Well, that didn’t take long.
Only a MONTH after the Washington, D.C. City Council backed a referendum that would have raised the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2025, Democrats on the panel are beginning to walk back their support and talk of revoking the initiative. In comments to reporters on Monday, D.C. City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson expressed misgivings about Initiative 77, which the city’s voters passed 55% to 44% in June. He said he would sponsor a bill to repeal the initiative, which several Democrats on the Council pledged to support when it was on the ballot.
“I don’t believe the law that Initiative 77 would put into place is good for our city, good for our restaurant industry or good for our workers,” Mendelson said.
The D.C. City Council has the authority to overturn any initiatives which pass by a simple majority, which Initiative 77 did. The proposal to hike the minimum wage that dramatically was supported and beloved by progressive organizations but failed to inspire much confidence among Democrats like Mendelson or Mayor Muriel Bowser.
Now, we assume that the restaurant industry (to say nothing of tipped employees, who were unhappy with the way this law was going to shake out) gave the City Council quite the earful and demanded they make this right. And while we’re never happy when a bunch of politicians directly thwart the will of the people, that’s exactly why we don’t live in a direct democracy. Mob rule is no way to run a place, whether it’s a city or a state or a country. Sad to say it, but sometimes the people need to be protected from mass idiocy.
Frankly, though, we would have rather seen D.C. run this little experiment in forced wage increases so that 55% of the population could get a first-class education in what happens when you go monkeying around with the free market. Of course, they could have taken a glance at Seattle to see their own future. But, you know, it’s hard to do your own research when liberal special interest groups are making their socialist utopia sound so very inviting.