Minnesota state Rep. Tom Emmer, the presumptive Republican nominee for governor, has put forward a new policy for helping the state's businesses: Lowering the minimum wage for waiters and waitresses, and forcing them to rely more heavily on tips.Yep, you heard that right, lower wages for waiters and waitresses because...they earn too much. Knock $5 an hour off of people's pay because...I'm not sure why, what does this accomplish, again? Last time I checked waitstaff aren't union employees or state employees, so how does this save Minnesota any money? How does this help the economy since the whole problem right now is demand? He wants to fight wage deflation by...cutting wages!
Minnesota is one of seven states that do not permit employers to pay less than the standard minimum wage to tipped workers. Federal law permits tipped workers' wages to be as low $2.13 per hour, with tips given to workers credited against the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour employers are required to pay. Emmer's proposal would get rid of Minnesota's law against using that credit, and thus bring the minimum wages for restaurant staff and other gratuity-based workers down to $2.13 per hour plus tips, a reduction of nearly two-thirds. Emmer said this proposal would result in a "level playing field so the employers can continue to exist, survive and thrive."
There's no state budget here to cut. There's no union employees to blame. This is just declaring that waiters and waitresses make too much money somehow, and they need to take a $10,000 yearly pay cut, I guess.
I guess since waiters and waitresses are all lazy welfare cases or whatever, we need to punish them. That makes sense, right?