Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Proposes Highest Minimum Wage In The U.S.

Fall 1986. I was hanging out with my older sister in her bedroom when I came across a binder for some basic economics/personal finance class that she was enrolled in at the local public high school. As I leafed through it, I thought, “This is some pretty cool stuff- I hope I get the chance to take a class like this when I’m in high school next year.” I didn’t. Not in my freshmen year or any other year. I ended up at an all-boys Roman Catholic college preparatory high school, where such material just wasn’t taught.

Latin, yes. Economics/personal finance, no.

Ita sit (so be it).

In fact, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn also attended the same school. Both of us might have been able to benefit greatly from such instruction early on.

Perhaps one more than the other, based on a new minimum wage hike the Chicago Democrat proposed yesterday in his “State of the State” address. From Paul Merrion on the Crain’s Chicago Business website yesterday:

Gov. Pat Quinn’s call for a $10 minimum wage has created yet another firestorm for the state’s business community.

While economists question whether higher minimum wages hurt jobs and make some states less competitive than others, Illinois business leaders view the governor’s proposal as one more blow to the state’s battered business climate.

Illinois already has the fourth-highest minimum wage at $8.25 an hour, and raising it more than 21 percent over four years would put it far above Indiana or other neighboring states eager to attract Illinois companies to relocate.

According to Merrion, a minimum wage of $10 would be the highest in the country.

Supporters of Quinn’s minimum wage hike are calling it “pro-worker.”

Whether or not “higher minimum wages hurt jobs” directly, a higher wage, in conjunction with the state’s huge fiscal mess and recent (January 2011) corporate income tax rate hike of 46 percent, might be the last straw for Illinois companies contemplating leaving the state and kill the formation of new businesses here. By itself, the effects of the hike may not be significant. But taking everything else into consideration, the growing belief that Illinois is “anti-business” will probably be magnified by its implementation, and jobs could be impacted as a result.

Pro-worker? What good’s a minimum wage hike if jobs leave the state and new ones aren’t created?

Economics 101, my man. Economics 101.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (


Merrion, Paul. “Quinn’s call for $10 minimum wage riles business.” Crain’s Chicago Business. 6 Feb 2013. ( 7 Feb. 2013.

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Thursday, February 7th, 2013 Debt Crisis, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Government, Taxes, Wages

3 Comments to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Proposes Highest Minimum Wage In The U.S.

  1. I don’t specifically follow the Illinois economy, but…….seems pretty simple……there is plenty of cash around (booming stock and bond markets), more truly wealthy people, plus the economy is now solidly in the recovery mode, slow, but slow is good since more longer lasting. And, CA is currently BOOMING with the budget now forecast to be in surplus by 2014, the largest reduction in unemployment in 25 years, currently an oil boom in Bakersfield, Facebook IPO, Tesla being Motor Trend Car of the Year. And at about 12% of the nation, enough to lead the economy no matter what obstructionist politicians do. The BOOM is on…..maybe the greatest ever…..sure, there will be a bubble to be popped, but still much too early……as for bid-up RE prices in some areas, just a typical thing happening at the start of a boom. For those who think the middle and lower classes are being left out……true, but just a sign that there are so many more people left to keep the boom continuing, when they eventually benefit from the economy…….plus, booms always climb a wall of worry……the more I hear words like “crazy,” “insane” while things like employment and RE and stock prices are still well below highs, just makes me more confident.

    So, as far as a higher minimum wage for Illinois, sounds fine with me since I do think the economy can handle it and with more money flowing to the lower classes, likely all of it will flow back into the economy…’s called the multiplier effect. As far as econ course, sure, helpful, but really what is more important is to learn “how” to think, rather than “what” to think………economists with PhD’s can’t even agree, with many being all wrong in understanding the Great Recession and its aftermath.

  2. Joseph Oppenheim on February 7th, 2013
  3. Regarding the prior comment… Either that’s some of the finest sarcasm I’ve ever seen, or someone’s drinking some seriously good koolaid.

  4. tj & the bear on February 7th, 2013
  5. Thanks for the comment Joseph. We certainly have different views of the U.S. economy and larger financial system. Mine can be best summed up as this:

    The long-term economic stability and growth of the nation has been sacrificed for short-term prosperity.

    Enjoy it while it lasts.

  6. Editor on February 8th, 2013

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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