Obama Promises to Double Your Salary!

Over at Right Wisconsin, Nik wrote several days ago about new a Labor Department rule that would increase the minimum an employer can pay a salaried (overtime-exempt) employee:

The Labor Department is expected to release new rules next month that require employers to pay overtime to more employees. Currently, an employee at minimum must earn at least $23,660 annually and execute managerial duties in order to be exempt from overtime pay.

The new rule would increase that minimum to $42,000 – a nearly 83% increase.

I’m re-posting it now to the Morning Martini Lounge because of a question I got on Facebook from someone who saw this post as mere complaining by a business owner (the implication being that the title business owner translates into being able to afford whatever liberals want them to afford). Why not take steps to make sure employees get paid the overtime hours that they’ve worked?

The answer is threefold. For one, not all businesses are the same. Liberal policies try to graft blanket policies on businesses from snow plow outfits to tax firms to grocery stores based on a perception of business that they learned in law school and at Occupy rallies. Some businesses are highly seasonal, meaning hourly employees may scrape together some OT during heavy times, but they’ll be royally screwed when things slow down.

Trust me. I was a cook at a golf course for 8 years, and I would’ve killed for a $23,660 salary.

For two, the market will adjust, as it always does, to nearly doubling the base salary. Liberal idealism dictates that because a policy says a thing and was intended to do that thing, that this thing will happen. Where politics meets economics, good intentions and results are a non sequitir. Salaried workers will go to hourly and great pains will be taken to minimize overtime hours and maintain a bottom line that’s razor thin in many industries in which earners don’t earn a ton, like startup small businesses and restaurants.

In short, the largest corporations will be fine, but small business and their workers will be screwed.

But hey, it sounds good, and that’s all that matters to the Democratic Party.

For three, Democrats can butt out. The employee and employer are grown adults who can enter into any arrangement they want so long as the terms are clear up front, and contract law has existed for centuries to provide necessary protections.

Whole thing here.

About the writer: Chris Rochester is editor in chief of Morning Martini. He’s an armchair politico, veteran of several campaigns, and communications specialist. He's the communications director for the MacIver Institute. Commentary here is strictly his own.