Re "Brown backs wage hike" (Page A1, Sept. 12): Gov. Jerry Brown's support for a $10 minimum wage could not have come at a worse time. Already, the state suffers from a greater than 30 percent teen unemployment rate and a minimum wage hike would only make things worse. The economics are not tough to understand: Businesses that hire entry-level employees who earn the minimum wage, think restaurants or grocery stores, keep two or three cents in profit from each sales dollar. Raising prices is not an option, because higher prices mean fewer sales. Employers thus will be forced to do more with less, as in more customer self-service and fewer job opportunities for inexperienced employees. The evidence overwhelmingly backs up this intuition: Eighty-five percent of the credible economic research on the minimum wage from the last two decades points to job losses following a wage hike.
-- Michael Saltsman, Employment Policies Institute, Washington, D.C.