Many myths exist about Minimum Wage

MINIMUM WAGE TESTIMONY: Misperceptions & Myths; EITC Recommended by the Center


Providence, RI – The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity published the full written testimony its CEO will submit to the House Committees on Finance and Labor, the latter of which will today hear multiple bills seeking to raise the state’s minimum wage rate.

“Every Rhode Islander who strives to work hard should be able to earn enough income to support themselves and their families,” writes Mike Stenhouse, who holds an Economics degree from Harvard University. “Yet lawmakers must act on the facts and not on the many myths that cloud this emotional topic.”

After pointing out many of the Ocean State’s poor business and family prosperity rankings, Stenhouse’s testimony cites research and raises concerns about a number of issues, including:

  • Job losses for many of the same people the legislation is intended to help
  • Myth about who is and who is not the typical minimum wage worker
  • Myth about a wage hike keeping our state competitive with our neighbors
  • Myths about increased minimum wages stimulating jobs and economic growth
  • The “wage-differential” factor that will harm employers who do not employ minimum wage workers

Union angle? The testimony also raises questions about a little-discussed issue … how special interest unions might benefit from a minimum wage hike.

Finally, the testimony makes a recommendation on behalf of the Center … that expanding the state’s EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) is a superior alternative to hiking the minimum wage. “Directly assisting low-income families without risking job losses and without further burdening business owners is a much better path for our state,” concluded Stenhouse.

Stenhouse Testimony on Justice Reinvestment Initiative Bills

The PDF below is the written testimony submitted on January 31, 2017 to the House Judiciary Committee by the Center’s CEO, Mike Stenhouse, with regard to the House package of bills recommended by the state’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI).

The testimony follows the prior day’s release of the Center’s Right on Crime policy brief, which discusses the impetus behind these bills, as well as other criminal justice reform issues.

PDF of Stenhouse Testimony