Pennsylvania raised its minimum wage this year and workers are losing jobs. That's not what the Democrats who pushed for the hike said would happen.
I wote last month about how the minimum wage increase in Pennsylvania was cited by the owner of a Boyertown restaurant as one of the reasons she decided to go out of business, sending 85 workers to the unemployment line.
One of those know-it-all liberals (are there any other kind?) from the Allentown area posted a response to the column saying one isolated incident doesn't prove the minimum wage hike was a mistake.
I'd like to direct my Lehigh Valley pal to new survey results released by The Lincoln Institute that found that Pennsylvania's business climate has declined in the past six months.
And what has been the biggest impact on the state's economy in the past six months? The minimum wage increase pushed by Gov. Ed Rendell and the Democrats in the Legislature.
The state's minimum wage increased from $5.15 per hour to $6.25 per hour on January 1, 2007. It will go up $7.15 on July 1. (For employers with the equivalent of 10 or fewer full-time employees (based on a 40-hour workweek), the minimum wage increases in three steps: $5.65 on January 1, 2007; $6.65 on July 1, 2007; and $7.15 on July 1, 2008.)
"As predicted by many business groups Pennsylvania employers are reacting to the recent increase in the state's minimum wage by hiring fewer unskilled workers, not hiring new employees and even reducing the number of people they employ," according to the Lincoln Institute's Spring 2007 Keystone Business Climate Survey.
You can also read a summary of Pennsylvania's declining business climate under Gov. Rendell in an op-ed piece by the Lincoln Institute's Lowman Henry posted at the Commonwealth Foundation Web site, http://www.commonwealthfoundation.org/
So I was right once again. It appears the liberals were wrong once again. And of course, the national Democrats in Washington are working on raising the minimum wage so they can damage the economy in all 50 states.
The minimum wage increase by Rendell and the Democratic lemmings in the state Legislature was an election-year ploy to distract voters from the fact that Rendell and his lockstep Democrats failed to address property tax relief for the fourth year in a row. It was political pandering at its worst.
The Democrats got enough of a boost with their "feel-good" legislation to take the November election. Pennsylvania workers are now paying the price ... on the unemployment line.
Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (www.pottsmerc.com), his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. BlogNetNews.com ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas