Progressives have an interesting perspective on Barrington’s minimum wage.

Steve Ahlquist has a strange explainer on Uprise RI about how Barrington got away with implementing a minimum wage policy for municipal workers:

State law passed during the regime of House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello prevents municipalities from raising the minimum wage within their borders. But the state cannot prevent individual cities and towns from establishing their own labor and payment policies. So Barrington municipal leaders are free to pay their employees above minimum wage if they so choose.

This appears to illustrate the way progressives put governments and private-sector employers in completely different mental buckets.  Why would anybody think a municipality couldn’t determine how much to pay its employees?  What they can’t do is limit the freedom of other employers and their employees to set the terms of their own relationships just because they have the misfortune of being within the municipality’s borders.

Of course, whether municipal employees should get special treatment is something that Barrington residents should consider.  On the other hand, one suspects that this policy in Barrington scores progressive points rather cheaply, because few municipal employees are in that territory of pay.

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