...that this sort of article is absolutely inevitable only AFTER bad legislation is passed.
A federal minimum wage increase that takes effect Friday could prolong the recession, some economists say, by forcing small businesses to lay off the same workers that the pay hike passed in better times was meant to help.
The increase to $7.25 means 70 cents more an hour for the lowest-paid workers in the 30 states that don't have a higher minimum. It also means higher costs for employers who feel they've already trimmed all their operating fat.
"How will they absorb the increase?" said Rajeev Dhawan, director of Georgia State University's Economic Forecasting Center. "They will either hire less people or they will do less business."
More than in any period before, businesses are likely to lay off employees and reduce hours, further fueling the economic slump in states seeing double-digit unemployment rates, fiscal conservatives and some economists say.
In the run up to actually passing this legislation, the Arizona Republic did nothing but cheer-lead the effort, and would never have published such a story, or would have mentioned it only in graph 36 with some perfunctory balance-quote from the dreaded "industry representative."