As a leader of the opposition in this very blue state, a part of my job is to analyze state politics and policies and to express an opinion on issues impacting the state and its people. The Republican Party is the party of the small businesses which produce most of the state's jobs and of the state's taxpayers who bear the highest tax burden of any in the Unites States.
Because the minimum wage is so tied into elements of supplemental assistance for working people, the general and competitive condition of an economy and inflation/deflation forces, well managed governments raise the minimum wage in careful increments and measure the impacts before doing additional increases. Once set, minimum wages are not reduced.  Over the last decade New York's minimum wage almost doubled while inflation increased only 25%.
However, as the "progressives" (Mayor de Blasio) and socialists (Senator Sanders) have gained traction in his party, Governor Cuomo has embarked on a rash political drive to be the first Governor to measure up to 1199 SEIU's "Fight for $15" slogan. In doing so, he is exposing the New York economy, already among the least business friendly, to huge potential damage and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, especially if other states, such as nearby Pennsylvania with a $7.25 minimum wage, don't follow suit.
Small main street businesses will raise prices (hurting citizens on fixed incomes), lay off workers or close their doors. Businesses relying on unskilled workers will move to other states or abroad. New York citizens hit hardest will be the most vulnerable -- unskilled labor and young potential workers looking for that important first job, including inner city minority youths whose unemployment rate is already over 20%.
Edward F. Cox, Chairman
Republican Party of New York State
For the full memo click here
Monday, January 25, 2016