22 July 2009

Re: Cosponsor Pete Olson’s (R-TX) H.R. 3309 and save American jobs

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the Alliance for Worker Freedom (AWF), an organization established in 2003 to combat anti-worker legislation and promote free and open labor markets, I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 3309, introduced by Rep. Olson (R-TX) which will delay the third and final stage of the federal minimum wage increase until next year.

Minimum wage laws interfere with free market principles and reduce economic growth. Businesses, which are already struggling to stay afloat, will be forced to pay higher wages raising day-to-day costs. Employers will be forced to cut corners and reduce expenses, commonly done by reducing the payroll, or firing workers.

There is a direct correlation between minimum wage and unemployment increases. On May 25, 2007 congress passed legislation raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over the next three years. Accompanying the minimum wage increase, unemployment rates rose 106.5%, from 4.5% to 9.5%. On July 26, 2009 the minimum wage rate climbed to $7.25 from $6.55. H.R. 3309 would return the minimum wage back to the previous rate of $6.55 until July 24, 2010.

The new federal rate affected 31 states, impacting thousands of businesses and millions of workers. Tragically, the minimum wage increase disproportionately hurts the people it is trying to help. In 2009, as unemployment rates rose nationally, 15.5% of people without high school diplomas were unemployed and 37.8% of African-American teens, both astonishingly high numbers.

Raising the minimum wage does nothing to address unemployment rates, the underlying problem facing the American economy. America will once again rely on private business to innovate and create wealth. Government should be nurturing the private sector, not strangling it. Promote growth, stop minimum wage increases.  

I hope you will join Congressman Pete Olson and cosponsor this bill. Your support will save jobs and help America bounce back from its current economic crisis. If you would like to be added as a cosponsor to this bill, please have your staff contact Jesse Lashbrook at [email protected].

Brian M. Johnson, MPA
Executive Director

cc: All House Members