October 21, 2006

Weekend Question 1: What’s Your ‘Best’ Reason for Opposing Ohio Issue 2 (Minimum Wage Increase)?

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government,TWUQs — Tom @ 4:34 pm

ANSWER: The one articulated by the Toledo Blade (of all papers).

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The Blade identifies THE reason to oppose Issue 2, even if you are enamored of the idea of increasing the minimum wage (which BizzyBlog is not):

No on State Issue 2

SUPPORTERS of State Issue 2 are right about one thing: The minimum wage, currently $5.15 both for workers in Ohio and across the nation, has been too low for too long. What they’re wrong about is putting wage regulation into the Ohio Constitution.

That’s why we recommend a vote of No on Issue 2 on the Nov. 7 ballot.

A persuasive case can be made for increasing the minimum wage, which has plunged to its lowest value in terms of purchasing power since 1955. But any such change should be made by the General Assembly in statutory law, not by inscribing it in an already cluttered and overstuffed state constitution.

….. As with most controversial issues, the devil is in the details, in this case a page-and-a-half of densely worded text that would be added to the constitution and would cover such allied topics as specifically how violations by employers would be adjudicated.

This is the kind of detail that normally would be included in a statute or in rules promulgated by the legislature to carry out a statute but which we believe does not belong in the constitution. The constitution should be reserved for general principles of state policy, not the minutiae of enacting the policy.

….. Despite the business-labor battle, we see defeat of this issue more as a matter of good government. The cause of raising the minimum wage may be just but it should not be written into the constitution of the state of Ohio.

Discussion, over. There is no reason to even begin a debate on the merits of a minimum-wage hike. It simply does not belong in Ohio’s Constitution, PERIOD.

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UPDATE, Oct. 22: The Plain Dealer agrees with the constitutional clutter argument, and on Thursday opposed Issue 2 on that basis.

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