Just when you thought all the bad ideas had been taken, local publisher and Democratic mayoral candidate suggests a new one: two minimum wages.

In the Daily News, Allon proposes that New York State keep the current $7.25-an-hour minimum wage for people under the age of 22 with no dependents, and pay a higher minimum of $9 an hour for “older people already in the workforce and supporting a spouse or raising a family (or those younger than 22 who have dependents).” It’s not clear what would happen to older people with no dependents.

The rationale, Allon says, is that young students and singles don’t need the extra money, but people with families do.

All Allon’s idea would do is force the people who most need the jobs out of the workforce.

An employer with a choice of hiring a 22-year-old with a toddler and cash-register skills for $9, or hiring a 21-year-old with no toddler and cash-register skills for $7.25, is going to go for the cheaper worker.

This decision would be purely financial. The employer wouldn’t even have to subconsciously think about the things he’s not supposed to think about, like whether the single mom with the toddler is going to need extra time off when her toddler is sick.

The mom with the kid wouldn’t be able to compete against her natural disadvantage by offering to match the cheaper worker’s wage. The law would demand that her prospective employer pay her more for the same work.

Allon further ignores the fact that the tax code — that is, um, people — already subsidize poorer families via tax credits for dependent children. There is no reason for a single student struggling his way through college to subsidize a colleague further by working for a lower wage for the same effort.

You may also like

What’s Keeping the Heat On?

As another Arctic blast hits the Northeast and temperatures plunge, more energy is needed to keep New Yorkers warm.  Where is that energy coming from?  Read More

Ten Reasons the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act May Cost More than It’s Worth

Over budget, over time, over and over – that’s the   Megaprojects are transformational, multi-billion-dollar, multi-year projects involv Read More

First fiscal overview of Hochul’s second budget

The unveiled today by Governor Hochul would stay on the course she set last year — raising spending to unsustainable levels, pointing towards deep holes for the future. Adjusting for surplus-funded debt service prepayments (which distort the bottom Read More

DiNapoli aims to curb NY’s borrowing binge

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has unveiled a new proposal for constitutionally curbing the state’s seemingly uncontrollable appetite for borrowing. Read More

Summary of Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s Scoping Plan

The Scoping Plan makes the following recommendations to guide CLCPA implementation. Read More

All Fired Up Over Gas Stoves

Governor Hochul is pushing back against the fear that she’s coming after homeowners’ gas stoves. She that she’s not, and that she’d “like to deal in the truth here because a Read More

Do NY families have school choice?

Organizations across New York and the country last week observed to raise awareness of the educational pathways that exist outside of residentially-assigned public school systems. But what does Read More

Emails show Cuomo’s staff working on his memoir at the peak of New York’s pandemic

Newly available records shed further light on the origins of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's pandemic memoir, which won him a $5.1 million publishing contract before contributing to his political downfall. The records reveal that his government staff were a Read More

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!