Does the living wage depress employment opportunities in Santa Fe?

In re-stating his opposition to minimum or living wages, Richard Rowland of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, (January 3) cites a quote from Gary Johnson, former New Mexico governor, in his article “Living Wage is Maximum Folly”

Rowland asked, “… why limit the wage to $10.50 an hour (the scheduled 2008 living wage for Santa Fe, New Mexico) when they could have made it $75.00 per hour?…The implications against $75.00 are the same for $10.50 which are that prices go up, there are fewer jobs, people move out and economic activity diminishes”.

As usual, such rhetoric is unaccompanied by data. A little searching on the web turned up a 90 page report (December, 2005) by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research of the University of New Mexico that examined the impact of the $8.50 minimum wage (effected in 2004) on Santa Fe

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