So, according to his article in the Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe’s Mayor, David Coss doesn’t think an increased minimum wage hurts his City. The cynic might believe that Coss is just trying to lure Albuquerque to enact bad economic policies similar to those of his home town in order to reduce, but I think Coss is a true-believer.
What I don’t understand is what advocates of the higher minimum wage have against the disabled. What, you say? Wonderful organizations like Voices for Children and “Ole” would NEVER discriminate against the disabled. Oh yeah, well why does New Mexico’s minimum wage law state the following: Section 50-4-23 allows the Director of Workforce Solutions to issue special certificates for those “whose earning or productive capacity is impaired by physical or mental disability or injury or any other disability…”
So, New Mexico’s minimum wage law discriminates against the disabled and the ballot measure on November’s ballot here in Albuquerque doesn’t do anything to remedy the situation. That means that the disabled may continue to be employed at wages below the minimum. But, you say, raising the wage paid to the disabled might make it impossible to find jobs!
And that conundrum is in a nutshell the problem with minimum wages and raising them. For many disabled, the value of their labor is lower than the minimum wage. Of course, the problem is not limited to the disabled and I’ve also known disabled who were among the hardest-working people in a given workplace and were far superior to many so-called “able” employees. If you are “able,” but have few skills and little or no experience, then “Voices” and “Ole” and other advocates of mandated wages are perfectly-comfortable with making a productive an economically-untenable proposition. Leeway is only given if the Director of Workforce Solutions deems you “disabled.”