GST Opposes HB 107 Minimum Wage Hike

by | Apr 4, 2021 | Legislation, Special Alerts

Granite State Taxpayers opposes HB 107 which would raise the minimum wage in New Hampshire.
GST opposed raising the minimum wage when it was last proposed in 2020 with HB 186.

Government intervention in the economy has both intended and unintended effects.

Minimum wage laws are a good example.
They are a great gift to the robotics industry at the expense of lower-skilled workers.

Robotics and automation will provide increasing competition for human workers over the coming years.
Increasing human labor costs by more than 50% clearly improves the payback part of the robot sales pitch.

A major grocery store chain in NH has a good reputation for how it treats its workers, including how it provides productive jobs for employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
An over 50% increase in the minimum wage will certainly make it more difficult for the financial numbers to work for any business employing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities instead of robots.

It would be a shame if this proposed minimum wage increase harms some of the most vulnerable members of our society.

The availability of employment opportunities for very low skilled workers is of benefit to society and to those workers because they get practice and training to improve their skill level and value to employers. On-time and reliable attendance at work are skills that some very low skilled workers need to learn, and from a business owner’s perspective, those basic skills are expensive to teach.

Agriculture may be particularly stressed by this bill.
The most vulnerable type of agricultural business could be a vegetable producing CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, typically a small organic vegetable farm that sells produce in advance as ‘shares’ that entitle the customer to a variety box of vegetables for some number of weeks.
The farmer gets funding early in the year when it is needed for supplies and gets guaranteed sales before planting. The customers get a good price (if they eat everything) and that warm feeling inside of helping a farmer survive.

Growing, picking, washing and packing vegetables are labor intensive activities.
Vegetable production, especially in New Hampshire with its rocky soils, is a tough business and many CSAs are hanging on by their fingernails even without the wage increases proposed in this bill. This bill will cause CSAs to go out of business or raise their prices substantially. How many customers will go elsewhere … perhaps to the local supermarket to buy produce from Mexico?

Please contact your Representatives and urge them to vote against HB 107.
Click here to find contact information for your Representatives and Senator.
Click here for HB 107 status. Click here to read the text of HB 107.

Posted by GST Director Peter de Bruyn Kops


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