Video: NJPP’s Gordon MacInnes Discusses New Jersey’s Slow Economic Recovery, Importance of Raising Minimum Wage
NJPP president Gordon MacInnes was a guest on NJTV’s NJ Today last night to discuss New Jersey’s economy, whether or not revenue projections will hit their mark this year, and the merits of raising the state’s minimum wage.
He told host Mike Schneider that all the talk of tax cuts in Trenton has been based on faulty assumptions.
“Overall I think the conversation in Trenton’s heading in the wrong direction. It assumes that the state is over the hump, that we’ve made it past the ravages of the great recession and that we’re ready now to start handing back tax cuts to people when in fact we remain mired in the basement of the recovery,” he said. “We’re 47th in our jobless rate, we’re 47th in economic activity, we’ve got the third lowest credit rating in the country.”
MacInnes noted that it wasn’t surprising to have the Christie administration warn Wall Street that its revenues might not hit their projections, given that was the opinion of most experts all along.
“When they [revenue projections] came out, most people did not think that those forecasts were realistic given the state of our economy, given the fact that we’ve been crawling out of this recession and that we are so far behind other states in job creation,” he said.
He also threw water on the notion that raising the minimum wage would hurt New Jersey’s economy by noting that states that have recently raised their minimum wages are doing better in terms of job creation than those that haven’t. MacInnes added that the increased income that would result from a minimum wage increase would not only help low-wage workers, but also would help the economy since the extra money would be spent immediately and locally.
“The combination is you help families that are working that need the money and will spend it in New Jersey, it will give a boost to the economy,” he said. “They’re not saving money, they’re not going to the Bahamas on vacation. They are there to survive and they’re barely doing that and they need every penny they can get and that’s a recognition of it. And nobody should be working for that amount here in high cost New Jersey.”
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