Michigan’s purportedly conservative governor just signed a 25% increase in the minimum wage—a move guaranteed to destroy jobs within the state and which is as clean a repudiation of free market economics as any Republican state legislature could possibly enact. Why? Can you say restaurant lobby?
The Michigan Restaurant Association, which staunchly opposed the petition drive and other efforts to raise the tipped wage, praised the Legislature for reaching a compromise. “The MRA has made it clear from the beginning that the total elimination of the tipped minimum wage as proposed in the ballot initiative was gross negligence and would result in the closure of countless full-service restaurants – especially independent ‘mom & pop’ places least capable of absorbing a nearly quadrupling of their labor costs,” spokesman Justin Winslow said in a statement. “The compromise legislation sustains a 38 percent ratio that will require adjustments by the full-service sector of the industry, but should prevent mass closure of restaurants.”