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Raising Minimum Wage Could Backfire

Everyone understands that it costs more to live in a city such as New York or San Francisco, where housing and other basics are less affordable, than it does to live in Columbus.

What’s considered a living wage varies widely across the country.

John Kasich, Ohio governor, drove home his respect for states handling this issue in an interview on Fox News Sunday.

“It’s very important that we don’t raise the minimum wage willy-nilly, and we end up throwing out of work the lowest and the most unskilled workers,” the GOP presidential contender said.

Ohio’s minimum wage increased this year to $8.10, in an automatic increase tied to inflation.

Ohio is among about half the states with a higher minimum wage than the national one of $7.25.

For the federal government to set a national minimum pay of, say $10, would be especially harmful to states with a lower cost of living.

Americans, in some limited instances, already have seen the backlash of government mandated wage hikes.

Seattle, where the minimum wage rose in April to $11, from $9.47, has lost more than 1,000 restaurant jobs. The minimum wage is set to climb to $15 an hour by 2018.

And after recently raising its minimum wage, Wal-Mart cut its employees’ hours.

Columbus-based White Castle has warned that it, like other fast-food chains, will need to look at ways to cut costs by using more automation and fewer employees if faced with higher wage expenses.

Kasich is right: When jobs or hours for entry-level jobs are cut, it hurts the young and needy the most.

It’s easy to promise people something; it’s harder to try to explain why “helping” is sometimes not helpful.–Columbus Dispatch

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