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I’ve often highlighted the economic insanity of massive minimum wage hikes and the jobs lost as a result. But one Midwestern city is going the other direction. No, the mayor and aldermen of St. Louis didn’t decide to take an Economics 101 class at their local community college; the state government forced their second largest city back to sanity.
In 2015, the city raised its minimum wage from the state level of $7.70 an hour to $10. The Republican-dominated legislature passed a law mandating that all cities adhere to the Missouri standard. It goes into effect on Aug. 28.
Gov. Eric Greitens said that St. Louis’s $10 minimum wage would “kill jobs, and despite what you hear from liberals, it will take money out of people’s pockets.” He added, “government imposes an arbitrary wage, and small businesses either have to cut people’s hours or let them go.”
The Gateway City’s current wage isn’t as bad as San Francisco’s $13 or Seattle’s $15. But both of those cities were met with shuttered businesses and lost jobs. A recent report on Seattle showed that following their steep hike, the average low-wage worker made $125 less per month as employers cut their hours or let them go.
The St. Louis law was scheduled to raise to $11 in January and then regularly increase with inflation. The Mayor, Democrat Lyda Krewson, called the new state law “a setback for working families” and is exploring options to put a statewide raise of the minimum wage on the ballot.
Before the mayor does that, I recommend she spend the weekend with some remedial reading.Published in