's wage floor. This, after Pittsburgh raised its hourly minimum for city employees to $12.50.

Rather than provide economic incentives — reduced taxes, less regulation — to grow the private sector, politicians who promote compulsory minimum-wage increases expect business owners to magically come up with the cash. And that only reinforces the liberal proclivity to spend other people's money.

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