I’m not quite sure what organizations are involved in this new attempt to raise the minimum wage here in Idaho by referendum but they obviously have not been educated in economic theory. They don’t understand the fact that if you raise the price of wages artificially, you wind up with fewer people working instead of more people working for higher wages.
Those at the bottom of the ladder will be fired and the wages they were previously paid will be used to pay the higher minimum wages. This has been proven time and time again in many of our major cities that have raised the minimum wage for political gain. There are very few workers in Idaho who are making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour or less for their services. Those wages are entry-level wages in most cases and there are very few who receive those wages as they develop more skills in their workplace.
We don’t need higher minimum wages in Idaho, what we do need are better-paying jobs. These jobs in natural resources have virtually disappeared when access to our natural resources like timber and minerals were stolen from our state. The Federal government took those good paying jobs away from us with their rules and regulations because they control 62% of the land in our state and dictate how we can use it. Basically, we have the federal government telling us what we can and can’t do with almost two-thirds of the land within our state and they pay a mere pittance of $36 million for that privilege. That $36 million comes in PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) most of which goes to fund our educational programs. While we give billions in foreign aid to foreign governments, skilled jobs in the natural resources business are thrown away because of the quagmire of federal regulations.
Why is it we continue to pay billions to foreign countries in aid while they keep sending us their unskilled workers across our southern border? Why is it that our federal government can’t find the money to pay more than $36 million to Idaho for controlling 62% of our land but will spend billions to placate foreign governments who squander the money we send them? There is something seriously wrong when we pay the very governments that are sending their people to America that take jobs from our citizens keeping wages low and restrict the people of our state from making a decent living from the natural resources that are abundantly available to us in Idaho. Millions of acres of forest land burn every year because of federal controls on cleaning up our forests, especially logging. The feds would rather see our timber burn than harvested. We are a natural resource state and are slowly turning to a high tech state but it is going to take time to occur. The question is why aren’t we as Idahoans fighting for access to our natural resources instead of fighting for higher minimum wages?
Our many rural communities have unemployment rates in the double digits and these once thriving communities are slowly dying while our government totally ignores their plight. If these do-gooders who want higher minimum wages would see the light, they would start a movement to return our land and natural resources back to state control. This would help us return our state back to the powerhouse it should be economically by giving the people of our state access and control of those natural resources with the ability to create much higher paying jobs. Loggers earn an average of $38,000 a year and the average wage for miners is over $19.00 per hour. Why do these minimum wage advocates think that workers flipping burgers should earn more than $7.25 a year? How much experience do you need to learn how to turn over a hamburger?
We allowed the passage of Medicaid Expansion by referendum because of money brought into our state by outside sources telling lies in the media on how great it would be for our state. This is going to cost us dearly in the next few years, so let’s not make the same mistake by allowing outside sources to create a propaganda program that uses lies and promises they can’t keep to bring a minimum wage referendum to the ballot. You can stop this by not signing their petitions.