Are minimum wage laws helpful to poor Nevadans?

Young people wonder if they will ever be twenty-one. However, for those of us who have surpassed that magical age time seems to go faster every year. We wonder how the decades passed by with hardly the blink of an eye. This serves us all as a reminder of Nevada’s bi-annual legislative session soon to be a reality in early 2019. It seems the 2017 session was just completed. As a result, the Retail Association of Nevada has an eye to the future knowing legislative sessions bring opportunity and challenge. Certainly, we want a business climate in Nevada which continues to attract those seeking opportunity and fortune. We know a strong business climate is the foundation of job and economic growth, and it is a bedrock of wealth building for individuals whether they be starting out in life or those well on their way.

New laws are coming

Surely there will be legislative items the Retail Association of Nevada wants introduced. For instance, we anticipate one or more new laws enacted which will clarify the 2018 “Wayfare verses South Dakota” supreme court decision. The new law or laws will clarify how the State of Nevada collects sales tax from online retailers. This is no insignificant matter. First, the decision levels the playing fielding between online retail and bricks and mortar retail stores. This is something the Retail Association welcomes. Secondly, it means online sales tax is no longer voluntary. You were always supposed to remit the tax, albeit hardly anyone ever did. Sales tax on online sales will now be compulsory and the state will collect, by some estimates, an additional $30 million dollars. As well, some estimates also suggest an additional $35 million will go to schools and $30 million will go to local units of government. These kinds of new laws are welcomed and anticipated.

Bad minimum wage laws can be harmful to everyone

However, in any legislative session there are laws introduced which are harmful to business and to the business climate. Most assuredly these have to do with employer mandates. These include minimum wage laws, burdensome overtime laws, various regulatory issues, and so forth. Consider raising the minimum wage, something many politicians’ campaign on and believe in their heart of hearts will improve the lot of those at the bottom rung of the economic ladder. We agree increased wages helps the lives of those struggling to get by. What we disagree with is what that will do to the competitiveness and viability of those who employ lower wage earners. Simply put, there is only so much money with which to pay labor. If you artificially raise the cost of labor, via a mandate, economic laws force the employer to raise prices, do with less labor, or automate jobs. When forced by mandate to raise wages it is likely that employers will invest in automation to replace labor leaving those marginally employable out in the cold. What results from the kind-hearted efforts on the part of politicians, ends up hurting those whom the politicians sought to help in the first place. Those employees might have been better left to the wage levels set by market or by finding better paying jobs as their skills increased.September 2018

Mandated minimum wages only help Nevada politicians

Clearly, the Retail Association of Nevada does not like employer mandates. Rarely do they contain sound economic principles and often times serve as a means to get one elected or to assure the elected politician’s base that he or she has their best interest in mind. When thinking about all the problems facing Nevada and our country wouldn’t we all be better off if politicians from either party used common sense, bi-partisanship, and reason to solve these kinds of problems rather than pass laws which hurt employers and employees in the first place?