For students, the amendment that stands to make one of the biggest impacts, particularly in their wallets, is the minimum wage question.
But, increasing the minimum wage in the state would only throw money at a larger problem.
We all would love to make an extra $2 an hour just because, but it would only be a Band-Aid for a larger problem.
No one should have to live off the near-poverty level of the current minimum wage. But raising the wage to $6.85 from $5.15 per hour, as Amendment 42 proposes, would be counterproductive.
When people are making a higher wage, it is assumed that they will have a higher skill set to match. So instead, we should be taking this money and investing it in training programs and education so that less people will be forced to work minimum wage positions.
Increasing the minimum wage could do more harm than good. It’s econ 101: If we keep raising the wage, the amount of jobs will increase the costs for labor overall and could lead to a decrease in the amount of jobs and benefits for available employees, especially for the few workers who don’t have the skill sets required for some jobs.
Colorado isn’t the first state – nor will it be the last – to address minimum wage, but before we cement this increase in the constitution, we should consider all the negative impacts.
Vote no on Amendment 42.